Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 6: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs past Calais Campbell #93 of the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The battle for NFL Most Valuable Player was expected to be a tight race, as Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning both made strong cases for their candidacy. But in the end, it was the Vikings tailback who ran away with it, taking home both MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press. Peterson not only recorded one of the most statistically impressive seasons by a running back in NFL history, he did so less than a year after tearing his ACL — an injury that often sidelines players for a full season. His league-leading 2,109 rushing yards fell just nine short of Eric Dickerson‘s NFL record as Peterson almost single-handedly carried the Vikings’ offense to the postseason. Manning did receive some consolation, however, as he was awarded the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. The signal caller missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury, but did not take long to return to his former self. Manning led the Broncos to the AFC’s best record in 2012, throwing for 37 touchdowns with 11 interceptions while completing a league-best 68.6 percent of his passes. J.J. Watt had one of the greatest seasons ever on the defensive side of the ball in 2012, and the AP gave that dominance its due. The Texans defensive end was the nearly unanimous winner of the AP’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, receiving 49 of 50 votes. Watt finished his second season with an NFL-leading 20.5 sacks and an NFL-record 16 passes tipped, earning him the nickname “J.J. Swat.” Watt’s historic season overshadowed stellar campaigns by San Francisco’s Aldon Smith and Denver’s Von Miller — who tallied 19.5 and 18.5 sacks, respectively.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Celtics looking to make LeBron's life difficult in playoff series

WATCH: Luke Rockhold chokes out Lyoto Machida

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

Report: Todd Gurley's knee checks out well in evaluation

WATCH: All 286 3-pointers Steph Curry made this season

WATCH: Devan Dubnyk makes great save while leaving net

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.