August 26, 2012

The Top 100 NFL Players of 2011: 20-11

By - Kris Fletcher

Our countdown of the top 100 NFL players of 2011 rolls on this week -- with numbers 20-11.

20. Eli Manning - QB, New York Giants: Last season, Eli finally graduated to the elite quarterbacks club. In leading the Giants to their second Super Bowl win in four years, he threw for 4,933 yards and 29 TDs. Even more impressive were Eli's seven fourth-quarter comebacks and eight game-winning drives.

Photo by: Getty Images
19. Wes Welker - WR, New England Patriots: Welker continues to be the best slot receiver in the game today. In 2011, he caught more balls than anyone else in the league (122), while also posting career-highs in both yards (1,569) and touchdowns (9). As quarterback Tom Brady's favorite target, there's sure to be plenty more where that came from this season.

18. Matt Forte - RB, Chicago Bears: Forte is the primary threat in Chicago's offensive arsenal. He excels as both a rusher (997 rushing yards in only 12 games) and pass catcher out of the backfield (52 receptions). In fact, Forte has topped the 900-yard rushing mark and 50 reception plateau every year that he's been in the league.

17. Ray Rice - RB, Baltimore Ravens: Rice had his most dominant season as a pro in 2011. He set career-highs in both rushing yards (1,364) and rushing touchdowns (12). He was also equally adept as a receiver, recording 76 catches for 704 yards and 3 scores.

16. Matthew Stafford - QB, Detroit Lions: After battling injuries his first couple years as a pro, Stafford managed to stay healthy in 2011, and finished third in the league with 5,038 passing yards and 41 touchdowns. He became only the fifth player in NFL history to top 5,000 passing yards in a season.

15. LeSean McCoy - RB, Philadelphia Eagles: McCoy has become the focal point of Philadelphia's offense, and he led all running backs with 17 rushing touchdowns in 2011. He added 3 more receiving, giving him 20 total TDs on the year. McCoy also finished fourth in the NFL with 1,309 rushing yards.

14. Haloti Ngata - DT, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens have many high-profile names on defense, but the most important guy might very well be Ngata. He finished last season with a career-high 64 tackles to go along with 5 sacks, enough to earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career.

13. Adrian Peterson - RB, Minnesota Vikings: Heading into last year, Peterson was the most dominating back in the league, with at least 1,298 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of his first four seasons. While he did manage 12 scores in 2011, a major knee injury prevented him from surpassing the century mark in rushing (970), and could certainly impact his 2012 campaign as well.

12. Jimmy Graham - TE, New Orleans Saints: It's scary to think of the potential that Graham has, considering he only played one year of college football at Miami before he was drafted by the Saints in 2010. The former college hoops player made his first Pro Bowl last season by hauling in 99 receptions for 1,310 yards and 11 TDs.

11. Darrelle Revis - CB, New York Jets: Without question, Revis is the most feared cornerback in the National Football League today. Despite the fact that quarterbacks often go entire games without throwing in his direction, Revis still managed 4 picks last year, and tied a club record with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Dolphins in Week 6.

Hope you enjoyed numbers 20-11. Be sure to check back here next Sunday for our top 10 players of 2011!

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