Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning may have a slight edge over Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in their neck-and-neck race for the NFL Most Valuable Player award.
The Denver Post surveyed 18 of the 50 voters on the Associated Press panel that picks the MVP, and found that nine of them plan to vote for Manning, three of them plan to vote for Peterson and six of them believe it’s too soon to say before today’s season finales for both players. None of the 18 voters said they think they’ll vote for anyone other than Manning or Peterson.
If Manning and the Broncos lay an egg and get upset by the lowly Chiefs today, that would surely hurt Manning’s MVP cause, but the vote will probably come down to how Peterson and the Vikings do today against the Packers. If Peterson rushes for 102 or more yards (which would get him to 2,000) and the Vikings beat the Packers to make the playoffs, he’s probably the MVP. If Peterson rushes for 208 or more yards (which would break Eric Dickerson’s single-season NFL record) and the Vikings beat the Packers, Peterson is almost certainly the MVP. If Peterson fails to reach 2,000 yards and the Vikings lose to the Packers and don’t make the playoffs, Manning is almost certainly the MVP.
In any event, this is the most interesting MVP race we’ve seen in the NFL in years. Not bad for a couple of guys who at this time last year were dealing with injuries that called into question whether they could play at all in 2012.