After Peyton Manning underwent neck fusion surgery, and Adrian Peterson went under the knife to repair a torn ACL and MCL, both of their statuses were in question for the 2012-2013 NFL and fantasy football season.
The skepticism for both players was not without reasoning, as this was Manning’s fourth neck surgery and many feared that one more good, clean, and hard hit would spell the end of his career, and history wasn’t on the side of Peterson, since only Jamal Lewis and Terry Allen were the only RBs in NFL history to return from an ACL injury and rush for over 1,000 yards the following year.
However, after 10 weeks of football, Manning currently ranks:
- 5th in NFL in passing yards (2,705)
- 3rd in NFL in passing TDs (21)
- 1st in NFL QB Rat (108.0)
- 5th in passing yards/game (301)
- 2nd in competition % (69.7%)
- 6th overall fantasy QB and 6th overall fantasy scorer (175 points) averaging 19.4/game
- In 6 out of 9 games he’s had over 20 or more fantasy points
While Peterson ranks:
- 1st in NFL rushing yards (1,128)
- 3rd in yards/attempt (5.7) however the two ahead of him (Spiller and RG III) have a combined 168 attempts, while Peterson has 195 himself
- 2nd in NFL rushing TDs (7)
- 1st in NFL with rushes over 20+ yards (13) almost double second place (McCoy 7)
- 1st in yards/game (112.8)
- 7th overall fantasy scorer, and 1st RB (164 points) 16.4 ppg
- 4 games with 20 or more fantasy points
- Averaging 157.3 rushing yards/game last 4 weeks
While both have been more than remarkable, who is the most impressive?
I’m giving the slight edge to Peterson, although I do believe that Manning is having an MVP-type season.
Yet, Peterson is a mere 199 yards away from surpassing Jamal Lewis’s 2001 season’s rushing yards when he returned from ACL injury. Not only Lewis’s season, but Peterson is only 632 yards away from surpassing his own season-high of 1,760 yards. In addition, despite the both of them having phenomenal season’s, when you look at stats, AP is the #1 RB in fantasy, that means there is no one better than him right now, while Manning is ranked 6th.
But, taking a step back from statistics it’s the way Peterson continues to play despite his knee. Every time he runs the ball he continues to look for contact, refuses to run out of bounds, cuts and jukes like he’s a rookie again, and looks better than anyone could’ve imagined.