NEW ORLEANS (WTVA/AP) - 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.
Peyton Manning's stunning return from four neck surgeries has netted him The Associated Press 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
The four-time league MVP guided the Broncos to the AFC's best record, (13-3), in his first season in Denver. Before sitting out 2011, Manning had never missed a start in his first 13 seasons with Indianapolis.
Manning received 31.5 votes Saturday from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. He easily beat Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who got 17.5 votes after his comeback from major knee surgery.
Houston end J.J. Watt has won The Associated Press 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, missing a perfect ballot by one vote.
The NFL's sacks leader with 20.5 and a pass-blocking fiend, Watt earned 49 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league. Denver linebacker Von Miller received the other vote.
Washington's 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.
Griffin, who underwent knee surgery last month, says, "It's truly a blessing to be up there - to be able to stand, first and foremost."
Bruce Arians became the first interim coach to win NFL Coach of the Year honors. Arians, now the head coach in Arizona, 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).
Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, the league's leader in tackles with 164, won the top defensive rookie award.
They accepted their awards at the "2nd Annual NFL Honors" awards show on CBS saluting the NFL's best players, performances and plays from the 2012 season.