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Survey: Peyton Manning leading Adrian Peterson in MVP voting

Who wins MVP is always one of the more interesting discussion topics in the NFL. This season, it looks like the award will come down to two comeback players.

The Denver Post surveyed 18 of the 50 people who will be voting for the MVP award, and their findings show that Peyton Manning is in the lead.

According to the survey conducted by Mike Klis, nine voters say they back Peyton Manning, three say Adrian Peterson, and six said they wanted to see how Peterson performed in the Minnesota Vikings’ season finale against the Green Bay Packers.

Klis says those were the two players voters were considering for the award. Top quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Robert Griffin III were only mentioned as third place finishers behind Peterson or Manning.

Manning missed all last season after undergoing multiple neck surgeries. He led the Broncos to a 12-3 record entering Week 17 thanks in part to a 10-game winning streak. He has thrown for 4,355 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. This would be his NFL record fifth MVP award.

Peterson was injured in Week 16 against the Redskins last season. He had surgery to repair a torn ACL and returned earlier than expected. He has rushed for a career-high 1,898 yards and has a strong chance to become the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. All the while he has the Vikings unexpectedly contending for a playoff spot.

As excellent as both players have been this season, I don’t see why this appears to be a two-player race. Aaron Rodgers is having another outstanding season and has the best touchdown-to-interception ratio (35:8) among all quarterbacks. Green Bay has won nine of 10 entering Week 17, and Rodgers had thrown for 25 touchdowns and four interceptions in that span. He had a stinker in a 38-10 loss to the Giants, but outside of that, he has been outstanding.

I also would have included Robert Griffin III higher in the conversation had he not missed time because of injuries, because he has been spectacular this season.

Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

H/T Pro Football Talk

Adrian Peterson wants to run in Olympics, challenge Usain Bolt

Being the top running back in the NFL isn’t enough for Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Vikings’ all-time leading rusher says he aspires to one day compete in the Olympics as a sprinter.

During an interview with Graham Bensinger on “In Depth,” Peterson revealed his goal to compete in the 2016 Olympics. In fact, All Day says he wanted to run in the 2012 Olympics, but his knee injury derailed those plans.

“Before I tore my ACL, I was going to go to a couple of track meets and run unattached and just see where I was at, get some meets under my belt or whatnot, but unfortunately, I hurt my knee. Now that I’m back and refreshed, I think I’m going to give it a shot still,” Peterson told Bensinger.

“I told myself, hey, I want to try out for the Olympics for the 200 and the 400. That’s something that – that’s a goal of mine that I want to accomplish.”

Peterson says he ran track in high school and had success despite not having very good instruction from coaches. He wonders how he would stack up in the right environment. He’s not even intimidated by the thought of competing against Usain Bolt, who is the world record holder in the 100 and 200-meters.

“I feel like I can stand up to any challenge,” Peterson said. “I know a lot of people laugh and be like ‘come on, let’s be real with yourself.’ It’s Usain Bolt, but I feel like you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.”

After watching him burst through holes and outrun opposing players throughout his career, I have to say that I would be intrigued to see how Peterson would do as a sprinter. His dreams are not too far-fetched; Patriots running back Jeff Demps was a silver medalist on the US’ 4 x 100 meter relay team at the London Games. Peterson might not be the fastest player in the league, but one thing we have learned — especially after this season — is that we should never underestimate him.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk

Adrian Peterson: I can beat Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105 yards

Adrian Peterson has completely defied science with the Minnesota Vikings this season. Despite suffering a torn ACL at the end of last season, Peterson has bounced back to enjoy one of the best seasons of his career. Most players take at least a year to return to form after an injury that significant, but A.P. has shown that the knee is a non-factor by rushing for 1,600 yards in 12 games.

Peterson’s best year as a pro was in 2008, when he rushed for 1,760 yards. Not only does he have a chance to surpass that number, but he could also challenge Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards. During an appearance on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday, Peterson said he feels he has a legitimate chance to break the record.

“I do,” he said. “The guys in front of me are doing a great job of blocking. I feel it’s possible.”

Later in the interview, Patrick asked Peterson straight out if Dickerson should be worried.

“I think so,” he said with a chuckle. “I think so.”

The Vikings have the St. Louis Rams (13th against the run), Houston Texans (2nd) and Green Bay Packers (15th) remaining on their schedule. Peterson would have to average 169 yards rushing per game over that three-game stretch. While it’s not impossible, it’s highly unlikely against opponents of that caliber.

Nevertheless, Peterson is an MVP candidate who deserves all the credit in the world for shaking off an injury that has been a death sentence for some. The success he is having is a testament to the tremendous amount of work he must have put in while rehabbing.

Chest bump to Black Sports Online
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Adrian Peterson says DeAngelo Hall slapped him in face; Hall says that’s ‘asinine’

Adrian Peterson and DeAngelo Hall got into it a bit during the first quarter of the Redskins-Vikings game on Sunday. Peterson, who totaled over 100 yards of offense on the day, broke a couple of big runs at the beginning of the game and credited Hall with making a nice tackle on one of them. However, he did not approve of what the Redskins cornerback did after making the play.

“He slapped me in the face after making a good tackle,” Peterson told the Star Tribune. “And I was just telling him, ‘Hey, don’t do me like that, brother.’ I looked him in the eyes and he knew I meant business.”

According to the Washington Post, Hall said that’s not what happened at all.

“I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Hall said on Monday. “For it to be brought up a day later and talking about I slapped him in the face, that’s just asinine. I actually run up on him, make a tackle and my helmet kind of pops off. The momentum of me going to hit him, I kind of push right off, right after I make the tackle I push right off, I don’t know if it’s him or the ground. That’s the only contact I had with him.”

This is the same DeAngelo who once tried to fight the entire Falcons team and has talked about targeting specific parts of opposing players’ bodies in the past. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Peterson meaning business wasn’t quite enough to beat the Redskins on a day where Minnesota’s defense was a no-show in a 38-28 loss.

Photo credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Adrian Peterson: Percy Harvin and I are both like Michael Jordan, not Scottie Pippen

The Vikings have surprised a number of people with their 4-1 start this year, and they owe much of their success to the dynamic play of Percy Harvin and astonishingly quick healing powers of Adrian Peterson. Peterson is simply back to being Peterson, which is incredible since he tore his ACL in Week 16 last season. Harvin has racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense and is arguably the best dual-threat player in football.

As a result, Minnesota’s confidence is sky-high. So high, in fact, that Peterson felt confident telling the Star-Tribune that he and Harvin are the two best players in the league.

“I know talent,” Peterson said when asked if Harvin is the Scottie Pippen to his Air Jordan. “I can watch Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen and see the difference. There are two Jordans on this team. I’m not trying to be cocky. I’m just very confident in my abilities.”

Harvin has come a long way from a guy who wanted to be traded just a few months ago. A.P. isn’t alone in his assessment, as Christian Ponder also recently told reporters that he feels Harvin is the best all-around player in the league. Harvin and Peterson are both potential MVP candidates, and if Ponder can continue limiting mistakes there’s no reason the Vikings can’t make some noise in the NFC — especially given the way teams like the Packers and Saints have started out.

H/T Chris Wesseling
Photo credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew have bigger roles than expected in opener

Almost every fantasy football “expert” you asked on Sunday would have told you to bench both Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew if you had other options. The star backs were not expected to receive a full workload as Peterson is still recovering from ACL surgery and Jones-Drew missed the entire offseason while holding out. If what they saw wasn’t a full load, it was pretty damn close.

Jones-Drew had a decent day from a fantasy standpoint as he had 22 touches for 99 total yards. He failed to find the endzone and it may not have been what we’re used to, but it was far more than expected from someone who was supposed to be out of shape. Peterson, on the other hand, is obviously a freak of nature.

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Adrian Peterson: Jaguars ‘would have been terrible’ without Maurice Jones-Drew

With Week 1 of the NFL season already upon us, two of the league’s top runners are facing an uphill battle to get back into shape. Maurice Jones-Drew missed all of Jaguars training camp while holding out for a new deal, but he returned over the weekend without one. Adrian Peterson has been trying to make a rapid recovery from major knee surgery. While the Jaguars stood strong and refused to give Jones-Drew a new deal, it’s clear that Peterson feels the team was playing with fire in doing so.

“Look at Jones-Drew,” Peterson said according to 1500ESPN.com. “He was their whole offense last year. So, without him, the Jaguars would have been terrible just to be honest.”

Jones-Drew was the NFL’s leading rusher last season, and Peterson credited him with keeping Jacksonville from being worse than 5-11 — which isn’t exactly an amazing accomplishment. The Jaguars were terrible without him last year and most expect them to be terrible again this season regardless.

Last year’s lack of success is what gave the Jaguars so much leverage with MJD this offseason. The team had to have known he wouldn’t hold out forever, and they figured Rashad Jennings would be an ample replacement if he missed any regular season time. Jones-Drew is one of the most talented backs in the league, but unfortunately for him he’s on a horrible team. Teams who win five games with their star players don’t tend to fret when they hold out as much as playoff teams do. How much worse can it get?

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE