Adrian Peterson plans on winning the MVP again next season, but won’t be able to accept it due to a date in the Super Bowl.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was the brightest star among today’s NFL elite as well as some of its legends at the second annual NFL Honors. Peterson took home three awards including NFL Fantasy Player of the Year, bringing one of the greatest individual seasons in NFL history to an impressive conclusion.
Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, running back, Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson worked tirelessly to rehab a shredded knee to finish nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105 yards. Peterson’s 2,097 rushing yards led the NFL. Peterson became only the sixth rusher in league history to reach the 2,000 yard plateau. Peterson beat out Denver’s Peyton Manning, New England’s Tom Brady, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Houston’s J.J. Watt. Peterson is the first Viking to win the award since Fran Tarkenton in 1975. Former Viking Alan Page also won the award in 1971.
Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Peyton Manning, quarterback, Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning was awarded the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year amid doubts he would ever be the same player again. Manning had an NFL best 68 percent completion percentage with 37 touchdown passes, 11 interceptions and a 105 passer rating. The Denver Broncos won the AFC West with a 13-3 record and were awarded the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Manning bested Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings and Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, defensive end, Houston Texans
J.J. Watt led the NFL with 20.5 sacks and 16 pass deflections. Watt was the unquestioned leader of a Texans defense which was one of the best in the NFL. Runners up to the Award were Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith.
Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year: Bruce Arians, Indianapolis Colts
Bruce Arians took over a team jolted by the news of head coach Chuck Pagano being diagnosed with Leukemia and led them to a 9-3 record and a playoff berth since taking over in Week 5. More impressive was Arians’ chemistry with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Other coaches considered were Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings.
Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins revival was led by Griffin — who passed for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns. Griffin was just as dangerous as a runner scoring 7 touchdowns. Griffin led the Redskins through a torrid November and December. Washington beat out the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants for the NFC East crown. Griffin beat out No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks third-round pick Russell Wilson.
Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Luke Kuechly, linebacker, Carolina Panthers
Luke Kuechly brought his reputation as a tackling machine from Boston College right into the middle of a Carolina Panthers defense looking for some stability. Kuechly led the NFL with 165 tackles, he also had one sack, eight tackles and two interceptions.
Walter Payton Man of the Year Award: Jason Witten, tight end, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten grew up with an abusive father. His family was able to escape to the safety of his grandparents. Witten never forgot what his mother and siblings endured. Witten has reached back to help children in similar situations.