DETROIT - OCTOBER 10: Jahvid Best #44 of the Detroit Lions runs 88 yards for a third quarter touchdown during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on October 10, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Pride of Detroit is counting down the top 10 Lions players of 2012, as voted on by readers of the site. More than 400 ballots were submitted, and up first is a look at the No. 10 player on the list.
No. 10 - RB Jahvid Best - 747 points
The votes are in, and after 10 or so hours of going through all of the ballots and counting up the results, the top 10 Lions of 2012 has been established. 457 ballots were ultimately accepted (nearly 500 were submitted, but many were dropped for a variety of reasons). With the rankings set, we will reveal the full top 10 over the course of the next couple weeks and also take a more in-depth look at the numbers.
First up on the top 10 Lions of 2012 is running back Jahvid Best. He appeared on 186 of the ballots and ended up with a total of 747 points. He had two votes for second place on the list, but the majority of the votes for Best were for somewhere in the last half of the top 10. His 747 points were just three less than the ninth-place finisher and were 42 more than the player who came in 11th on the list.
The theme of Best's career with the Lions so far, unfortunately, has been injuries. Turf toe issues clouded his rookie season in 2010, although Best still managed to rush for 555 yards and four touchdowns and pick up 487 yards and two touchdowns as a pass-catcher. This past season, Best only played in six games due to a concussion ending his season early. It was his second in the span of a couple months, and it ultimately cut short a season that got off to a very promising start. (He had 390 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 287 receiving yards and one touchdown in only six games.)
The Lions' offense really took a few steps backward after Best went down. His absence was not the only reason for their mid-season struggles by any means, but losing him certainly didn't help. He brings a lot to the offense both as a running back and a receiver, and the Lions lost a big weapon with him going down for the year.
In 2012, Best is hoping to return from his latest concussion and put all injury issues in the rear-view mirror. He is expecting to be cleared for contact before training camp begins, and if he can stay healthy, he should be the Lions' starting running back. The theme of the entire running back position is staying healthy, and given his concussion issues in the past, for Best staying healthy could be the difference between having a breakout season and potentially having his career come to an abrupt end.
Injury concerns aside, Best will be a big part of the offense going forward if he is on the field. His speed gives the Lions another dimension offensively, and although they certainly aren't lacking playmakers, Best is one of the biggest playmakers on the team. It's no surprise he landed on the top 10 Lions of 2012, and if he is able to make it through next season without any injuries, he should be a candidate to rise up the 2013 version of this list.
|Top 10 Lions of 2012|
|1.||WR Calvin Johnson (281)||4,370 points|
|2.||QB Matthew Stafford (168)||4,259 points|
|3.||DT Ndamukong Suh (4)||2,981 points|
|4.||LB Stephen Tulloch||2,190 points|
|5.||DE Cliff Avril (1)||2,014 points|
|6.||TE Brandon Pettigrew||1,256 points|
|7.||S Louis Delmas||1,230 points|
|8.||WR Titus Young||1,024 points|
|9.||K Jason Hanson (1)||750 points|
|10.||RB Jahvid Best||747 points|