On Wednesday evening, there were two more Pittsburgh Steelers added to the list of the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2012. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and linebacker James Harrison were revealed on the countdown as the 30th and 29th ranked players on the top 100 respectively.
This brings the total tally of Steelers on the top 100 to five. The other Steel City representatives are linebacker LaMarr Woodley (ranked #63), center Maurkice Pouncey (#49), and wide receiver Mike Wallace (#47).
Roethlisberger jumped up 11 spots from last year’s countdown. The Pro Bowl quarterback is ranked higher than nine other signal callers, including the 2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year Cam Newton (#40), 5,000-plus yard passer Matthew Stafford (#41), four-time league MVP Peyton Manning (#50), and quarterback for the reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants Eli Manning (#31).
The nine-year veteran, who passed for 4,077 yards and 21 touchdowns, led the Steelers to a 12-4 record in 2011 and to a wildcard berth.
Harrison fell eight spots from last year’s list, but still managed to find himself in the top 30. Despite missing four games due to injury last season, the four-time Pro Bowler recorded nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 2011. This was definitely the reason for Harrison’s slide in the top 100.
The 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year sits atop 11 other linebackers, including Chicago Bears linebacking duo Brian Urlacher (#51) and Lance Briggs (#72), New Orleans Saints veteran Jonathan Vilma (#58), and 2011 Defensive Rookie of the Year Von Miller (#52).
In my previous articles regarding the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2012, I predicted that there would be five Steelers on the countdown. Well it looks like my prediction will be wrong, seeing that there are already five Steelers on the list, and Troy Polamalu still hasn’t been mentioned.
I also said that Big Ben would be ranked in the top 20. I still feel that he should be higher up on the list. Looking at the beating that he took behind a porous offensive line, Roethlisberger still managed to put up Pro Bowl-caliber number. On the bright side, he might be the fourth highest ranked quarterback in the countdown.
I definitely overlooked Harrison due to his injury from last season, and the emergence of Woodley. Well, I guess if Peyton Manning can make the list without playing a single down in 2011, so can Harrison.
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