Minnesota Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson was named the 2012 Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player on Saturday, becoming the first at his position to win the award since LaDainian Tomlinson back in 2006.


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Adrian Peterson


Peterson, who was also named the Offensive Player of the Year, returned strong from left knee surgery, rushing for 2,097 yards, only 9 short of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, while leading his team to a 10-6 record, and a wild-card playoff berth.

Peterson, in his sixth season, ran for 12 touchdowns, and averaged 6.0 yards-per-carry

There were other awards given out on Saturday:


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J.J. Watt


Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt was named 2012 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, after leading the NFL in sacks, with 20.5.


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Peyton Manning


Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning, who finished second to Peterson in the MVP voting, won the Associated Press 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. Manning, a four-time league MVP, guided the Broncos to a 13-3 record, while throwing for 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns in his first year in Denver.


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Robert Griffin III


Washington Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III won the 2012 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, after throwing for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns, while rushing for another 815 yards and seven touchdowns, leading the Redskins to their first division title in 13 years.


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Luke Kuechly (59)


Linebacker Luke Kuechly, of the Carolina Panthers, won the 2012 Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, after leading the league with 164 tackles.


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Bruce Arians


Bruce Arians, the current head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, won the  2012 Associated Press Coach of the Year award, after guiding  the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs in 2012 as their interim coach, filling in for Chuck Pagano.