The 2012 NFL Season has finally come to a close. As we look back we saw many players performs extraordinary feats, make plays where it counted, or just simply dropped the ball flat onto the grassy turf. Throughout the entire season, we kept hearing talks about who deserves the MVP award. However the names get thrown out there usually belong to quarterbacks.
If you take a look in the recent history of the NFL MVPs, you'll see that 37 MVP winners were QBs or RBs. In fact the last time that a non-QB or non-RB won the NFL MVP award was back in 1986 when LB Lawrence Taylor of the New York Giants won it. It has gone from going as an award to the best player in the game right now to just the best offensive player. After reviewing a lot of stats and watching some game footage, yours truly has come up with his list of the top 5 candidates for the 2012 NFL MVP Award. This will be based on what the award should be truly based on: who dominated during this season. You'll be surprised to see some names get left off and spoiler alert: Eli is not getting the award to all those who think I would be picking #10 of Big Blue. That being said, let's start off with #5.
4. Drew Brees, QB New Orleans Saints: Now I bet you are 'surprised' to see a QB this low on the list and why I picked Brees over the likes of a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady or even Aaron Rodgers. Well its simple. You take away any of those QBs from their teams, they're average at best. You take away Drew Brees away from the Saints, they are always going after the next top 5 pick. Drew Brees did everything he could. He passed for a league leading 5,177 yards (2nd year in a row with +5,000 yards passing) and 43 touchdowns and was the only reason why the Saints remained competitive throughout what was an embarsssing season.
2. J.J. Watt, DE Houston Texans: This was a tough decision to make. J.J. Watt was the most dominating defensive player not on his team but in the entire NFL. He was the reason why Texans decided to let DE Mario Williams walk in free agency during the off-season. He lead the league in sacks with 20.5, accounting for just under half his team's sack total (44.0). But what really sticks out was the fact that he had 16 passes deflected, tied for 10th in the league. The 'closest' defensive linemen in that category is DE Ryan Kerrigan of the Washington Redskins (tied for 80th overall with 8). Even with the likes of LB Brain Cushing and DBs Johnathan Joseph and Brice McCain missing time with injuries or having offensive coordinators create blocking schemes desginated just for him, J.J. Watt dominated at his position and because of his defensive play that kept the Houston Texans competitive for the entire year.
1. Adrian Peterson, RB Minnesota Vikings: On December 24, 2011 he tore his ACL and MCL in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Going into this season, many thought that AP would have lost a step. Instead, they saw perhaps one of the best rushing performances since the likes of Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson, and even the Juice O.J. Simpson. Here are some stats for you. For the season, Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards, the second most in NFL history and was only 9 yards from breaking the 2,105 mark. The nearest competitor was Alfred Morris of Washington at 1,613. AP had 12 rushing TDs, 2nd in the NFC and 3rd overall. He lead all running backs with 131.1 yards per game as well as 6.0 yards per carry as well as being 1st in yards from scrimmage with 2,314. His 2,097 rushing yards make up for 79.6% of his teams total 2,634 rushing yards as well as the fact AP alone had more total rushing yards than 24 NFL teams. He did all that in league where we see teams pass more than run the ball. So Mr. Adrian Peterson, you are deserving of the MVP candidate.
-Ryan L. Fox
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