If CJ2K wasn't MVP, Peterson shouldn't be

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
10:48
AM ET
When Peyton Manning won his fourth MVP award in 2009, he did it with 37 1/2 of the votes cast by the AP panel that selects the winner.

Drew Brees got 7 1/2 votes, Philip Rivers got two and Brett Favre got one.

Missing was Chris Johnson, the running back who ran for 2,006 yards for the 8-8 Titans.

I had no objection to that, and Johnson ran away with the offensive player of the year award.

Adrian Peterson’s story this season is a similar one. His team could also finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs. But even if the Vikings find their way in, I don’t see why voters would make a case for him as 2012 MVP.

Sure, the context of the other candidates and their seasons is important.

But if Johnson wasn’t worthy of a single vote just three seasons ago, what’s changed to make Peterson a bigger contender this year?

His comeback from knee reconstruction surgery has been phenomenal, and he and Manning make for the most interesting comeback player of the year contest in memory. (It would be fitting if they shared it.)

As for MVP, there is no lack of quarterback candidates in Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

And considering the season J.J. Watt is having, if the Texans defensive lineman can’t win it, I’m left wondering if, when and how a defender will ever win it again.

Peterson 2012 and CJ2K in 2009 look a lot alike to me. If I had a vote, I’d put Peterson down for offensive player of the year.

For the sake of consistency, a 2,000-yard season by a running back in 2009 and 2012 should be valued about the same.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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