The Sporting News Top 100 Greatest NFL Players (Top Five)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by RX_Sith, Dec 30, 2007.

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  1. darth_gersh Force Ghost

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    E. Smith was a way better blocker than B. Sanders. Sanders was horrible as a blocker and wasted many of 3rd downs because of it. In fact the Lions lost a playoff game because of his blocking. E. Smith was a way better all around player than Sanders. Sanders was a way better pure runner but lacked in many other areas of the game. Plus Sanders didn't have any heart, he quit the game because his team sucked and he quit on his team mates. Emmitt Smith never quit on anyone.
  2. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    Thank you, Gersh, for backing me up on Smith, who has gotten lambasted in here for weeks.

    (Though I don't agree about your comments regarding Sanders lack of heart.)
  3. Darth Dark Helmet Manager Emeritus

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    Barry Sanders retired after 10 or 11 season in the NFL. The great majority of RBs don't last that long. I think the average career for a RB is 3-4 years. But if they do play longer, 10-11 is about the time when their bodies really start to break down, and they start to lose a step. Sanders knew that, knew that with his style of running, losing a step could lead to a serious injury. Also, because of his style, his body hadn't been through as much punishment as other backs, so he could retire now, at his peak, and live a fairly pain free life, unlike others RBs who spend the rest of their lives with hip, leg and back problems. Look at Earl Campbell, I don't think he can even walk anymore. So I don't fault Sanders at all for walking away when he did.

    And I stand by my top three. I put it:

    1. Payton
    2. Sanders
    3. Brown

    They are all very close though.
  4. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

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    1. Jim Brown
    2. Who cares?

    Jim Brown is the greatest ever, and that's all there is to say. Not that stats are everything, but the man averaged 5.2 yards a carry in an age where they didn't have short-yardage backs. In terms of talent and sheer domination, the only comparable players are Herschel Walker and Adrian Peterson, but neither of those guys have surpassed him. In fact, I don't think it's possible.
  5. Django211 Force Ghost

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    Herschel Walker?! In his entire NFL career he rushed for over 1000 yds only twice. His biggest legacy is being the focal point of a terrible trade that help build Dallas into one of the premiere teams of the 90s. When you talk about domination Walker's name should never come up.
  6. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    If we were talking colege, Walker is at the top of the list. If we're talking NFL, in the giant heep in the middle of the pack.
  7. DarthIntegral Game Winner

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    Best. Greatest. Running Backs. List. Ever.
  8. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    QFT.

    Anyone who even thinks of putting someone else ahead of Brown is on crack.
  9. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Alright. Here are the Top Five players.

    5. Johnny Unitas - "As long as the Colts have Unitas, they could put nine or 10 girls on the field and still win."

    49ers coach Jack Christiansen, 1967, The Sporting New

    The distinctive stoop shoulders were sandwiched by crew-cut hair and black, high-top shoes. You couldn't help but pick Johnny Unitas out of a football crowd. And you couldn't help but admire his extraordinary ability to pick apart defenses with commanding, unwavering confidence. He never backed down from anybody over 18 NFL seasons, building an unsurpassed reputation for toughness while gaining status as one of the most fabled stars in league history.

    Johnny U. was a master craftsman, an unlikely looking athlete who overcame physical limitations with impressive intangibles. He wasn't fast, but he knew when and how to run. His arm was not as strong as some, but he threw with remarkable touch and timing. Most of all, Unitas had courage, coolness under fire and the ability to lead, a quality Baltimore teammate John Mackey acknowledged when he said, "It's like being in the huddle with God."

    The no-nonsense Unitas was a pocket passer who was peerless when it came to standing in against the rush and delivering the ball at the last instant before contact. He also was a play-calling genius who could mentally dissect a defense, make the perfect audible and get the ball to the right player. He was in complete command when a game was on the line and was masterful at driving his team against the clock, an ability that vaulted him into prominence when he led the Colts to their classic overtime victory over the New York Giants in the 1958 title game.

    Unitas was the most decorated passer in history when he retired in 1973 after one season in San Diego. He left with then-record totals of 2,830 completions, 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns, but he'll always be remembered for the 47 straight games in which he threw at least one TD pass -- a still-standing record. Johnny U., a 10-time Pro Bowl choice, played on four NFL championship teams and one Super Bowl loser.


    4. Lawrence Taylor - "When God created a running back, he created Walter Payton. When he created an outside linebacker, he created Lawrence Taylor."

    Longtime NFL assistant coach Johnny Roland

    Hall of Famers shook their heads in disbelief, opponents eyed him with nervous anticipation and fans marveled at the way he threw big, tough players around like rag dolls. When Lawrence Taylor stepped onto the field, everybody noticed. The riveting eyes, imposing glare and intimidating, perfectly sculpted body were merely appetizers for the savage rage he would unleash on every play.

    Taylor's reputation was such that he could disrupt a game plan without moving one of the well-defined muscles on his 6-3, 237-pound frame. New York Giants opponents would look for him out of the corners of their eyes, listen for him and sense his presence. Linemen forgot counts, quarterbacks dropped snaps and blockers jumped offside. When LT did go into action, he could dominate capable linemen, chase down ballcarriers on both sides of the field and fight through triple-team blocks to record one of his patented quarterback takedowns.

    Taylor jumped into the NFL spotlight quickly, earning NFL defensive player of the year honors as a rookie in 1981. By his second season, he already had become the standard by which future linebackers would be judged. He made pass rushing a function of the position and literally changed the way defense was played, prompting former Raiders coach John Madden to call him "the most dominant defensive player I've ever seen."

    His search-and-destroy abilities were fueled by an anger that might someday be matched but never surpassed. He produced sacks in double digits for seven consecutive seasons (1984-1990), including 20 1/2 in 1986, when the Giants advanced to their first Super Bowl title and Taylor was named NFL Player of the Year by The Sporting News. He is the only defensive player to win the award.

    With Taylor as a driving force, t/>
  10. yankee8255 Chosen One

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    That looks about right. Love the quote about Unitas.
  11. Shrapnel Jedi Knight

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    Montana to Rice, what a team! [face_hypnotized] =D= :cool:
  12. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

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    Not real surprised about the top five. They are good choices.
  13. DarthIntegral Game Winner

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    My only complaint with the top five is I'd have Montana over Rice.
  14. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Well, Rice has like it says virtually every receiving record. Montana on the other hand does not have every passing record. Yes, he won 4 Super Bowls. Yes, he was the best quarterback on this list. But, Rice kept catching passes even after Montana left. He kept up his level with Steve Young. He was Mr. Dependable. There is no question that in my mind he should rate higher than Montana. Here are his records:

    Record Jerry Rice 2nd Place
    Receptions, Career 1,549 1,101 (Cris Carter)
    Seasons w/ 50+ Receptions 17 13 (Andre Reed)
    Seasons w/ 100+ Receptions 4-t 4 (Marvin Harrison)
    All-Purpose Yards Gained, Career 23,546 23,330 (Brian Mitchell)
    Yards from Scrimmage, Career 23,540 21,579 (Emmitt Smith)
    Touchdown Receptions, Career 197 130 (Cris Carter)
    Touchdowns, Career 208 175 (Emmitt Smith)
    Avg. Touchdowns / Game, Season 1.83 1.44 (Randy Moss)
    Receiving Yards, Career 22,895 14,934 (Tim Brown)
    Receiving Yards, Season 1,848 1,781 (Isaac Bruce)
    Seasons w/ 1000+ Yards Receiving 14 9 (Tim Brown),(Jimmy Smith)
    Games w/ 100+ Yards Receiving 76 59 (Marvin Harrison)
    Consecutive Games w/ Receptions 274 183 (Art Monk)
    Rushing Yards by a Wide Receiver 645 500 (Andre Reed)
    Consecutive Games w/ Receiving Touchdown 13 11 (Elroy Hirsch)
    Games (Wide Receiver), Career 303 255 (Tim Brown, Irving Fryar)
    Pro Bowls by a Wide Receiver 13 9 (Tim Brown)
  15. DarthIntegral Game Winner

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    I think about it this way. You're drafting a team and you get to take any player ever in their prime. Who comes off your board first: Montana or Rice?

    Stats don't tell every story ...
  16. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

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    well that's not really a fair question... quarterback is a far more important position then Wide Receiver... I'd take any of the top 20 QB's of all time before even thinking about any player at any other position.
  17. DarthIntegral Game Winner

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    I think that helps my point even further. The greatest player of the most crucial position? That's got to count for a little something extra in the intangibles department when ranking players.
  18. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

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    but Montana being the greatest QB of all time is always up for debate. It's not like he's a clear cut number one.


    Jerry Rice is far and away the best Wide Receiver of the superbowl era.
  19. DarthIntegral Game Winner

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    But this list, and myself, clearly rank Montana as the #1 QB of all time.
  20. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

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    oh, well if this one list and you say so, who am I to argue?
  21. DarthIntegral Game Winner

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    Exactly. :p


    But my point is the list has Montana as the greatest quarterback, and then ranks Rice as an overall superior football player. I'm seeing that as a problem with the list. Not as solid proof that overall all people should consider Montana to be better than Rice. It's all subjective, but for my money, the greatest football player of all time is Jim Brown, and second to him is Joe Montana.
  22. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Hey, either way at least they both played together (Montana and Rice) and will always be the top players from the same team. [face_peace]
  23. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

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    I simply meant from a pure talent and 'fearsome presence' perspective (I obviously looked at his college career). I'd never dream of saying that Walker was a better player in the NFL. Just comparable skill sets.


    I'm also okay with the top players. I think I would have swapped Hutson (#6) with Taylor (#4), but really, what's the difference in the grand scheme of things. One thing I'll say for this list is they didn't allow themselves to be swayed by active or even just recent players. They paid attention to the past, and that's not a common occurrence on best ever lists.
  24. Armenian_Jedi Force Ghost

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    yeah, good to see guys like Hutson, Starr and Graham getting respect.
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