Peterson, others honored as NFL’s best

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Adrian Peterson’s sensational season following major knee surgery has earned him The Associated Press 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player Award.  Peterson also won Offensive Player of the Year.

The Minnesota Vikings running back finished with 2,019 yards–just 9 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s rushing record. Peterson beat out Peyton Manning, who in his first season as Denver’s quarterback contended for a fifth MVP trophy. Manning’s four are a record.

Peterson received 30 1-2 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Manning got the other 19 1-2 votes

In other honors:

- Bruce Arians wins 2012 AP Coach of the Year award for role with Colts. He took over when Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatment for leukemia. He’s the first interim coach to win. He parlayed that success into getting the head coaching job at Arizona.

- Peyton Manning’s stunning return from four neck surgeries has netted him The Associated Press 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.

- Houston Texans end J.J. Watt wins 2012 AP Defensive Player of the Year award. He got 49 of 50 votes.

- Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III wins AP 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

–Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly wins 2012 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

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