Friday, January 25, 2013

NFL Award Predictions: Comeback Player of the Year

     Even though our past two entries analyzed the three most legitimate contenders for a particular award, there are truly only two players competing for the Comeback Player of the Year Award: Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson. In the average NFL season, Jamaal Charles would take home Comeback Player of the Year in a landslide; however, with the incredible performances from Manning and Peterson, Charles and his recovery has gained little publicity since his ACL injury took place in 2011. Though a similar battle is taking place for the Most Valuable Player Award, both wouldn't mind winning at least one award as a token for their tremendous play after an injury.

Adrian Peterson: As experts gazed across the list of running backs to suffer an ACL tear, the signs were against Adrian Peterson for a successful 2012 campaign. However, Peterson accomplished the impossible when he rushed for a grand total of 2,097 yards, just 9 yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson's single season rushing record. Peterson successfully carried the Minnesota Vikings into the playoffs, even with a more serious injury than Peyton Manning. Peterson's journey was a difficult one, but the outcome was spectacular.

Peyton Manning: After missing the entirety of the 2011 season, Peyton Manning traveled from Indianapolis to the Denver Broncos, where he improved a mediocre franchise, transforming Denver into a legitimate championship contender. Manning underwent neck surgery towards the beginning of the 2011 season, and once traded to the Broncos, Manning put up extraordinary statistics; the quarterback passed for 4,659 with a 105.8 passer rating. Though Manning's neck injury required difficult rehabilitation, Peterson's injury, an ACL tear, was more difficult to bounce back from. However, Manning will likely win at least won award for his 2012 season, and I think Comeback Player of the Year is that award.

Comeback Player of the Year Prediction: Peyton Manning

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