NFL Top 10 Players of 2017

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I realized that the NBA Awards are not the only interesting sports awards happening tonight because NFL Network‘sĀ Top 100 Players of 2017 concludes tonight at 8 pm ET on (you guessed it!) NFL Network. Although the NBA Awards are a little more official and have flashier trophies that come with them, the NFL’s list of the Top 100 players is always interesting to see because it gives an inside look at what NFL players think of their peers. Today, the list of names in the Top 10 was released in alphabetical order, so let’s reorder them in order of greatness as a guess for how the ranking will shake out this evening:

  1. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (16 games: 69.9 completion % for 4,944 yards and 38 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 3 fumbles for a 117.1 passer rating)
  2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (16 games: 65.7 completion % for 4,428 yards and 40 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 104.2 passer rating)
  3. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos (16 games: 78 combined tackles, 13.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles with 0 fumble recoveries, 0 interceptions and 0 touchdowns)
  4. Odell Beckham Jr, WR, New York Giants (16 games: 101 receptions on 169 targets for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  5. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (15 games: 106 receptions on 155 targets for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  6. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys (15 games: 322 carries for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns with 5 fumbles; 32 catches on 40 targets for 363 yards and 1 touchdown with 0 fumbles)
  7. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons (14 games: 83 receptions on 129 targets for 1,409 yards and 6 touchdowns with 0 fumbles)
  8. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots (12 games: 67.4 completion % for 3,554 yards and 28 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and 4 fumbles for a 112.2 passer rating)
  9. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (12 games: 261 carries for 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns with 3 fumbles; 75 catches on 94 targets for 616 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 fumble)
  10. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders (16 games: 73 combined tackles, 11 sacks, 5 forced fumbles with 3 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 1 touchdown)

Explanations:

  • I have Khalil Mack ranked last because all the Derek Carr fans seem to think that Carr does everything by himself on CARR’S team. Apparently, despite statistics indicating the contrary, Carr outperformed Dak Prescott last year just because the Raiders have a lesser RB, O-line, and defense. If the Raiders have a lesser defense, so be it. So, I ranked Mack pretty much solely on resentment for all Oakland Derek Carrs (I mean, Oakland Raiders) fans, Derek Carr fans, Fresno State fans, and people from the city of Oakland.
  • You’ll notice that the other 9 players are first organized by number of games played. For those of you who read my NBA Awards post last night, you’ll remember that I said I value most the players that stay injury and suspension free to be there for their team when their team needs them. That rings true for the NFL, too.
  • Tom Brady is ranked above Le’Veon Bell in the “12 games” category because Brady once again led the New England Patriots to their most thrilling Super Bowl victory yet.
  • In the “15 games” category, I ranked Antonio Brown over Ezekiel Elliott because Brown didn’t have any turnovers. The two most important things for an offensive player are holding on to the ball and scoring. Brown was +5 in the holding on to the ball category and Zeke was +4 in the scoring category. 5>4, so Brown edges Zeke.
  • The “16 games” category was the trickiest because there were four players (not including Khalil Mack, of course) who fell into that category. Ultimately, I put the two QBs at the top because QBs are the most valuable players for a franchise. The two Super Bowl teams were both led by QBs on this Top 10 list (Matt Ryan for the Atlanta Falcons and Tom Brady for the New England Patriots), while the teams without definitive starting QBs include the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Rams, etc. The one anomaly was the Houston Texans, who got to the playoffs (and defeated the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs, by the way!) on the arms of Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage.
  • So, 3 and 4 were between Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. I chose Miller over Beckham because, although I love OBJ as a fan of Big Blue, a defensive player usually manages to crack the top 3. Also, OBJ’s stats dropped off this year from last year. Also-also (yes, I meant to put two “also”s there), 13.5 sacks in the NFL is very impressive, especially on a defense that almost carried the Denver Broncos to the playoffs despite Trevor Siemian (don’t get me started on Northwestern) starting at QB.
  • 1 and 2 were easy from there. Matt Ryan a higher completion %, more yards, fewer fumbles, and a higher passer rating than Aaron Rodgers. Oh, Ryan also won the MVP award and led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl, so there’s that.

That’s all for TheHaysWay for now, please leave a comment with your thoughts on my Top 10 ranking and/or on your own Top 10 ranking and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always welcome to help me improve my blog. If you are not yet a follower, become a follower to improve your greatness ranking (and mine, too) šŸ™‚ Have a pleasant tomorrow!

Legend: Arnold Palmer and Success

“The road to success is always under construction.” -Arnold Palmer, Golfer

I think he forgot, “especially in Idaho,” at the end of that quote. šŸ™‚ Just kidding. Construction is just notoriously slow in my home state. Anyway, I promise I will talk about Palmer’s legacy later, but I’m going to start with the quote. I remember this quote being in one of my middle school classrooms. I couldn’t, for the life of me, tell you which class this was hanging in, but I remember this quote, vividly. This is one of my favorite quotes. I always talk about improving as a person, and this is exactly that. You always have to improve to achieve success, regardless of your definition of success. That’s partially because every success is like a stepping-stone to the next success. I like to think of life like a river, and we always must travel against the current. If we try to float, we will end up downstream. So, we keep swimming, fighting our way upstream. Sometimes we gain ground, sometimes we lose ground. That’s due to the varying pace of the construction. Sometimes, you have to take risks. Those risks may pay off, or they may end in disaster. I have experienced varying levels of success when it comes to risks. It seems as though, when I take a risk that I don’t care too much about, it pays off, while, when I take a risk regarding a matter that means a lot to me, I colossally fail. It’s kind of funny how strange that works; I’m good at things that I don’t like, and I’m bad at things that I love. I’d be willing to bet that I’m one of MANY people who experience that sensation, but it still kind of sucks. Sadly, I never have the patience to continue construction on the roads that I’m bad at. Or maybe I use the wrong construction equipment; Maybe I’m just continuously taking risks that send me further downstream. Or maybe I don’t have my own definition of success, yet. I take pride in the things I accomplish that most people consider worthy of celebrating, of course. I was proud of myself for making the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra as a freshman. I was proud of myself for graduating high school. I was proud of myself for graduating with the IB diploma. I was proud of myself for choosing to go to college. All of that. But, it seemed like I was only proud of myself because everyone else was proud of me. Maybe it was because I never worked as hard for those things as everyone assumed I did; Those things just came easy to me. Or maybe it’s because those successes are not how I define success. Maybe I feel like my successes have always been making others proud, instead of myself. Maybe I feel like I haven’t succeeded at the things that I ACTUALLY wanted to succeed at. I point out my flaws a lot. Actually, I managed to list my accomplishments while pointing out my flaws. I’ve done a lot of things right, too.

Does anybody else feel like my reflections point out my flaws, far too often?

You know what, I’m going to take a second to boost my own self-confidence. You guys are welcome to skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to hear me brag. In fact, that’s probably best. I don’t want you all to think I’m arrogant, so just skip to the next paragraph, and know that this one is full of my awesomeness for my own benefit. I was a straight ‘A’ student until freshman year of high school. I won the President’s Award for Academic Excellence in the 5th grade. In 6th grade, I chose to play French Horn because I wanted to challenge myself; I took that challenge to heart and made the Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra during every year of high school; I also made the Idaho State Solo Competition in my last three years of high school (my best finish was 3rd place), and I made the Idaho All-State Band in my senior year. I was offered some scholarship money to play French Horn in college, but I didn’t except it because it wasn’t my passion, and because pretty much every college that accepted me gave me a 50% discount on tuition in the form of a merit scholarship, anyway. I was one of only four students in my high school graduating class of twenty five to receive the IB diploma; I received IB certificates (I passed the tests) in English, History, Math, Spanish, and Music. I was accepted to multiple universities with a 50-ish% acceptance rate, including the university that I’m attending, the University of Denver; I found out when I got here that the acceptance rate for this year was only about 20%. Also, I’m one of the most together people I know (despite the fact that my posts may portray the contrary) in terms of being smart, stable, semi-athletic, and decent-looking. I guess that’s pretty much it. Basically, my intelligence makes me one of the most diversely-talented people that I know. So there it is. There’s my paragraph of arrogance. If you read that, enjoy it, because I don’t admit my awesomeness very often. I used to, but I discovered that my arrogance is generally repulsive. Though, I do believe that the most successful people must be arrogant, to some degree. If you don’t recognize your talents, you won’t be able to capitalize on them. Anyway, time to move on…

What is your proudest moment?

Arnold Palmer passed away today, at the age of 87, and he is truly a legend. He is the co-record holder for most consecutive years with a major golf tournament win (17 years). He also invented the ‘Arnold Palmer’ drink, which is half lemonade, half iced tea, and wholly delicious. Seriously, how many athletes can say there is a drink named after them? He was a remarkable athlete, and a great guy off the course, too. He is probably most recently remembered for his participation in the commercial for that blood clot medicine, alongside Miami Heat F Chris Bosh, and a comedian and a race car driver, whose names I can’t remember. His legacy will not be forgotten. Rest in Peace, Arnold Palmer.

What do you believe was Arnold Palmer’s greatest impact?

In the NFL, this is pretty much the year of the offensive rookie. This week was particularly impacted by offensive rookies. At QB, Dak Prescott (Dallas Cowboys) and Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) led their teams to big wins over the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. The Eagles dismantling of the Steelers was quite unsettling; I never would have guessed that the Eagles would be Super Bowl contenders this season, let alone Super Bowl favorites after only Week 3. Yeah, I said it. It actually looks like the NFC Championship game could very well be a matchup between the QB Sam Bradford led Minnesota Vikings, and the rookie Wentz led Eagles. So, WOW. At RB, Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys) was also key to their win over the Bears tonight. At WR, a player who I am fond of, is Sterling Shepard (New York Giants), who takes advantage of the extra targets he gets with coverage on Odell Beckham Jr and Victor Cruz. At TE, Hunter Henry (San Diego Chargers) lost his team the game by fumbling, this week. This is an impactful rookie class.

Who is your favorite rookie, so far, this year?

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment on the daily quote and/or on the daily news and/or on Arnold Palmer and/or on the daily questions and/or on whatever is on your mind, along with a much-appreciated like. If you like what you read and you are not yet a follower, become a follower to help construct my road to success. šŸ™‚ Have a pleasant tomorrow.