Both Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson are having spectacular NFL seasons in 2012, as both continue to defy the odds and the detractors by proving to modern day medical mysteries. After playing all 13 NFL seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning and his former team parted ways after the veteran signal caller missed all of 2011 with neck and back problem. After multiple surgeries and many months of questions, Manning is having a magnificent season in his first year with the Denver Broncos.
But he is not alone in that category.
Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and MCL on December 24 of last season. he vowed that he would return to full health in 2012, although very few believed he would be the same back this season, while some doubted he could ever return to elite form. Less than nine months removed from the surgery to repair Peterson’s knee, he started the regular season opener for the Minnesota Vikings. Just a couple of months after that, he is once again being called the best running back on the planet.
Both men have recovered from serious injuries that questioned many to ask whether or not they would ever be the same player.
To those who are still wondering, the answer is a resounding yes.
A little bit past the half way point in the 2012 NFL regular season, Manning leads the league in quarterback passer rating with an unbelievable number of 108.0, all while leading the Broncos to a first place lead in the AFC West. His 2,705 passing yards is good for fifth in the NFL, while his 21 touchdowns place him in third. Simply put, Manning is putting up NFL MVP types of numbers in a year that would have impressive enough if he were simply to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
Of course, the same can be said of Peterson with the Vikings. His 1,128 rushing yards leads the entire league. His seven rushing touchdowns put him in a tie for second place, while his 112.8 rushing yards also leads the league. Again, Peterson is another player who many would have felt may have been a long shot to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2012, let alone the NFL MVP award.
Multiple players have won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year and NFL MVP in their careers, including such stars as Tom Brady, Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Marcus Allen. None of them won both awards in the same season.
Manning or Peterson could become the first ever NFL player to win both honors in the same season.