Lists are a problem. The lists are arbitrary. Lists are the only positive thing that the Internet has left us to offer.
The same goes for the "Top 100 players of 2019" of the NFL network, a ranking established through ballots filled by thousands of players. The result of this two-week exercise is supposed to represent in a general way the hierarchy of athletes playing professional football in the United States, a more beautiful cousin of the "Madden" ranking as a way of ranking players.
He asks the big questions: Who is the best? Or at least, Who do players think is the best? Which should be the same thing. Right?
As in all rankings and lists, the "Top 100" is not just about normalizing and educating, but about ostracizing and infuriating. Every year, players are left out or are placed too low, which causes them to express their discontent on the Web. The attitude of these players is so great that, overnight, the chips on their shoulders multiply and their levels of motivation rise to heights never detected by the league's motivation indicators.
But for those who do not personally accept the list chosen by the player, there are broader themes and questions that arise from this ranking and that deserve to be analyzed: strange trends, questionable results and totally choice. false.
Sometimes the players are right. Personally, I agree with the decision to rank the defensive player of the year, Aaron Donald, the first football player, the first defender to receive this honor since J.J. Watt in 2015. Good eye, professional athletes! But that does not mean that there are no mistakes in the rankings.
I have five problems, five problems with this product that does not completely fit my vision of the world. Here they are:
1) Drew Brees superior to Patrick Mahomes? In 2019?
I can understand the potential reasoning behind the vote of Brees before Mahomes. Players of all ages, beginners and veterans, generally turn to guys who, over time, have demonstrated excellence and continue to do so thoroughly in their careers. This benefits Brees. A 39-year-old player participating in the conversation with the most useful player led one of the most serious offenses in the league face the home field advantage? Crown him! Yes, it seems that some of these votes could have been counted before the end of the 2018 season, when Brees' long ball began to stutter, while Mahomes, on the other hand, took the challenge. The two QBs lost in their respective conference games, but while Brees beat the Saints 'possession by opening the game in overtime by launching an interception (which preceded the Rams' winning kick), Mahomes said Led Kansas City to 48 yards in 21 seconds for EQ and sending his match in overtime (where the Patriots ended the situation before Mahomes could get his hands on the ball). The player who watched the seven hours of this special Sunday would have had no choice but to place Mahomes in front of Brees, as the reporters did at "NFL Honors" when they named the QB of the leaders the most useful player in the league.
2) Why did Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson fall?
The underlying bias in this exercise is that some players are stimulated by their l & # 39; Team overall performance. Would Derwin James be so high on the second year list (second best security at 31st place, a place behind Eddie Jackson) if the Chargers had not drawn for the best performance of the AFC? at 12-4? Is Derrick Henry even on this list if Tennessee has not been a contender for the playoffs (or if the Titans have not caught up with the huge Jaguars for a short week)? The same argument can be advanced. Great players can be penalized for seasons below the standards of their teams. Take Ryan as the clearest example. His 2018 numbers are almost identical to those of his campaign at the 2016 MVP – and yet, because of Atlanta's serious injury problems and the absence of the playoffs, Ryan has lost 40 nonstop spots. ° 29 to 69 last summer. Russ, who set up stellar statistical seasons, but whose clubs are not present before or in the playoffs and who are awarded respectively 26 and 14 places? The quarterback is the most difficult position to master in football, and maybe the sport. And yet, these three Pro Bowlers lost ground in the eyes of their colleagues because their clubs were not in the match for the title. Yes, football is a team sport, but this list – the top 100 players list – is all about celebrating individual achievement. So celebrate individual achievement!
3) DeAndre Hopkins NOT in the top 10?
What does Nuk have to do to get the top 10 respected? In the past four years, there have been only eight passing seasons totaling 1375 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Hopkins has had three – one with Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, TJ Yates and Brandon Weeden separating. splitting under the center. Frame. By acting as a starting point, Hopkins crawled across the rivers — and came out on the other side. And yet, not clean enough to attract the attention of the top 10. I know it is only a point of honor, but this difference in space is 20 times larger. Nuk belongs to the conversation with Antonio Brown and Julio Jones, who have enjoyed an exceptional QB game throughout their career.
4) Fewer receivers! More offensive line players!
I do not want this item to give the impression that I hate "fun" or "interesting catch" or "separation yards" or what you have. This is not the case. I just wanted to point out how much the appreciation is unbalanced between the players who are outside the hashes compared to those who are in the trenches. Why are there 20 wide receivers (most position groups) in this ranking and only 12 offensive linemen and tight ends combined? There is only one center (Jason Kelce) and a goalkeeper (Zack Martin). God, at least two are the Pro Bowl! Where is David DeCastro, who completely left the list of number 44 in 2018, or Quenton Nelson, who made the first All-Pro team in his rookie season? There is no love for Jared Cook, who kept the Raiders just over the water last season, or O.J. Howard, who was judged by Pro Football Focus the second best end of the football world?
5) Get a Bills player out there!
Only one team is not listed at all this year: the Buffalo Bills. Last season, Buffalo boasted two players, LeSean McCoy and Micah Hyde; McCoy continued with a worse career season, while Hyde had an above-average season, but dropped back after his 2017 Pro Bowl campaign. Listen, the Bills were worn 6-10, but they were not pitiful; Cleveland did 0-iron-friggin -all in 2017 and still got Carlos Hyde in the following standings. (I know that Carlos was not part of the 0-16 year old business, he had spent the 2017 season in San Francisco.) Stop spoiling my feed.) What Bills Should Do for that players love you? Offer subscriptions to Buffalo News or free round-trip tickets to Niagara Falls with ponchos included ?! I have an easier solution. Connect to the NFL Game Pass, watch Matt Milano and Tre & # 39; Davious White and rethink your rankings and lifestyle choices.
PREMIUM: A moment of silence for these well paid snubs …
Trent Brown, OT, Oakland Raiders
Kevin Byard, S, Titans of Tennessee
Landon Collins, S, Washington Redskins
Chris Harris, BC, Denver Broncos
Grady Jarrett, DT, Falcons of Atlanta
David Johnson, RB, Cardinals of Arizona
Lane Johnson, OT, Philadelphia Eagles
Jones Deion, LB, Atlanta Falcons
Follow Jeremy Bergman on Twitter @ JABergman.