The Instigator
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The Contender
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Adrian Peterson had a better comeback year than Peyton Manning

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 904 times Debate No: 36004
Debate Rounds (3)
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First round will be to accept and clarify position. Second will be to argue/rebut/etc. third will be to conclude. I will argue PRO, which is that Adrian Peterson's bounce back from his ACL injury was greater than Peyton Manning and his neck injury. I could argue either side equally, so I don't think I'm leaving either of us at too much of a disadvantage. Good luck to the opposition!


Looks like a fun debate. Despite the fact that I'm a Chargers fan, I believe that Peyton Manning had an epic season last year. I believe that he had a better bounce back season from his neck injury that Peterson from his torn ACL. And of course, good luck to you too, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1


First, I would like to thank the CON for accepting this debate. I look forward to what should be a fun debate. (I'm a 49ers fan)

I believe that Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning both had phenomenal years this previous season, and the fact that they were both stellar after season ending injuries is even more impressive. I do believe however that Adrian Peterson's comeback was more impressive for several reasons. First, Adrian Peterson was always known as a very physical running back. Second, he is the workhorse and arguably one of the only elite players on the Vikings now. Third, the injury he received is one that has ended countless athletes careers, and made others drop in levels of competitiveness both physically and mentally.

What is an ACL? "The ligament holds the femur and tibia together, and keeps the knee stable during deceleration and changes in direction. The ACL"s susceptibility to injury is a result of the upper body"s weight bearing down on the joint. Surgery is required when there is insufficient blood flow to repair the tissue. Without an ACL, athletes simply crumple to the ground."
As shown here, the ACL is vital to a runningback's success. Without it, or without proper healing of the ligament, an athlete is unable to accelerate, turn quickly, and basically all agility is lost. After sustaining a serious ACL tear, athletes generally have to start learning how to walk again. This is an injury that is difficult to come back from for any player, but especially a player who's main function is to run the ball, and basically take more abuse on the leg.

AP is an athlete who takes abuse far more than other running backs for several reasons. He is a physical type running back; he mows people down, and although he does have fantastic agility, is also not afraid to make contact. He is also arguably one of the Vikings only elite player. Him, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin, Christian Ponder and Kalil (the draft pick), were perhaps the most important players for the vikings. While Allen and Harvin did mediocre, Ponder showed streaks of success and failure between weeks, and wasn't consistent enough to put a team on his shoulders. This meant that all the pressure for the vikings was on Adrian Peterson's shoulders.

The fact that the Vikings were playoff contenders with a minimal number of elite players and a lackluster coach, shows that the majority of the wins were because of Adrian Peterson. In addition, his statistics from that season are impressive for any player in that he was a mere 9 yards away from a single season rushing yards record (that has been held since 1984- Eric Dickerson). I believe that first, AP's season was more impressive in that Eric Dickerson had 379 Attempts compared to AP's 348 rushing attempts. This means that Adrian Peterson carried a phenomenal 6.0 ypc average (which is far beyond HOF numbers), and would be impressive at any age and any year, but is exceptionally surprising because of the type of injury Adrian Peterson had to come back from.

I will end this round here, and I await CONs rebuttal. At the last round, I will respond to most/all of his facts and opinions regarding Peyton Manning and AP.


Yeah, Adrain Peterson had an amazing season last year, there is no denying that. Yes, the ACL is an important part of the body, espically crucial to running backs. However, as a whole, Peterson's 2011 season wasn't that bad. He rushed for 970 yards in 208 attempts for an average of 4.7 yards per carry. Despite playing in only 12 games in 2011, he scored the same amount of rushing touchdowns (12) and same amount of receving touchdown (1). Peterson also fumbled once in 2011, compared to the 4 times in 2012. I'm not arguing that Peterson's 2012 season wasn't amazing, that's idiotic, but his 2011 wasn't too bad either.

For Peyton Manning, his 2011 season wasn't respectable, in fact it was non-existent. Here are his stats:
0/0, 0% completion rate, 0 yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 0 passer rating. And while his 2012 season wasn't record breaking, it was very good.
400/583, 68.6%, 4659 yards, 37 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 105.8 passer rating.
Manning also had a very serious injury. Manning had 4 neck surgeries. Think about this: Before 2011, Manning played 13 seasons and started every single game. He played 208 straight games. Then in 2011, he missed not just one game, but the WHOLE season? A player who has incredible dedication, willpower and love for the game, missed out on a 16 games after starting the last 208? That must be a pretty serious injury if it can keep Manning on the sidelines for a year. Combined with the fact that he was 36, many people did not believe that Manning would even come back. Yet, somehow Manning came back and had the second greatest season of his career.
My opponent mentioned that the Vikings were on Peterson's shoulders. But Manning had a huge load as well. Before Manning came, the Broncos scored 309 points in 2011, 25th in the league. The very next season, 2012, the Broncos scored 481 points, 2nd in the NFL. The Broncos improved by FIVE games. 5 games out of 16. Manning had a lot to do with that. Peterson was great, but Manning was better.

Debate Round No. 2


First I would like to thank the opponent for responding quickly. CON makes a great argument and wrote several great points. Points that I would've made if I had been representing P. Manning. There are holes to his rebuttal however.

Adrian Peterson's previous year is (I believe) almost irrelevant to this debate in that usually an ACL tear is just as much of a mental issue for the next year as a physical thing. Adrian Peterson first had to relearn how to walk, then jog, then sprint, then cut. Then he had to realize that any contact he made in the following year could reinjure his leg. Many running backs have fallen because they have unconsciously shielded their legs and have shied away from contact. Adrian Peterson on the other hand could've still been a top 16 running back" if you only counted yards after contact. He had more than 1000 yards after contact (

Second, claims are made that Peyton Manning must've sustained "a pretty serious injury" because it kept him out for a full year. Tom Brady in 2008 sustained an (surprise) ACL tear. He missed a full year and came back just as good as the previous year. Many players lose full seasons due to injury. True, most do not come back as strong as Peyton did, however I said this to show that Manning's missing one season was not as impressive as CON claims.

Third, CON claims that Manning supported the Broncos as much as Peterson to the Vikings. I disagree with this for several reasons. Yes, the Broncos scored more with Manning, however the end result from last year was equal. The difference is that last years quarterback (Tim Tebow) is and was considered a backup quarterback. Tebow did some crazy stuff with the Broncos, and even with terrible statistics, was able to bring the Broncos to win a playoff game. The same place Manning brought the Broncos. This shows that the Broncos were already a playoff caliber team, even without Peyton.

Adrian Peterson on the other hand was supported by" nobody. He had a second rate quarterback in Ponder, who was ranked 31st in the league in passing. 14th in total defense. The Broncos on the other hand were ranked 3rd in passing, 2nd in defense, and had a very solid rusher in McGahee, Moreno, and Hillman, who three combined to make 1,586 yards. (
Because of the enormous help from both defense and rushing, Manning was able to take pressure off his shoulders. Peterson on the other hand, did not even have a solid offensive line, with the best player being a rookie.

5 QBs threw for more yards, compared to the zero who surpassed Peterson. Manning had an exceptional year, one that has secured what was already a secure spot in the HOF, however his year in general was not one that was record breaking, or too memorable beyond his injury. Peterson was a mere 9 yards from beating the all time single season rushing yards.

I responded to all of CONs arguments, with what I believe are reasonable and relevant facts, and they prove that Peterson's season in 2012 was one that would have been great even without the injury, but was even more remarkable because of it. Thanks to CON for this debate, I had a lot of fun looking up responses for a great debate. Vote PRO!


It is debatable which injury was more severe. While yes Peterson's ACL tear forced to re-learn how to walk, Manning's injury required four operations and was in the neck area. Although it is true that if Peterson was tackled, he could reinjurie his leags, the same could be said for Manning. In fact, it could be said for all injuries. Just because lots of players miss an entire season due to injuries, that does not mean that Manning's neck injury is less impressive. Most players did not play 208 straight games.
While the Broncos made the Playoffs last year, they only had an 8-8 record. With Manning, they became a truly Elite team, one of the best in the league. I'm not going to argue that Viking's without Peterson was as bad as Bronco's without Manning. But I'm trying to say that each player improved his respective team the same amount. Peterson improved his team's offense by a lot, but Manning improved it more (as said last round).
Debate Round No. 3
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