Minnesota Vikings running back has won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player award, as well as Offensive Player of the Year. Peterson finished with 2,097 yards rushing, 3 yards from 2,100 and 9 from Eric Dickerson‘s record after the Green Bay Packers held him to just under 100 yards.
Peterson received 30 and a half votes after taking his 3-13 team to 10-6 and a Wildcard playoff berth. He is the first running back to win the MVP award since LaDanian Tomlinson.
Peterson scored 12 touchdowns on 6.0 yards per carry.
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III beat out Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Russel Wilson for The Associated Press 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Griffin used his phenomenal pass and run skills to take the Redskins to their first NFC East title in 13 years. He received 29 votes out of 50, while Luck had 11 and Wilson had 10.
While all three quarterbacks led their teams to the playoffs, Griffin set the record for highest QB rating by a rookie. He was severely injured in a playoff loss to the Seahawks.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly led the league with 164 tackles after being drafted in the first round out of Boston College, and he won the The Associated Press 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Five games into the season, Kuechly moved from the outside to middle linebacker and the Panthers defense went from ranked 24 to ranked 10 in the league.
He received 28 votes to Seattle Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner’s 11.
Other defensive rookies to receive votes were: Green Bay Packers cornerback, 6; St. Louis Rams CB Janoris Jenkins, 3; and Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Lavonte David, 2.
Kuechly is only the second player to receive the award. Julius Peppers won it in 2002.
Coach of the Year
Former Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians won The Associated Press 2012 Coach of the Year, becoming the first interim head coach to win it.
His success with the Colts is why he is now the head coach oft he Arizona Cardinals.
Arians took the reigns in late-September after head coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. The Colts were 2-14 last year but went 9-3 under Arians. Pagano returned for the final game of the season and the playoff game.
Arians received a landslide 36 and a half votes, while Pagano took second with 5 and a half. Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol took third with 5 votes and Minnesota Vikings head coach received 3 votes.
Defensive Player of the Year
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt received The Associated Press 2012 Defensive Player of the Year honors in a near-unanimous vote.
He led the league with 20 and a half sacks and earned 49 of 50 votes Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller received the other vote.
Watt also forced 4 fumbles and recovered 2 fumbles while helping the Texans to the AFC South title. Withh is long reach, he also blocked 16 passes.
Watt is the first Texans player to receive the award. Last year, Miller ran away with the award while Watt wasn’t even in contention.
Comeback Player of the Year
Peyton Manning made headlines last off season by being cut by the Indianapolis Colts after they decided they wanted Andrew Luck. That was when he went to the Denver Broncos. He took them to the first seed after recovering from four neck surgeries. Therefore, he received The Associated Press 2012 Comeback Player of the Year award.
Manning, who won the prestigious MVP award a record four times, sat out the 2011 season with the Colts while they went 2-14, guided the Broncos to an astonishing 13-3. Before sitting out last season, he had never missed a start in 13 seasons with the Colts.
He received 31 and a half votes to Adrian Peterson’s 17 and a half votes and Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles’ 1 vote.
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