Matt’s Take:



 



With the NFL season winding down, it’s time to look at the two men who are the logical choices for the league's Most Valuable Player.



The great debate boils down to Peyton Manning or Adrian Peterson. Both men have come back from injuries to perform at a level that’s completely sick.



Manning missed the entire 2011 season and had two neck surgeries, not to mention signing with the Denver Broncos where he had to learn a completely new system. Manning also led his team to the AFC’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs.



Peterson on the other hand tore his ACL and MCL in last year’s season finale against the Redskins, but came back to have one of the finest seasons in NFL history, falling nine yards short of Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record, all while leading his Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs.



To me, the most impressive part of Peterson’s season was the fact that he came back from a horrific knee injury to rush for more than 2,000 yards. Did I mention that he recovered from his injury in six months?



In all fairness to Manning, he had a tremendous season, but the Broncos were a playoff team last year with Tim Tebow at quarterback. They would have been a playoff team without Manning this year.



Sorry Peyton, you are not the MVP. I hope you can take pride as the Comeback Player of the Year.



Peterson takes the crown, which he deserves.



There is no way the Vikings would have made the playoffs without Peterson toting the rock up and down the field. He is a beast.



I could watch him run “All Day.”



 



Andrew’s take:



If a player wins his fifth AP NFL MVP, can we go ahead and call him the most valuable player of all-time?



This year, it’s a two-horse race. And upon first glance it seems neck-and-neck. But when the resumes are weighed, there’s no debate.



Peyton Manning is the most valuable player in the history of the NFL. And yes, he deserves the MVP for the 2012-13 season over Adrian Peterson.



Manning is an offensive coordinator who works between the hashes. There’s never been another player like him, and I seriously doubt that his abilities or accomplishments could ever be duplicated.



But don’t let that take away from the significance of Peterson’s season. Yes, Eric Dickerson still holds the single-season rushing record, by eight yards. But “All Day’s” season is more impressive. He understood, after the first quarter of the season, that the success of the Minnesota Vikings was completely contingent upon his productivity. He simply made the choice to have the best rushing season of all time, and then did it.



Back to Manning, though. Like I said, he’s the only player who makes a majority of his team’s tactical decisions. And he’s almost always right. You can’t put a price tag on the efficiency he brings to a team.



Look what happened to the Denver Broncos in one season. They went from a mediocrity, and a lucky playoff run, to the No. 1 spot in the AFC.



Yes, they lost. But this is only Denver’s first season with Manning



Do you know how hard it is to tailor an offense to the playing style of a new quarterback, especially when that transition is “Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning?” It takes years.



Aaron Rodgers, currently, is the most talented quarterback in the NFL. And he went 6-10 in his first year as a starter, even after three years within that system.



Manning went 13-3, after no playing time, in a different system. When quantifying a player’s “value,” he’s untouchable.



Next year, the Lombardi Trophy is Manning’s for the taking.