NFL Predictions: Breaking Down the Upcoming 2013-14 MVP Race

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The NFL MVP award, voted upon by sportswriters at the end of the season, is given to a player who is considered to be indispensable to his team. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won the prize last season after he ran for 2,097 rushing yards, the second-most ever for a running back in a single season.

However, the Most Valuable Player is usually a quarterback, as four of the last five winners have played under center.

Unsurprisingly, a signal caller finished second last year in the voting. That player was Peyton Manning as he received 19.5-of-50 first-place votes.

Sure there will be other candidates vying for the 2013 NFL MVP Award. Quarterbacks, such as Tom Brady or Drew Brees, will also make legitimate cases to be honored by the sportswriters at the end of the year. Different skill position players may have a huge season and make a surprise run at the trophy.

But, ultimately, it is predicted that the race will once again come down to Manning and Peterson.

So, who will win the MVP?

Making The Case For Peterson

He won it in 2012, rightfully so.

“Purple Jesus” put up 2,097 rushing yards last year, good for the second-best season by a running-back in NFL history. Only six other runningbacks have eclipsed 2,000 rushing yards in a single season.

But the rushing yards only tell one side of the story. Two seasons ago, Minnesota was picking fourth in the draft. Last January they were playing football instead of scouting college kids. Peterson was the heart and soul for the Vikings last year.

Minnesota boasted the 31st ranked passing attack in the league. Christian Ponder had an 81.2 quarterback rating on the season, good for 43rd place in the NFL. He wasn’t that great.

Everyone and their grandma knew that the Vikings weren’t going to throw the ball and teams routinely stacked defenders in the box.

Still, Peterson ran wild.

 He was recovering from a gruesome torn ACL and MCL, that has been widely publicized.Still, Peterson ran wild and turned in quite possibly the greatest season by a runningback ever.The Oklahoma product had eight runs of 40 yards or more and 27 carries for 20 yards or more. Both of those numbers lead the NFL. His 131.1 rushing yards per game also lead the league.That was last season, though.Nonetheless, the man they call “All Day” could be even better in 2013.

Ponder will have another offseason to get better and will finally have a legitimate superstar talent in Greg Jennings, the big name free agent acquisition. Peterson might finally actually get some support from the passing game.

His offensive line will continue to provide support, as well. He is running behind a Minnesota offensive line that ranked 12th in the league in run blocking last season. Matt Kalil, John Sullivan and Brandon Fusco will only improve together and open up even more holes for their prized runner.

Then there is the question about Peterson himself. He will be good to go, after more time to heal and practice.

Yes, it is possible that AD could run into an even greater 2013 season and another MVP award.

Making The Case For Manning

Peyton Manning was arguably the best quarterback last year as he finished with a 105.8 quarterback rating. He also threw for 4,659 yards with a 68.6 completion percentage, an NFL best for starting quarterbacks.

And quarterbacks usually win the MVP award.

More specifically, Peyton’s usually win the MVP award.

The newly minted amateur rapper Manning took home MVP in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009. He will do it again in 2013.

His Broncos had the second best passing attack in the league. They were beat out by only the New England Patriots. However, the best wide receiver in New England, Wes Welker, is set to be a Bronco in 2013.

Denver was amazing in 2012 with just one offseason for Manning to work with his pass catchers. Give him another year to gel with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and now Welker and their chemistry, and the ensuing results, will skyrocket. It doesn’t hurt that Manning is protected by the second best pass blocking offensive line in the NFL.

The Broncos were 13-3 in 2012 and one of the best teams in the AFC. They are poised to become even better and, if Manning can keep up high numbers while Denver keeps winning games, then it will be difficult to not hand Peyton the MVP.

Manning was a legitimate candidate for the trophhy last season. With another year in Denver and a rejuvenated wide receiving corps, he may very well take home the award this upcoming season.

He tore apart the NFL in last year’s comeback season as he set single-season Broncos franchise records for yards, completions (400) and touchdowns (37) thrown. Denver would not be as good as they were without Manning.

With his football skills on display and his knack for leadership guiding the Broncos, Manning should once again catch the eye of sportswriters and fans alike and take home the award for an unprecedented fifth time.

 Who do you think will win the MVP award? Manning? Peterson? Someone else? Be sure to leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter @realsovenbery to keep the conversation going.