By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
Every year the NFL lists the top 100 players who were voted by players as a means of respect for what they do on the field. Some of those players don’t even have to play the whole season to get on this list. Adrian Peterson was on the 2017 list and missed the entire season. Since this article will be solely based on running backs currently mentioned on the 2018 list, it is a crying shame that Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard is missing.
So far on this list are RB Carlos Hyde, rookie Leonard Fournette, Mark Ingram, Ezekiel Elliott (suspension and all), and Devonta Freeman. The fact of the matter is that in 2017, nine running backs were on that list, including Peterson; LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi, Freeman, DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy, David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, and Elliott.
But what if we go back even farther, like 2016. It appears that Peterson, Bell, Freeman, and McCoy were on that list, with the addition of Todd Gurley, (which no doubt will be on the 2018 list), Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles, Chris Ivory, Jonathan Stewart, and last, but not least, Matt Forte (as a New York Jet).
According to Pro-Football-Reference, the Top 10 rushing leaders in 2017 rank as the following:
1. Kareem Hunt * KC 1327
2. Todd Gurley * LAR 1305
3. Le’Veon Bell * PIT 1291
4. LeSean McCoy * BUF 1138
5. Mark Ingram * NO 1124
6. Jordan Howard * CHI 1122
7. Melvin Gordon * LAC 1105
8. Leonard Fournette * JAX 1040
9. C.J. Anderson * DEN 1007
10. Ezekiel Elliott * DAL 983
I can almost guarantee that 8 out of the 10 running backs listed in 2017 will be on the 2018 Top 100 with the exception of Jordan Howard. It blows my mind as to how this young stallion continues to be ignored by his own peers. In 2016, he was second, just behind Elliott, in rushing yards with 1,313 and didn’t make the list. What could possibly prevent this talented athlete the respect he deserves?
The only explanation is that the Chicago Bears have lost the respect of the entire league.
Since being taken in the fourth-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Howard has rushed for well over 1,000 yards. It is a travesty that this young man has not been accepted or included in the Top 100. Seriously, what does this kid have to do to get on this list? Howard played the entire season, Elliott did not! This just blows my mind.
Jordan Howard is by far the most disrespected player in the league and it’s not even close
— Hopeful Bears Fan (@RunDaNorth) May 22, 2018
Well, it will now hinge on whether head coach Matt Nagy can get the Chicago Bears offense up to standards. He must include the run game in the hype of a contending team this season. Only then will Howard be recognized for the talent and athleticism he commands on the field.
He is a quiet juggernaut who gets through defenses when the offensive line is healthy. If he has the explosive season I expect him to have, his peers better not sleep on him.
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63