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Monday, 27 May 2013

TPL100 2013: Introduction


Introduction | #100-#91 | #90-#81 | #80-#71 | #70-#61 | #60-51 | #50-41 | #40-#31 | #30-21 | #20-#11 | #10-#1

If the 2013 season started tomorrow, who would you want on your team?

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It's that time of year, when the sun is in the sky, summer's just around the corner, there just over 100 days until the 2013 season opener, and Gur decided to re-use the same introduction almost word for word as last year. Yes, it's almost time for your favourite linemen to reveal who we judge to be the one hundred best players in the NFL right now - the one hundred players we would want on our team if the 2013 season started tomorrow.



Before we begin revealing our countdown, though, here's a quick explanation of the criteria & process we went through to come up with the list.

All players currently in the NFL were considered for our individual ballots - including those with injuries that put them in doubt for the 2013 season (say, Michael Crabtree). As a result, we put this rule in place: when it comes to injured players, we would rank them as if they had already made as full a recovery as they were going to. So, if we believed a player would come back 100% from injury, we would rank him as if he were never injured; but if we believe a player's injuries are significant enough that they never make it all the way back, then we rank the player as if they were as recovered as we believe they will ever be. For example: both Phil and Toby believe Rob Gronkowski will recover 100% from his forearm and spine injuries. On the other hand, Gur is sceptical as to whether or not the Gronk will ever be the player he was before, particularly with the spine problems, so he doesn't have him ranked as highly as the other two.

So, with that rule in place, we each wrote up our individual top 100 players; we then each took a copy of the three ballots, but unlike last year, where we only chose one method of working out the final top 100, each of the three of us used a different methodology to work out the list of one hundred:

- Toby used the same method as last year, as detailed in last year's introduction.

- Gur chose to use a different method this year - believing that it made more sense for a player that we all agreed on as being worthy of a top 100 spot being ranked higher than a player that only two or even one of us thought was top 100-worthy. Gur ranked first all the players who appeared on three ballots, then the players who appeared on two ballots, and finally only the top few players who were nominated by just one of us made my version of the final 100.

- Phil weighted the 'point score' of a player by how many ballots they appeared on, then ranked the players by weighted score according to the principles of last year's methodology. Yes, it's a bit maths-y, but what would you expect from the mind that brought you the original and exclusive OLR statistic?

Finally, we (by which I mean Phil) aggregated the three different ranking systems to get the final TPL100, and that's what we'll be beginning to unveil this coming week.

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Bored/confused yet? Well, since you've all been very patient in reading through a relatively dry explanation of methodologies, here's a little something to whet your appetite: how the 2013 TPL100 broke down by division.

AFC East: 10
AFC North: 16
AFC South: 10
AFC West: 9
NFC East: 10
NFC North: 13
NFC South: 14
NFC West: 18

A few more tidbits for you.

- There are 34 players who make this year's list who were left on the 2012 edition

- Of those 34 players, 12 did receive votes for last year's TPL100, but did not get a high-enough point score to make the cut (feel free to browse last year's Odds and Ends section - see if you can guess which players just missed out last year but made it on this year!)

- Not including the new entries, the highest single jump up the ranks was a player, now entering his fourth NFL season, who rose a whopping 64 spots

- Not including those who fell off the list, the largest tumble down the ranking was a player coming off his first season with a brand new team; the player dropped 55 spots

- 31 of the 32 NFL teams had a least one player place somewhere on the list - any guesses as to which team was left unrepresented?

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Hopefully, this little introduction as gotten you as excited for this year's edition of the TPL100 as we are. In addition to a new, more rigorous (we hope!) ranking process, we're unveiling the list in a different format this year: instead of unveiling players, ten at a time, on back-to-back days, we're going to be revealing one player a day for 100 straight days, beginning on the 28th of May. For those of you looking frantically through your calendars, that means we'll be handing an NFL player the #1 crown on September 4th - the day before the opening game of the 2013 season.

We can't wait to share our list with you. We hope you can't wait either!
- Gur Samuel (@FredTheGur), Toby Durant (@TDonSport) & Phil Gaskin (@PLRGaskin)
- The Pulling Linemen

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