In perhaps the most ridiculous and most unfair question of the week is the one posed by experts and pundits alike who debate Peyton Manning vs. Adrian Peterson for NFL comeback player of the year. I don’t have a favorite or preference so I’ll do my best to keep it as completely objective as I can. So the skinny on this one aside from there is no right answer, is that there is no wrong answer and perhaps there is no answer period.
Peyton Manning is coming back from such an unpredictable injury to the upper part of his spine and neck region. There’s some who thought he couldn’t handle getting hit or sacked in the NFL anymore, let alone handle the rigors of a 16 game regular season schedule. He’s proved everyone wrong that doubt him with his extraordinary play this season. It was expected that the Broncos would start the season slower than Denver fans or John Elway would like, but that it would heat up down the stretch.
Well it only took about 4 to 5 weeks before Peyton really started gelling with his offensive weapons. It helps that the AFC West is a rather weak division but Peyton has really excelled at moving the offense and putting pressure on opposing defenses. With the way the Broncos are playing now it’s reasonable to think they could be in line for a first round playoff bye and #2 seed in the playoffs. Peyton has really done his best in the second half of games as evidenced by his already growing legend of 4th quarter comebacks now in the mile high city.
Adrian Peterson has been absolutely amazing and many consider the injury that he is coming back from miraculous given the short amount of time it has taken him to return to full form. There were thoughts that the timing was absolutely too early and that he would be endangering his career by coming back so quickly from torn ACL and MCL injury to take the beating of an NFL running back. Well it appears that Peterson just defies medicine with his freakish body that has healed incredibly quickly from this serious injury.
Peterson has done it with a second year QB at the helm and not much other help either. The Vikings defense is not a prolific high-flying attack, so there are sometimes when he sees 8 or 9 defenders in the box routinely designed to stop the run and take the ball out of his hands. He’s been reliable and consistent with his high level of play and production. If he’s leading the NFL in rushing by the end of this season I would not be surprised. He’s every bit the throw back style running back of a Jim Brown that can handle the running load full-time and can just as easily avoid being tackled as run over an opposing defender.
So we are posed with these two options for the comeback player of the year, who’s it going to be? Is it the old man in the mile-high town where smoking a blunt is now the norm? Or is it the work horse physical freak that defies medical science but is as mild-mannered and as they come from the twin cities? It’s really a question that cannot be answered without catching your tongue or finding yourself scratching your head a little bit. I’ll go with Peterson since nobody even expected him to play this season and running backs have shorter shelf lives. I thought Peyton and the Broncos were playoff bound this season but AP’s comeback really shocked me with his ability to make shedding tackles look as seamless as Beast Mode did from the Seahawks’ playoff victory against the Saints in Seattle a few season ago. I just hope that both players continue their dominant play and finish the year strong.
Fantasy Tip of the Week:
Your “Just the Tip” of the week comes courtesy of the meteorologists who forecast Sundays weather for the late Fall/Winter as you head into the final quarter of your fantasy’s regular season. At this point the weather could start getting a little ugly in more inclement climate cities like: Buffalo, Green Bay, Seattle, New England and Chicago. Keep in mind the location of these outdoor games when setting your lineups. Typically steer away from starting kickers who are playing in frigid conditions and look at other lineup options for wide receivers who are coming off injuries and playing in the extreme cold. Running backs don’t usually slump when it rains or snows, but typically wide receivers are adversely affected from these conditions when the game is slowed down a bit. Good luck as you enter into the final stretch of fantasy this week!