Monday brought us the latest set of entries in the NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players of 2017” and finally, Matthew Stafford has landed on the list:
After first making his way onto the list in 2012 at No. 41, this is Stafford’s fourth appearance on the list—and his highest ranking—on the NFL Top 100. He ranked No. 76 overall in 2013, last appeared in 2014 at No. 100 and was absent from the list in both 2015 and 2016.
Released annually, the NFL Top 100 is a ranking of the top 100 players in the NFL as decided by current NFL players who vote during the offseason. The rankings are based on the players’ projected performance for the upcoming season.
At No. 31, Stafford finds himself ranked ahead of quite a few talented signal callers: Alex Smith (No. 81), Philip Rivers (No. 73), Kirk Cousins (No. 70), Jameis Winston (No. 57), Andrew Luck (No. 51), Marcus Mariota (No. 50) and Cam Newton (No. 44) all sit behind the Lions quarterback on this year’s list. All things considered, this should put Stafford among the top ten players at his position in the NFL when the list reaches its conclusion near the end of this month.
Stafford posted his sixth-straight season of 4,000 passing yards, had 24 passing touchdowns to just 10 interceptions and completed over 65 percent of his passes—the second-highest mark of his career. But Stafford’s 2016 season will best be remembered for the eight game-winning drives he orchestrated in the fourth quarter—which tied the NFL record for most in a single season.
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes praised Stafford’s ability to lead his team in the absence of Calvin Johnson:
On the film I watched, when Calvin was there, it was just get Calvin the ball. Now it’s more of a team where he’s like the complete leader. He’s dishing it to this guy, that guy, you don’t know who he’s throwing it to.
You can check out the recap of Stafford’s placement—at least a good portion of it—on the NFL Top 100 here.
Where do you think Matthew Stafford should have landed on the list?
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