Power Rankings: Manning second best

A lot of you have wanted to see “Power Rankings” and “finale” in the same sentence for some time. Congratulations, today’s your day.

We wrap our offseason, conversation-starting series with the crown jewel: The top 10 best players in the NFL.

I represent the AFC South aggressively in Dan Graziano’s piece on the voting results and in the attached video.

Peyton Manning finished second to Tom Brady. You’ll hear my familiar refrain about Manning: He’s simply asked to do more than anyone in the league, and he does it very well.

Feel free to look back at this post from last summer, where I respond to the basic complaints of Manning’s critics.

None of this is meant as a slight to Brady, who’s obviously also a superb player.

I do think we blew it in the overall results. I completely understand being quarterback heavy. I probably could have and should have been more so. But chasing those quarterbacks down is a monstrous element of the game, and to not have at least one pass-rusher make this list is a mistake.

At any rate, here is my ballot. I remind you it’s just one eighth of the results that you’ll find in Graziano’s fine piece.

  1. Peyton Manning

  2. Tom Brady

  3. Drew Brees

  4. Aaron Rodgers

  5. Adrian Peterson

  6. Chris Johnson

  7. Andre Johnson

  8. Troy Polamalu

  9. Clay Matthews

  10. DeMarcus Ware