TODAY'S PAPER
29° Good Morning
CLOSINGS
29° Good Morning
SportsFootball

Best of the NFL heading into 2017

 Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts before Super Bowl LI

 Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts before Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 5, 2017. Credit: EPA / Larry W. Smith

BEST PLAYERS

1. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: He continues to stretch the bounds of possibility at age 40. Brady has mastered every nuance of his offense, and he continues to dominate the league almost two decades after winning his first Super Bowl.

2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers: He’s the best pure passer in the NFL, with accuracy that is off the charts. Still in his peak at age 33, and no reason to think he can’t go another six or seven years or more.

3. Von Miller, LB, Broncos: Miller is the best pass rusher this side of Lawrence Taylor, and was the driving force in Denver’s Super Bowl win two years ago. Virtually unblockable in one-on-one situations.

4. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons: Ryan comes off a career year in getting to his first Super Bowl, although there’s some unfinished business after his defense ultimately ran out of gas in what turned out to be a crushing loss.

5. J.J. Watt, DE, Texans: Watt is back and appears to be as good as ever after recovering from back surgery. He may be the best defensive lineman since Reggie White.

BEST QUARTERBACKS

1. Tom Brady, Patriots

2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

3. Matt Ryan, Falcons

4. Drew Brees, Saints

5. Derek Carr, Raiders

BEST RUNNING BACKS

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys

2. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers

3. David Johnson, Cardinals

4. LeSean McCoy, Bills

5. Jay Ajayi, Dolphins

BEST WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Antonio Brown, Steelers

2. Julio Jones, Falcons

3. Odell Beckham Jr., Giants

4. A.J. Green, Bengals

5. Jordy Nelson, Packers

BEST TIGHT ENDS

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots

2. Travis Kelce, Chiefs

3. Greg Olsen, Panthers

4. Jordan Reed, Redskins

5. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks

BEST OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

1. Tyron Smith, T, Cowboys

2. Joe Thomas, T, Browns

3. Doug Martin, G, Cowboys

4. Kelechi Osemele, G, Raiders

5. Jason Peters, T, Eagles

BEST DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

1. J.J. Watt, DE, Texans

2. Aaron Donald, DT, Rams

3. Damon Harrison, DT, Giants

4. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Dolphins

5. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants

BEST LINEBACKERS

1. Von Miller, OLB, Broncos

2. Khalil Mack, OLB, Raiders

3. Luke Kuechly, ILB, Panthers

4. Bobby Wagner, ILB, Seahawks

5. Vic Beasley, OLB, Falcons

BEST DEFENSIVE BACKS

1. Landon Collins, S, Giants

2. Aqib Talib, CB, Broncos

3. Eric Berry, S, Chiefs

4. Patrick Peterson, CB, Cardinals

5. Janoris Jenkins, CB, Giants

BEST KICKERS

1. Justin Tucker, Ravens

2. Matt Bryant, Falcons

3. Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders

4. Adam Vinatieri, Colts

5. Stephen Hauschka, Bills

BEST PUNTERS

1. Johnny Hekker, Rams

2. Marquette King, Raiders

3. Brad Wing, Giants

4. Riley Dixon, Broncos

5. Sam Koch, Ravens

BEST KICK RETURNERS

1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings

2. Andre Roberts, Lions

3. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks

4. Benny Cunningham, Rams

5. Alex Erickson, Bengals

BEST PLAYERS OVER 30

1. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

3. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

4. Drew Brees, QB, Saints

5. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

BEST DEFENSES

1. Texans

2. Seahawks

3. Giants

4. Broncos

5. Patriots

BEST OFFENSES

1. Patriots

2. Falcons

3. Saints

4. Packers

5. Steelers

BEST HEAD COACHES

1. Bill Belichick, Patriots

2. Mike Tomlin, Steelers

3. Pete Carroll, Seahawks

4. Andy Reid, Chiefs

5. John Harbaugh, Ravens

BEST GENERAL MANAGERS

1. John Elway, Broncos

2. John Schneider, Seahawks

3. Kevin Colbert, Steelers

4. Jerry Reese, Giants

5. Ted Thompson, Packers

BEST COORDINATORS

1. Rod Marinelli, Cowboys, def.

2. Wade Phillips, Rams, def.

3. Josh McDaniels, Patriots, off.

4. Steve Spagnuolo, Giants, def.

5. Dave Toub, Chiefs, spec. teams

BEST UNIFORMS

1. Broncos

2. Dolphins

3. Packers

4. Redskins

5. Panthers

BEST STADIUMS

1. Lambeau Field, Packers

2. Levi’s Stadium, 49ers

3. U.S. Bank Stadium, Vikings

4. AT&T Stadium, Cowboys

5. CenturyLink Field, Seahawks

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports