Saturday evening Adrian Peterson was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Peyton Manning was named the Comeback Player of the Year.
Peterson’s injuries could have ended his career. Instead he ran as hard as any back in history, missing only a few yards of surpassing the all time record of Eric Dickerson. His team made the playoffs mostly because of his efforts, and those of his offensive line.
Peyton Manning who had two neck surgeries was instrumental in helping the Denver Broncos to the AFC Divisional Championship, losing to the Baltimore Ravens, and won the Comeback Player of the Year award.
Both injuries were devastating and could have been career ending. A quarterback is often described as a player “with a target on his back”. For Manning to come back from such an extremely serious injury and perform at the highest level is more than admirable. But for a running back to come back from double knee surgery, understanding the stress on that particular area of the leg, and achieve a near record breaking feat, is more than amazing. I think he should have won all three awards.
When the rules were changed in professional football, receivers gained an advantage in the game. The running back appeared to have been reduced to a diminished role. That didn’t happen. Adrian Peterson led the way, but other backs such as Arian Foster, Frank Gore, and Ray Rice ensured the importance of the running game.
I am old enough to have watched the greatest runners in the history of the NFL. I watched Jim Brown, Gale Sayers, Walter Payton, O J Simpson, Eric Dickerson, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Tony Dorsett, and Marcus Allen. Adrian Peterson is equal or better than all of them. He attacks the defensive player. He fights for every yard, and never yields to gang tackling. He has both the speed and evasive talent of all who have played before him. He is a credit to his position and the game.
Columnist-The Guardian Express