I'm clearly one of those stalwart souls stumping for Adrian Peterson to win the NFL MVP award. We know it's a longshot, because the award almost exclusively goes to quarterbacks these days, and people seem to under-appreciate just what Peterson has done coming back from his knee injury.
With that said, there might be someone else who should get a mention as perhaps the Vikings' team version of the MVP.
That man is fullback Jerome Felton.
I gave him some props in my breakdown of Peterson's fantastic Week 14 performance, but I'm not the only one who has noticed his work.
Dan Weiderer of the Star-Tribune had a very good piece on Felton and pointed out a few very important facts.
First, while Peterson prefers to be in the backfield alone, five of his six longest runs (all 48 yards or longer) have come with a fullback as the lead blocker.
Weiderer points to a couple of good examples of this, but I want to point back to a run I broke down but didn't use in the Peterson column.
It's not a 51-yard run, but it's a great example of how valuable Felton is.
On the play, Felton lines up just ahead of Peterson. Six men are on the offensive line with an extra tight end to the left side of the line in a two-point stance.
There is also a wide receiver at the sideline.
At the snap, Peterson runs to the left side of the line (camera right), with Felton (highlighted) in the lead.
Felton clearly sees linebacker Nick Roach lining up Peterson in his sights and adjusts his path to intercept the Bears defender.
Roach and Felton collide as Peterson keeps heading for the edge and open field.
At the end, Peterson has been sprung for a nice 10-yard gain while Felton clearly got the best of Roach.
Felton has been doing this all season, leading the way for Peterson as well as blocking for quarterback Christian Ponder on passing downs.
It's unlikely that Felton would ever get a team-MVP award over Peterson, especially given the latter means to the team and their season.
However, when Peterson gets that accolade at the end of the year, he might want to take Felton out for a nice steak dinner.
After the blocking Felton has done this season, he's more than likely very hungry.
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