With the NFL lockout still very much real, NFL Network is doing everything in their power to keep hope for the 2011 season alive.
The series “The Top 100 Players of 2011,” which is voted on by NFL players, is in full swing on NFL Network and four Chicago Bears have made the list.
Lance Briggs has been the only Bear announced–at No. 92–since the program kicked off and has counted down the Top 51 players already. This means that three more Bears are on the list and I think it’s safe to say that we know who those players are.
Brian Urlacher, Devin Hester, Julius Peppers all surely have made the Top 50.
More to note, we know who got snubbed from the list: one Jay Cutler.
One has to assume that Cutler’s controversial benching in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers had something to do with this.
This is a list voted on by the players–those same players that questioned Cutler’s toughness for not returning to the game.
Cutler has seen his share of controversy since coming to Chicago two years ago but he has given a Bears franchise hope for an offense with a reputation that is downright ugly.
Behind a shoddy offensive line–in which he endured 56 sacks–and playing so-so receivers, Cutler had a great year for the Bears in guiding them to their first postseason berth since their 2006 Super Bowl appearance.
He missed just one game–after sustaining a concussion the previous game in which he was sacked nine times by the New York Giants–and led the Bears to an 11-5 record and the NFC North Championship. He passed for 3,274 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and added 232 rushing yards.
And yet the criticism will keep on coming.
Everyone loves to hate Jay Cutler, as evidenced by his snubbing by his fellow players.
Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was voted to a list of the top 100 players in the NFL of 2011 at number 92 in a poll conducted by NFL Network where current league players cast their votes.
Briggs was presented in the segment by current Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
Briggs was elected to his six consecutive Pro Bowl last season, becoming just the sixth player in Bears history to do so.
“The position he plays is very demanding,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli told ChicagoBears.com. “It’s a playmaking position and that’s all Lance has always done. He makes plays and has great instincts. He’s always ready to play, and he’s a performer.”
There are four more Bears players left in the Top 100.
Be sure to check out The Top 100 Players of 2011 every Sunday night at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.
Here’s the list of The Top 100 so far:
100.D. McNabb Redskins, QB
99.C. Clifton Packers, OT
98.D. McFadden Raiders, RB
97.S. Phillips Chargers, DE
96.N. Collins Packers, S
95.J. Beason Panthers, LB
94.F. Gore 49ers, RB
93.E. Berry Chiefs, S
92.L. Briggs Bears, LB
91.T. Owens Bengals, WR
90.J. Flacco Ravens, QB
89.A. Wilson Cardinals, S
88.V. Davis 49ers, TE
87.J. Gross Panthers, OT
86.J. Freeman Buccaneers, QB
85.J. Babin Titans, DE
84.J. Cribbs Browns, QB
83.M. Williams Buccaneers, WR
82.L. Woodley Steelers, LB
81. B. Raji Packers, DT