After Monday night's performance against the Houston Texans, Tom Brady seems to have catapulted up the ranks and is now the frontrunner for NFL MVP. I personally find that funny, seeing as how the game he had on Monday - 296 yards, 4 TDs, no interceptions - is pretty much on par with how he has been playing all season. Perhaps it's because the game was on national television and Brady was up against a vaunted Texans D that had been receiving the most thorough media rumpswabbing I've seen since Andrew Luck officially declared for the draft. Whatever the reason, pundits everywhere have been loosening the stranglehold that they have had on Peyton Manning's jock since about last March and are finally taking notice of yet another epic Brady season.
But is this season MVP worthy?
As anyone who reads my posts knows, I'm pretty much Patient Zero when it comes to prostrating myself at the Altar of Brady. In my eyes, that man can do no wrong, and not even the most flamboyantly metrosexual outfits this side of the Atlantic Ocean will ever get me to say a bad thing about him. My Tommy B Mancrush springs eternal, and even if I were to put all of that bias aside, I still feel very confident in saying that Brady will go down as the greatest quarterback of all time when his career finally does come to a close. But honestly, even with all of my Brady love, if I had to choose right now my vote for NFL MVP would go to Adrian Peterson.
And the fact that no NFL MVP has ever gone on to win a Super Bowl in the history of the league is only about 65% of the reason that Peterson gets my vote.
Brady is amazing. Brady is always amazing. He consistently strings together victory after victory, sets record after record, and 2012 just may be his most impressive campaign yet. But any way you slice it, Tommy B has help. He has a plethora of offensive weapons. He (FINALLY!!!) has a running game to take some of the pressure off of him. He has the greatest coach of all time on the sidelines. Peyton Manning also has help. He has receivers, he has an offensive line, and he has a potential Defensive Player of the Year on the other side of the ball in Von Miller. What both quarterbacks have done, as usual, is mindblowing and an absolute joy to watch, but at the end of the day, neither of them have done what they have done alone.
AP, on the other hand, has none of those things. He is playing on a lousy team with a sub-par offensive line, struggling quarterback, and a so-so defense. The only other offensive threat on the team, Percy Harvin, has been placed on injured reserve, thus allowing opposing defenses to focus almost all of their efforts on stopping the Minnesota run game. AP is literally all that the Vikings have. And yet, in spite of all that, Peterson is once again on pace to break another 2,000 yard season and he is running as well as I have ever seen him run.
He is also doing so less than a year after completely ruining his knee and coming back from a surgery that some mortals never fully recover from.
No, Peterson's rapid comeback isn't unique; Wes Welker did it in 2010. Logan Mankins did it this year. And yes, Peyton Manning deserves a tremendous amount of credit for playing at such a high level after missing a full year due to four neck surgeries. But in my opinion, none of that can hold a candle to what Peterson has done and will continue to do, completely on his own and at one of the game's most brutal positions. He is the Vikings, and in my opinion, he is the Most Valuable Player of 2012.
So let AP have this one. Tommy B has a more important trophy to chase.
Will Peterson get the nod? I'd be absolutely amazed if he did. The world's quarterback bias is just too strong, and with Brady and Manning both playing at the level they are at, the award will almost undoubtedly go to one of them - particularly if the Associated Press continues to follow their usual protocol. But I'd be remiss if I didn't at least state my case for AP, because that way when Manning gets it is in a few weeks I can say I did my part.