Mike Sando's MVP Watch
November, 14, 2012
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
US PresswireMinnesota's Adrian Peterson, left, and Seattle's Marshawn Lynch are the first two running backs to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this season.Running backs Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch have become regulars on the MVP Watch list not only for the yards they gain, but also for how they gain them.
Ranking 1-2 in rushing yardage sets them apart. The fact that they also lead the NFL in yards after contact is telling, too.
Two weeks ago, Peterson gained 111 of his 182 yards against Seattle after defenders made contact. More recently, Lynch gained 52 of his 124 yards after the New York Jets made contact with him. And by making contact, we're not talking about brushing up against one another. Defenders have to affect runners for the yardage to count.
"Contact for our purposes must slow the ball carrier down, or it must be a play in which the defender had a legitimate chance at tackling the ball carrier but is unable to due to a juke move or stiff arm," ESPN's game-tracking guide reads.
Peterson averages 2.8 yards per rush after contact, easily the most in the NFL among players with at least 100 rushes through Week 10. Lynch is at 1.9, same as Frank Gore and just ahead of Steven Jackson (1.8).
Side note: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees came close to appearing on the list this week. He has the numbers and could be a week away if the Saints can get to .500 or better for the season.
Final Miami 10 Buffalo 29 Final Jacksonville 10 Washington 41 Final Dallas 26 Tennessee 10 Final Arizona 25 New York 14 Final New England 30 Minnesota 7 Final New Orleans 24 Cleveland 26 Final Atlanta 10 Cincinnati 24 Final Detroit 7 Carolina 24 Final St. Louis 19 Tampa Bay 17 Final Seattle 21 San Diego 30 Final Houston 30 Oakland 14 Final New York 24 Green Bay 31 Final Kansas City 17 Denver 24 Final Chicago 28 San Francisco 20