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The Adrian Peterson Effect

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Adrian Peterson has been the the real MVP for the Vikings this year.
Adrian Peterson has been the the real MVP for the Vikings this year.

I understand that when it comes to football that quarterback is the most important position on the field.  Unfair or not they get most of the praise when things are going well and most of the blame when things are going bad.  With Favre joining the Vikings this year and leading them to an impressive 7-1 record halfway through the season he has received most of the credit for turning Minnesota into a legitimate Super Bowl contender.    

Favre has been incredible this year and is having one of his best seasons statistically.  He has been impressive so far throwing 16 TD's to just 3 interceptions.  He made an incredible game-winning pass against the 49ers in the closing seconds of the game and a 58 yard bomb to Sidney Rice to lead the Vikings back against the Ravens on their last drive.  

Not to take anything away from Favre, but as Chad Ochocinco would say, "child please".  

The one person on this team responsible for Favre's resurrection and the Vikings' success so far is Adrian Peterson.  Simply put, Peterson may be the single greatest talent that has entered the league in the last decade.  Just remember that in his rookie year, Peterson rushed for over 1,000 yards in his first 8 games including an NFL single game record of 296 yards rushing against the San Diego Chargers.  

Every team that faces the Vikings has to pick their poison; Peterson or Favre.  So far the answer has been loud and clear that teams would prefer to take their chances being beat by Favre through the air rather being ran over by Peterson on the ground.  

Just take a look at both players' success last year.  Last year with an offense that had Adrian Peterson as the focal point and Tavaris Jackson as a mere caretaker at quarterback the Vikings finished 10-6 and won the NFC North.  Teams knew the Vikings were going to run the ball and still couldn't stop Peterson who ran for a league leading 1,760 yards.

With the Jets last year Favre showed why he needs the support that Peterson provides.  When Favre was forced to lead the Jets offense on his own last year he couldn't deliver.  After a hot start he cooled down and finished with 22 TD's and 22 interceptions.  The Jets finished 9-7 after an 8-3 start and missed the playoffs.  

Favre is an all-time great and carved out a legend for himself in his 16 years in Green Bay.  He made bad receivers look average and average receivers look great from Robert Brooks to Antonio Freeman to Billy Schroeder and the list goes on.  

Don't let that legend cloud what has been apparent.  Playing alongside Peterson has transformed Favre from an aging, turnover prone quarterback on his last legs like he was in New York into the Pro Bowler he's looked like this year.