Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 2/2/13
Before winning the NFL MVP award Saturday night, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson spent two weeks making the rounds with TV and radio outlets that wanted to get the 2,000-yard rusher on air. The media blitz started last week in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl and continued this week in New Orleans, site of Saturday night's NFL awards ceremony. Inevitably, the discussion always came around to Peterson's qualifications for the MVP award. The Vikings superstar would respond, as he has for more than a month, that he deserved to win the honor for the first time in his six-year career. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, Peterson's main competition for the award who ended up finishing second Saturday, playfully ribbed Peterson in Hawaii, saying the running back was lobbying for the MVP. In reality, Manning probably figured he simply didn't need to promote himself. When it comes to the MVP award, quarterbacks have long held a built-in advantage: inertia. Before Peterson broke through Saturday night by getting 30 12 votes to Manning's 19 12, QBs had won five straight and 10 of the past 12 MVPs. So it would take something incomprehensible maybe even a running back racking up 2,097 rushing yards less than a year after ACL surgery and leading a passing-challenged team from a 3-13 record to the playoffs to break the pattern, and that's exactly what Peterson delivered. He finished with the second-highest single-season rushing total in NFL history, falling just eight yards short of Eric Dickerson's record. It was the kind of season that had Peterson heading to the podium repeatedly Saturday night -- Offensive Player of the Year, NFL.com Fantasy Player of the Year, FedEx Ground Player of the Year Peterson tested that ACL time and again on the way up the stairs. The 27-year-old didn't just top the rest of the NFL's rushers by more than 500 yards, he bettered his own best season back then with the ACL God gave him by more than 300 yards. In a quarterback-driven league, Peterson had a different idea of how to power an offense, but he knew even before he fell short of Dickerson's record that he'd have to do some educating off the field to get folks to fully appreciate what he'd accomplished on it. "Quarterbacks kind of get a little leeway at times," Peterson said in December. "But the MVP goes to the best player. You've got to be able to evaluate different situations -- who's been performing the best -- not just narrow it down to quarterbacks. That's not right. If that's the case, then you should make it a quarterback-only award." Manning, making an incredible comeback himself from multiple neck surgeries, is the NFL's only four-time MVP. He transformed Denver's offense from Tebow Time to the pass-first standard and led his team to the best record in the AFC. He was second in the NFL with a 105.8 quarterback rating, tied for first in completion rate at 68.6 percent and was third with 37 touchdown passes. Good numbers for sure in the end Comeback Player of the Year numbers only -- but Peterson's season was both historic and at the same time bucked history by proving games can still be won with legs instead of arms. It's been a while since anyone acknowledged that. The last running back MVP was LaDanian Tomlinson in 2006. He had 2,323 yards from scrimmage and scored a single-season record 31 touchdowns. The year before that, Shaun Alexander needed a then-record 28 touchdowns to win. Marshall Faulk, the 2000 winner, also had established the single-season touchdown mark at the time, going for 2,189 total yards and 81 receptions. In NFL history, only three players have ever won the award at a position other than quarterback and running back: Vikings defensive tackle Alan Page in 1971, Washington Redskins kicker Mark Moseley in 1982 (really?) and New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1986. Since Taylor won, 20 quarterbacks have claimed at least a share of the MVP award, and running backs have been winning less and less. Peterson broke through while all three of the quarterbacks who have won the last seven MVPs by QBs Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Manning having MVP-caliber seasons, but it's fair to say topping 2,000 yards alone didn't do the trick. Of the six previous 2,000-yard rushers, only three earned at least a share of the MVP award: Barry Sanders (2,053 yards in 1997), Terrell Davis (2,008 in 1998) and O.J. Simpson (2,003 in 1973). Even Dickerson was denied the honor in his record-breaking season, with the award going to Miami quarterback Dan Marino. Manning has twice earned the award over a 2,000-yard rusher (Jamal Lewis in 2003 and Chris Johnson in 2009), and maybe it's time to realize that when a handful of other quarterbacks are having similar seasons to Manning's and when Peterson stands so singularly among running backs that history doesn't have to repeat itself again and again and again. This season was Peterson's season and for once didn't belong to the quarterback. If that bothers you, just wait 12 months because it'll probably take 3,000 yards by a running back Peterson or otherwise to keep the award away from a QB again. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

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

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker