x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

After late surge, Adrian Peterson deserves MVP nod

After a late surge in rushing to end the NFL regualr season, columnist Mike Tierney says Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson deserves the MVP award.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, left, ended the NFL season on a tear and will be up for consideration for the MVP award.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, left, ended the NFL season on a tear and will be up for consideration for the MVP award.

Five weeks ago, some fool typed that the National Football League's Most Valuable Player competition had been reduced to a tug of war between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

In my feeble defence, who foresaw Adrian Peterson's mad dash down the home stretch that included two games with 200-plus yards on the ground,one that missed that mark by a mere yard and another with 154 yards? Who imagined his season's count soaring all the way to 2,097, eight short of Eric Dickerson's single-year record? This, after extensive knee surgery that would limit most of us indefinitely to light jogs around the house?

Many voters will take the honour's name too literally and pull the lever for a quarterback based on the position being the most valuable for any team. But as breathtaking as Manning has been, and Brady slightly less so, the award should be redefined if it does not wind up in Peterson's hands.

You want valuable? Have you seen the Vikings' pedestrian QB? Without Peterson, these guys would be shovelling snow out of their Minnesota driveways today rather than playing Green Bay.

Not that this should sway the vote, but it was refreshing to learn that, minutes after the Vikes pinned down a post-season berth last Sunday, Peterson was unaware if he had secured the rushing record. He craved it, but not enough to mix up his priorities.

Manning and Brady and nobody else? My bad. Peterson has been that good, and he deserves to break the QB monopoly on MVP.

sports@thenational.ae

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