NEW ORLEANS — Adrian Peterson's sensational season following major knee surgery has earned him The Associated Press 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player Award.
Earlier Saturday, Peterson won Offensive Player of the Year.
The Minnesota Vikings running back finished with 2,019 yards, a mere 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.
The Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III beat out fellow quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson to win The Associated Press 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. From a brilliant rookie class, RG3 was a strong winner Saturday night in voting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league.
It's truly a blessing to be up there — to be able to stand, first and foremost, said Griffin, who underwent knee surgery last month. He added that next season you'll see a better Robert Griffin.
Wearing a burgundy and gold tie, in honor of his Skins, Griffin said his goal is to be ready for the season opener.
Bruce Arians became the first interim coach to win NFL Coach of the Year honors. Now the head coach in Arizona, he replaced Chuck Pagano in September when the Colts' coach was diagnosed with leukemia. Arians went 9-3 before Pagano returned, and Indianapolis made the playoffs at 10-6, making Arians an easy winner.
It's hard to put into words the feelings of this past year, said Arians, who was hired by the Cardinals in late January. This was kind of the cherry on the top, whipped cream and everything else you put on top.
The awards were presented Saturday night at the 2nd Annual NFL Honors show on CBS saluting the NFL's best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season.
Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, the league's leader in tackles with 164, won the top defensive rookie award.