WELP, it’s official: the NFL Network’s list of top 100 players of 2018 won’t have a member of the Chicago Bears on it.
NFL.com shared the top-10 players on Sunday and will reveal their order later today.
You kinda had to figure this was going to be the case when the NFL Network revealed its first 90 names and it didn’t feature any Bears players. But I wanted to see an officially official list before I pressed send on this particular post.
To be fair, I understand how difficult it could be to justify putting a player on a top-100 list who is on a team that has won just 14 games over the course of the last three years. This is a list that is voted on by the NFL’s players, so the complete omission of Bears players makes sense considering the team’s record in recent years. But come on, it’s not like this list dismissed all good players on bad teams.
What’s most maddening about the NFL Network’s list is the exclusion of Jordan Howard. Ten running backs made the cut, and Howard not being one of them is not only outrageous, but frankly, offensive to my football sensibilities.
Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott are the only two running backs who have gained more yards on the ground than Howard since the start of the 2016 season. Both made the list and deserved to be included. HOWEVER, the group of backs who made the top-100 features five rushers who didn’t even make last year’s cut. So it’s not like Howard was left off because he doesn’t have enough of a track record. So with all due respect to Carlos Hyde, Leonard Fournette, Mark Ingram, Kareem Hunt, and Alvin Kamara, one of you should have been bounced in favor of the Bears’ lead back.
Howard being on the outside looking in is a snub to the highest degree. It’s mildly annoying to see a player put up great numbers despite being put in a failing situation and not get proper recognition for doing so. Perhaps a third year of stellar rushing will get Howard the type of attention he deserves.