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10 most indispensable players in the NFL - 2008

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by wrbanwal, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. wrbanwal
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    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    Can't argue with history.....


    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeffri&id=3498223


    It's once again time to talk about the most indispensable players in the NFL. I did it in July 2007 -- on a whim no less -- and it created enough debate that it was worth bringing back for another year of discussion. After all, the same 10 players can't always be on the list. There are simply too many factors that change over the course of a year for that to happen.


    In fact, there are only three players on the 2007 list that qualified to make this year's top 10. Why? Well, some of the players on the 2007 list wound up on teams that finished with losing records (like Chicago's Brian Urlacher). Others just didn't put up the kind of numbers that made them indispensable in the first place (like Carolina's Julius Peppers). And one fellow wound up in prison because he was dumb enough to operate a dogfighting ring with his pals (Atlanta's Michael Vick).

    But that doesn't mean this list is any less interesting. It just means you will have more new names to argue about when you're deciding which players mean the most to their respective teams. So, as the 2008 training camps start, here are the most indispensable players in the NFL:

    1. Tom Brady, QB, New England

    This one shouldn't be a shocker. Brady produced one of the greatest seasons of any quarterback in league history during 2007. Along with claiming the league's Most Valuable Player award and setting several records (including his NFL mark of 50 touchdown passes in a season), he bonded with enigmatic wide receiver Randy Moss to form the most dangerous passing combo in years. To be honest, Brady would make this list every year it comes out. But he made it to the top this time after nearly leading the Patriots to perfection last season.

    2. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis

    How good is Manning? Let's just say it's hard to imagine the Colts' making the playoffs last season if he wasn't the guy under center. This team was rocked with injuries throughout 2007, including one that led to the absence of Pro Bowl wide receiver Marvin Harrison for most of the season. But that barely fazed Manning. He kept firing away and his team believed it could win, even with so many players bouncing in and out of the training room.

    3. Terrell Owens, WR, Dallas

    Say what you will about T.O. and his controversial history, but you have to admit this much: He's the key to that high-powered offense in Dallas. We saw that much when a high ankle sprain made him ineffective in an NFC divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants. When Owens is healthy, he makes life easier on tight end Jason Witten, wide receiver Patrick Crayton and quarterback Tony Romo. When he's off the field, the Cowboys' passing game isn't nearly as scary … and neither is the rest of that team.

    4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota

    It's been a long time since a rookie running back raced through the NFL like this guy. Along with setting a league record for most yards in a single game (296 against San Diego), Peterson energized a Vikings offense that wasn't offering much in the way of sizzle. Now the people around Minnesota are harboring Super Bowl hopes and they're probably thinking Peterson could gain 2,000 yards if he avoids the injuries that slowed him as a rookie. But you have to remember something else about this guy -- he's a star back without a strong passing game to ease the pressure on him. That alone makes him a member of this list.

    5. Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego

    Like Brady and Manning, Gates is another holdover from last year's list. And as was the case in 2007, his inclusion has everything to do with his rare ability. Gates still means more to the Chargers than Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson because it's rare for a tight end to command the kind of attention Gates requires. You're talking about a guy who's been that team's leading receiver during four of his five NFL seasons and you can bet he'll do it again this season. Before his career took off in 2004, the Chargers were arguably the worst team in the league, one that featured Tomlinson. But they've been in the playoffs three times since 2004, with a passing game built around his talents.


    6. Albert Haynesworth, DT, Tennessee

    Haynesworth is the lone defender on this year's list because he had the biggest impact on his team in 2007. When he served a five-game suspension and played below his potential in 2006, the Titans' defense didn't intimidate too many opponents. When Haynesworth returned last season with obvious focus and determination, the Titans' pass rush and run defense started giving teams fits. The bottom line here: When this kid has his head right, the Titans' defense can make life hell for any offense.

    7. Brian Westbrook, RB, Philadelphia

    Westbrook is one of two players on this list ( Joe Thomas is the other) from a team that didn't make the 2007 playoffs, but nobody can question whether he belongs. For one thing, he's one of the best all-purpose backs in the NFL. For another, I can't think of another one of the Eagles who is as reliable and explosive as Westbrook. Two years ago he helped the Eagles to the playoffs while quarterback Donovan McNabb was injured and last season he compiled 2,104 yards from scrimmage (1,333 rushing and 771 receiving). The dude is tough.

    8. Joe Thomas, LT, Cleveland

    Thomas makes this list because you can't talk about indispensable players without mentioning at least one offensive lineman. And while there are bigger names at the position -- such as Seattle's Walter Jones and St. Louis' Orlando Pace -- no lineman meant more to his team's success last season than Thomas. His mere presence stabilized a Browns offensive line that had been historically lousy and he made Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson feel much better about what was happening on Anderson's blind side. It's rare for a rookie to have that much impact, and that's why Browns fans should be feeling good about that spot for the next 10 or so years.

    9. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seattle

    Yes, every quarterback is important to his team but Hasselbeck was extraordinary in 2007. The Seahawks couldn't rely on former Pro Bowl running back Shaun Alexander and they also faced multiple injuries to their receiving corps. How did Hasselbeck respond? By putting the Seahawks' offense on his shoulders and leading that team to the postseason. A performance like that deserves to be rewarded with a spot on this list.

    10. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

    Talk about a guy who came of age in a relatively short time last season. Manning started 2007 with people wondering if he could become a more effective leader and he ended it with the Lombardi Trophy in his grasp. I've now stopped wondering whether he'll ever be the prolific passer that his brother is, primarily because it doesn't matter. He's showed the world he can win in his own way and it's hard to imagine another Giant who belongs on this list over him.


    True, but who gives a crap!!!:lol:
  2. WonderSlug
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    WonderSlug New Member

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    Eli Manning is indispensable?!?!?!?


    :icon_eek:


    :icon_rofl::icon_rofl::icon_rofl:
  3. Retired Catholic
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    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    LT belongs in here before Eli.
  4. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    with turner being gone i'd have expected LT to get up on that list
  5. chargerboy21
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    chargerboy21 BoltTalker

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    i know that adrian peterson had a great season but i still think that they hav a capable back in chester taylor
    he is injury prone and a very talented player, but i dont think he is the most indispensable runningback in the NFL
  6. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    Lets see...
    Gates during our 8 game win streak last season ..........21rec for 290yds and 3TD's
    LT during our 8 game win streak........794yds and 7TD's (including Indy game where he only played 1 quarter)


    Who do you think is more valuable?
  7. BoltzRule
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    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    The person didn't do much research basically basing his opinion on when the Chargers started winning (04) which is when Gates had a great season so clearly Gates is the indispensable one.

    You ask defense who's the guy they gameplan for and it's LT. If you had to pick between LT having a great game against you or Gates, you'd probably prefer it to be Gates, because LT can straight up own a team when he's on.

    Although both have great impacts on the team.
  8. BoltzRule
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    BoltzRule Well-Known Member

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    Vikings won the 2 games Adrian missed (Giants, Raiders), they beat the Niners when he only had 3 yards.

    That's 3 of the Vikings 8 wins, which had little to no impact from Adrian, and when teams started focusing on him he didn't do much at the end of the season, although that could of been the injury.

    I'd like to see how he does when he's the sole focus for defenses like the way LT is, and see if he can put up great numbers and stay healthy.
  9. WonderSlug
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    WonderSlug New Member

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    The article looked at the main starting positions on offense and if the teams had capable backups that didn't represent too much of a dropoff.

    Thus Tom Brady and Peyton were obvious choices, because if they went down, no way would their backups be able to even do 75% of what they could. The dropoff from starting QB to backup QB was too great.

    LT they felt wasn't "indispensable" in this regard, because they felt that Michael Turner could do 75% of what LT did, thus the dropoff wasn't too great.

    Gates was listed as indispensable, because who's his backup? Manu or Chandler? Can they do 75% of what Gates does? No. The dropoff from Chargers starting TE to backup TE is too much.

    Now, if the list were made based on this year's lineup, then LT would definitely be listed because Turner is gone and there isn't a backup RB we have that has shown he can do 75% to 80% of what LT does.

    It's almost a "Top Ten list of players whose backups are so far behind them in terms of talent, to lose them would severely cripple them."
  10. BOLTS4LIFE
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    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    OK. Now I hate hate Vikings!!!

    Peterson has a great rookie year and now he's better than LT? WTF?!!!

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