No matter if your choice is Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning or the Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson; you’ve picked a winner for the MVP or comeback player of the year. The debate over which player is more deserving of either award has been picking up the last few days, and it seems there is no wrong answer.
Peyton Manning was instrumental in guiding the Broncos to a 13-3 record, set several records in the process and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, as long as they remain alive. Behind Manning, the Broncos won their second straight AFC west title, and 5 more wins than last season when they finished 8-8. All of this coming after multiple neck surgeries, and missing the entire 2011 season. Some questioned the contract the Broncos awarded Manning, still others his arm strength as he seemed to struggle in the first few weeks. In the end, any Broncos fan will tell you Manning has been better than advertised, fans know what they’ve been watching this season is special. Manning’s demand for excellence and work ethic has raised the level of play of every Bronco player around him.
Meanwhile, the Vikings running back Adrian Peterson suffered one of the worst injuries a player can endure, especially a running back. Late in the 2011 season, Peterson went down with a torn ACL/MCL. It’s the same type of injury that cut careers short, like those of Gale Sayers and Terrell Davis. Peterson’s recovery and determination getting back into shape was intense from start to finish. Behind his efforts, Peterson helped the Vikings into the playoffs, and he missed the NFL single season rushing record by only 10 yards. (Second highest all time; 2,097)
Both players have solid cases for either award, and no matter how it unfolds, there will be those who disagree. For Manning specifically, you can bet he and the rest of the Broncos would rather have the most important post season award of all, the Lombardi Trophy. The Broncos are just two wins away from another super bowl, to fight for that one.