Originally written on Sports-Glory  |  Last updated 12/21/12

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 06: Runningback Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
With two weeks left in the regular season, the race for MVP has been whittled down to a two-man contest, Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. While arguments can also be made for Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt, the reality is that Manning and Peterson both overcame impossible, insurmountable odds. And both performed at a level that exceeded all expectations. Manning, as we know, underwent four neck procedures in a span of only 19 months, while Peterson tore his ACL and MCL on Christmas Eve last year. Those are the types of injuries that not only put you on injured reserve but, could end your career. That’s about as simple as it gets. Just ask Dennis Byrd, Daunte Culpepper, Terrell Davis, Gale Sayers, Sterling Sharpe and Chris Spielman, to name a few. Returning to the field is a feat in itself, but Manning and Peterson also elevated their game (and their teams) in the process. So far, Manning has thrown for 4,016 yards and 31 touchdowns. He’s lead the Broncos to an AFC West title and they’re projected to take the two-seed in the playoffs. He’s resurrected his career to new heights, something many believed impossible, even for No. 18. Adrian Peterson, however, is on pace to break one of the most sacred, most revered records in NFL history: Eric Dickerson’s 1984 single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards. For some perspective, the record is so daunting only three players have even broken 2,000 yards in that 28 year span: Terrell Davis (2,008 yards in 1998), Jamal Lewis (2,066 yards in 2003) and Chris Johnson (2,006 yards in 2009). With 294 yards to go and two games remaining, the idea of Peterson breaking that record is astonishing. After his devastating injury, Peterson underwent extensive surgery, followed by a long and grueling rehabilitation process that commonly takes between seven and nine months. And that process, along with immense dedication, only ensures a return to normal activity. And normal for running backs in the NFL is not the same as normal for you and me. Peterson isn’t normal. He’s superhuman. Just look at his numbers - they don’t lie. This season, Peterson has carried the ball 289 times, averaged 6.3 yards per carry and rushed for 1,812 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last week at the Rams, Peterson ran for 212 yards on 24 carries, including an incredible 82-yard touchdown run, his longest of the season. Can he produce those same stats at the Texans on Sunday? While it’s certainly possible (and, at this point, I wouldn’t dare bet against it), it’ll be arduous against the league’s fifth-ranked rushing defense. ESPN currently has Peterson’s projected season rushing total at 2,071 yards - 35 shy of surpassing the record. But, if he does break Dickerson’s record, conventional wisdom says Peterson should be MVP, right? Not quite.   In its 55 year history, quarterbacks have been selected MVP 37 times, compared to 17 for running backs; Manning himself has won it four times - the most of any player. Quarterback bias shouldn’t be a factor this year and if it is, voters should consider Peterson the real QB of the Vikings. Most would agree that it’s Peterson, not Christian Ponder, who’s kept Minnesota competitive this season. Dickerson, for his part, has made it perfectly clear. He doesn’t want Peterson to break his record. He told CBS Sports, “I don’t want him to break it. I’ll be honest. I don’t want to see it. If anyone ever broke it, and if my son played football, I’d want my son to break it. But that’s it. No one else.” Dickerson was one of the most competitive players to ever put on an NFL uniform, so his sentiment is understandable. But it’s time to pass the torch and Peterson is just as competitive, dedicated, talented and fearless as Dickerson was in his era. Records were made to be broken and if Peterson succeeds, he should and will be MVP.  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jason Kidd to be named general manager of Bucks

USWNT romps Japan 5-2 to win third Women's World Cup title

Report: JPP 'severely injured' hand in fireworks mishap

Blatter: European politicians helped Qatar land World Cup

Report: Cavs considering trading for Joe Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andrew Quarless found hiding in plant after firing gun

Odell Beckham: I don't want to be known only for 'the catch'

Borland on retirement: Health 'more important' than money

Three NBA teams that improved most early in offseason

Adam Eaton gets 4th of July surprise from brother

Clippers in talks with JaVale McGee, Amar’e Stoudemire

2015 All-Star starters announced, featuring four Royals

WATCH: Jake Marisnick makes fantastic running catch

WATCH: Carlos Gomez leaves gum, note for Billy Hamilton

Kansas to wear new USA jerseys after request from FIBA

What can the Saints expect from CJ Spiller in 2015?

Isaiah Thomas trolls Kings after Rajon Rondo signing

Kosta Koufos agrees to deal with Kings

Report: Blues in trade talks about Kevin Shattenirk

Report: Gregg Popovich plans to fulfill five-year contract

4-Star LB commits to Kentucky, zings Louisville

Clay Buchholz not worried about trade rumors

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

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

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

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.