The 100 Greatest Players in Professional Football History: 20-11

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We've hit the top 20.  How about that.

Last week, at the bottom of which is the full list to that point, is here.

This is my list, the top 100 players in NFL history - I post it each week in advance of the NFL Network episode releasing its list and then I edit in its choices for comparison.  We are getting down to it now.

20.Fran Tarkenton QB 61-78 Vikings
-47000+ yards passing, 3600+ rushing. 342 td thrown, 32 rushed.  His SB performances are and should be held against him, but in every way up until that game, Tarkenton's one of the very elite QB of all time. (They took Brett Favre, still to come on my list.)

19.Rod Woodson DB 87-03 Steelers
-71 picks, 12 TDs, 32 fumble recoveries.  The second greatest DB of all time; it's interesting that the NFL Network systematically underrated their own analysts, really across the board. (Bronko Nagurski - not on my list.)

18.Don Hutson WR/DB 35-45  Packers
-In ’42 Hutson had 74 catches.  Second place had 27.  He also had 30 career picks.  The war helps him as it reduced his level of competition, but his level of dominance still keeps him the second best WR of all time.  (Ray Lewis - already appeared on my list.)

17.Junior Seau LB 90-09 Chargers
-in ’98, opponents rushed for 2.7 y/c against SD.  20 years is a helluva long time to be as productive as Seau was.  He's the second greatest LB of all time. (Barry Sanders - still to come, but not far away.)

16.Bruce Smith DL 85-03 Bills
-200 career sacks.  Boom.  He's the second greatest DL of all time. (Otto Graham - already appeared on my list.)

15.Anthony Munoz OL 80-92 Bengals
-And when we hit the top 15, we get to the greatest OL who ever lived.  Things start getting really tight at this level. (Deacon Jones - already appeared.)

14.Johnny Unitas QB 56-73 Colts
-There have been 2 Unitas’s in NFL history – the other one’s name was Pong. This one was better.  I've still got five QB left. (Sammy Baugh - already appeared.)

13.John Elway QB 83-98 Broncos
-300 career TD passes. 33 rushing TDs.  This means I'm calling Elway the fifth greatest QB of all time.  (Joe Greene - already appeared.)

12.Peyton Manning QB 98-      Colts
-He’s now thrown for over 50,000 yards with a completion % of just under 65%.  By end of 2010 he’ll be third in passing yards and TDs.  Obviously, the highest ranked active player - I expect he will retire no worse, and probably better, than the third greatest player in NFL history. (Anthony Munoz - just appeared on my list.)

11.Barry Sanders RB 89-98 Lions
-In ’97 he rushed for 2053 yards and 6.1 yds/carry; 5 y/c for his career.  It makes him the fourth greatest RB of all time.  (Ronnie Lott.  Had you bet me that one of the Niners from my era would be higher ranked on the NFL list than on my list, you would have cleaned me out.)

90 down.  Ten to go.  Next Thursday.

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