Monday, August 19, 2013
#NFLRank: Four NFCN players in 100-91
By Kevin Seifert
You might have noticed that ESPN.com debuted an ambitious project Monday to rank the top 100 offensive and top 100 defensive players in the NFL. I was one of the 63 staffers who submitted votes.
Ten players in each category will be revealed over the next two weeks, each with a cool nugget from ESPN Stats & Information. I'll draw your attention to NFC North participants whenever appropriate, and here are the four who were among Monday's reveals:
94. Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford
Stats & Info: "For his career, Stafford is just 1-22 against teams that finished the season with a winning record. His only win came in Week 8 of last season against the Seahawks. Stafford threw 727 passes in 2012, breaking Drew Bledsoe's single-season record of 691 from 1994."
Seifert comment: This ranking seems low, until you see who was ranked three spots below him.
97. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler
Stats & Info: "Since Cutler came to Chicago in 2009, the Bears are 32-8 when he throws one or fewer interceptions. When he throws at least two picks, the Bears are just 2-14. Over that same span, only two quarterbacks -- Christian Ponder and Mark Sanchez -- have a worse Total QBR in losses."
Seifert comment: This doesn't change the thrust of last week's take: Someone is going to pay Cutler a bunch of money this offseason.
92. Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams
Stats & Info: "Williams has intercepted or defended 51 passes in the past three years, most of any player in the NFL."
Seifert comment: Williams hasn't matched his Pro Bowl-caliber 2010 season, in part because of a 2011 shoulder injury. He is now 30, which in Packers terms is ancient, and you wonder if he will make it to the 2014 season with this franchise.
95. Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith
Stats & Info: "Last season, Smith led all rookie defensive backs in tackles (98), ranked second in snaps (992) and tied for fourth in interceptions (three)."
Seifert comment: If Smith has as good of a season as the Vikings believe he will, his 2014 ranking on this list will be much higher.