Stiff competition doesn’t happen too often at the Pro Bowl. But this year, with the two main contenders for the MVP award suiting up for opposite sides, the game has extra intrigue.
Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning both had solid years after coming back from injuries that appeared likely to limit — if not end — their careers. They’re now the frontrunners for the league MVP award, to be announced this week.
The voting is done, but that hasn’t kept Peterson from campaigning. He thinks his 2,097 rushing yards (second most in NFL history), 6.0 yards per rush, 12 touchdowns and contribution in getting the Vikings to the playoffs is enough to give him the edge over Manning’s 4,659 passing yards, 68.6 completion percentage, 37 touchdowns and playoff spot with the Broncos.
“I’m going to win it. I will get it,” Peterson told Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post on Saturday.
But Peterson’s boastings weren’t lost on the other guy in the race.
“Everybody should play like Adrian Peterson,” Manning said during a Pro Bowl event earlier in the week. “The guy does everything full speed. The Pro Bowl. Promoting himself for MVP.”
Peterson said he enjoyed the joke, but the last laugh will likely come Sunday night. Manning already made a plea to his fellow NFL players earlier this week to take the Pro Bowl seriously and raise the level of play. If he and Peterson both come out firing, they could provide more fodder for one of the tightest MVP races in recent years.
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