Is Peterson getting the props he deserves?


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Adrian Peterson is a man-child; that much we already know. He is having the best season of his career after finishing last season with an injured knee. But the question is, will he be recognized for it when the seasonal awards are handed out next month?

Because of the injury, he should be a front-runner for Comeback Player of the Year. However, with Peyton Manning leading the Broncos to a top seed in the AFC and a potential Super Bowl run, he's probably not going to get that award. Most Valuable Player usually goes to the best player on the best team, meaning Manning, the Falcons' Matt Ryan, Tom Brady and potentially the rookies Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are the only ones who have a shot at it. The Vikings have only an outside shot at the postseason, so you can count Peterson out for that one too.

The one award he truly has a chance at getting is Offensive Player of the Year, especially if he cracks the 2,000-yard barrier. Every running back that has cracked 2,000 yards in a season has won the award. But he has his work cut out for him. He faces the vaunted Texans defense this week, and finishes the season against a Packers defense that while not dominant against the run, has still faced him enough to know how to defend him.

Eric Dickerson's mark of 2,105 yards seems all the more unattainable as the years go by. Peterson is of a dying breed of three-down running backs who carry the load for their team. If he doesn't get the 300 yards necessary in the last two games to break Dickerson's mark, we may not see another back get close for another decade. Hence, what Peterson is doing this season should be getting way more attention.

Week 16 picks

Saturday's game

Atlanta at Detroit, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford will light up the scoreboard, but look for the Falcons' defense to step up.

Pick: Falcons

Sunday's games

Washington at Philadelphia, 2 p.m., FOX

The Redskins blew the Eagles away in their first matchup, so don't be surprised by a repeat performance.

Pick: Redskins

Minnesota at Houston, 2 p.m., FOX

While Adrian Peterson likely won't get 200 yards rushing in this game, he will likely still crack 100 to keep his record season in sight.

Pick: Texans

Indianapolis at Kansas City, 2 p.m., CBS

The Chiefs only win this game in a Christmas miracle.

Pick: Colts

Buffalo at Miami, 2 p.m., CBS

The Dolphins' are still alive for the playoffs, believe it or not. So the team will play like it and get closer to .500.

Pick: Dolphins

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 2 p.m., CBS

With a win, the Bengals would clinch a playoff spot. Doing it against a struggling Steelers squad would make it even sweeter.

Pick: Bengals

St. Louis at Tampa Bay, 2 p.m., FOX

After watching Peterson run over the Rams defense on Sunday, Doug Martin must be salivating.

Pick: Buccaneers

New Orleans at Dallas, 2 p.m., FOX

For all of their failures in recent years, the Cowboys are still the hottest team in the league right now. Super Bowl, maybe?

Pick: Cowboys

Tennessee at Green Bay, 2 p.m., CBS

Lambeau Field is still one of the league's best home-field advantages, especially when the Packers are on a winning streak.

Pick: Packers

New England at Jacksonville, 2 p.m., CBS

I feel sorry for the Jaguars, who will be the sacrificial lambs in a Patriots rebound beat down game.

Pick: Patriots

Oakland at Carolina, 2 p.m., CBS

Neither of these teams play defense, but the Raiders play defense less than the Panthers.

Pick: Panthers

San Diego at N.Y. Jets, 2 p.m., CBS

With the Greg McElroy era now beginning in New York, look for the Jets to play somewhat inspired on offense.

Pick: Jets

Cleveland at Denver, 5:05 p.m., CBS

The Broncos defense should slow down the Browns offense enough for a win in this game.

Pick: Broncos

N.Y. Giants at Baltimore, 5:25 p.m., FOX

Eli Manning should rebound against a Ravens defense which has struggled recently against the pass.

Pick: Giants

Chicago at Arizona, 5:25 p.m., FOX

This is a nice bounce-back opponent for the Bears, whose defense should pad its stats against the worst QB situation in the league outside of the Jets.

Pick: Bears

San Francisco at Seattle, 9:20 p.m., NBC

This should be a slug fest, but the Seahawks defend their home field as good as anyone.

Pick: Seahawks

- Last Week: 9-7; Overall record: 119-76-1

- Kemp Callwood is The V.I. Daily News sports editor. His column appears weekly throughout the NFL season.

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