Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning earn December Player of the Month honors

CHirs Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Dueling MVP candidates Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning highlight the NFL's Player of the Month awards for December.

Two of the NFL's leading MVP candidates finished the regular season strong, as Minnesota Vikings running Adrian Peterson and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning were named their respective conference's offensive players of the month for December.

Along with Peterson in the NFC, Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher and Vikings placekicker Blair Walsh were named the defensive and special teams players of the month, respectively. Joining Manning in the AFC are Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Cincinnati Bengals kicker Josh Brown as the respective defensive and special teams Players of the Month.

Peterson churned for 861 rushing yards in December, the highest total all-time in a single month in the NFL, scoring six touchdowns (five on the ground) as well, as Minnesota earned a playoff berth. His 2,097 total rushing yards for the season fell 9 yards shy of the single-season record held by Eric Dickerson.

Fletcher recorded three interceptions and two sacks as the Redskins also clinched a playoff berth, while Walsh made 11-of-12 field goal attempts in the month, including the game-winning kick against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 to send the Vikings to the postseason.

Manning threw for 1,399 yards in December with 11 touchdowns and only three picks, as the Broncos went undefeated in the month and earned the AFC's top seed in the playoffs. Watt forced four fumbles and recorded six sacks for Houston in the month, who will host the Bengals on Saturday.

Brown helped Cincinnati make the postseason, drilling 11-of-12 field goal attempts in December.

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