Earlier in the day, the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players list which is exclusively voted on by current NFL players was released into the social media atmosphere.
The internet started to breakdown when it was revealed that Lamar Jackson took home the top spot with Russell Wilson in second. But internet speeds ground to a halt when Aaron Donald showed up in third which meant the Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahones had slid all the way down into the 4th spot.
Let’s start with Aaron Donald, who is widely regarded as the best defensive player in the NFL today. Donald who actually had an off-year last year as his sack numbers dropped from 20.5 in 2018 to 12.5 in 2019. He had fewer tackles, forced half the amount of fumbles, and statistically was not nearly as dominant as he was during the previous year. Donald is a great player but the 2019 version of Donald was not better than Patrick Mahomes.
The MIGHTY Line
Personally I have Patrick Mahomes as currently the best player in the NFL. When I consider what makes a player great on a year by year basis I always take into account actual playoff performance. This list isn’t the like the NBA MVP award which for some strange bizarre reason only takes into account regular-season games.
Lamar Jackson had a revolutionary year and was the best regular-season player in the NFL last season. He rushed for over 1200 yards while still throwing for over 3,000 in the air. Jackson threw 36 touchdowns against just 6 interceptions for a quarterback rating(QBR) of 113. Wilson had a 106 QBR and Mahomes was right below with 105 QBR.
From a 2019 stats standpoint, Mahomes threw 11 fewer touchdowns than Jackson and 5 fewer than Wilson. However, Mahomes played in 2 less regular-season games because of injury.
All three QB’s had great years in 2019, while Mahomes went all the way to Super Bowl and engineered a legendary 4th quarter comeback. The debate of who is the best player in the NFL ended when both Jackson and Wilson failed to escape the divisional round of the playoffs.
To be clear Lamar Jackson is my favorite QB to watch with Mahomes right behind. But for Jackson to truly deserve the top spot he will need to go deeper in the playoffs because not winning playoff games renders regular-season accomplishments useless.