By Joseph Gunther
Running back Adrian Peterson has single-handedly kept the Vikings in the playoff hunt.
In addition to playing for the postseason, the sixth-year veteran is closing in on 2,000 rushing yards and the single-season NFL rushing record.
The record became a little bit of a long shot due to his 86 yard output in Houston on Sunday. However, he has already rushed for 210 yards against the Green Bay Packers once this season.
The number of yards may not look good, but what cannot be overlooked is what his first carry did on Sunday. It came on the first play of the Vikings’ first offensive possession of the game.
The Texans kicked a field goal to a take a 3-0 lead and Kyle Rudolph committed a false start penalty. The Texans could easily have taken control of the game at that point, but Peterson took the handoff and ran 20 yards to the 37 yard line. The Vikings rolled from there to get its second win over a team that is in position to have a first round bye in the playoffs.
Chris Mortenson and Keyshawn Johnson said on Mike Tirico’s Weekend Blitz program on the ESPN Radio network that Peterson should be the front runner for the award while previewing the Vikings-Houston Texans game.
Johnson noted that his top competitors for the award are having great seasons, but their teams would not be as bad as the Vikings would be without Peterson. He reminded Mortenson and Tirico that the New England Patriots won 11 games with Matt Cassel at quarterback in place of Tom Brady a few years ago, with nearly similar personnel and that the Denver Broncos won eight games and their division with Tim Tebow at quarterback instead of Peyton Manning, again with nearly the same personnel.
Without further adieu, here are the top 10 statements Adrian Peterson should make in his Most Valuable Player Award acceptance speech. (Please note that these will not actually be in his speech and do not necessarily reflect Peterson’s personality.)
No. 10 – I wonder how many yards I would have had if we had a passing game.
No. 9 – Does anyone know that you’re supposed to tackle me?
No. 8 – 100 yards just isn’t long enough. Maybe we should make the field 200 yards long.
No. 7 – I had 212 yards rushing in a game this season. Is that good?
No. 6 – Imagine what I would have done if I didn’t tear my ACL last December.
No. 5 – Go ahead bring all 11 in the box. You’re still not going to stop me.
No. 4 – I sometimes wonder when to start high-stepping.
No. 3 – I never really wanted the Heisman Trophy anyway.
No. 2 – I would like to send my condolences to the family of the guy that tried to tackle me.
And the No. 1 statement in Adrian Peterson’s MVP acceptance speech is…
Man, I look good on the Jumbotron.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Vikings news, see CBS Sports Minnesota.
Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. His work can be found on Examiner.com.