To say that Adrian Peterson was the best player on the Vikings this year would be an understatement. He was, all things considered, the best football player on the planet. Sure, AP may have come up eight yards short of Dickerson's rushing record — eight yards?! — but no one else in the league was even close to as dominant at his position. A quick look at the numbers tells that story: Peterson's totals over the last 10 weeks were still higher than any other running back over the entire 16-week season. His mind-boggling 1,019 yards after contact would by themselves qualify him as the year's second-highest rusher. But stats weren't really necessary to appreciate Peterson's season. As the MVP debate heated up, several pundits argued that the team's win-loss totals hinged more on Christian Ponder's erratic performances, yet anyone watching the games could see it was the star back's superhuman efforts that kept things close in the first place. (Did we mention Peterson's average rush was almost dead-even with Ponder's average yards per pass? That was even with defenses specifically trying to jam the run.) It was an effort more than worthy of the greatest from Tarkenton, Moss, and Page, one that would have been grossly underappreciated with anything less than the Vikings' first MVP in 37 years — and that's before you even consider the surgically reconstructed knee that AP did it all on.

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