Selecting the top 5 players of the 2008 NFL season is not an easy task and you can never make everyone happy. My selections are based not only on overall statistics but other measures of performance as well. This list is not the most talented players in the league, but the pest performers of the season. Here are the top 5 players of the 2008 NFL season.
#5. DeAngelo Williams- RB Carolina Panthers
Shocked that Williams is one of the top 5 players of the year? Well you shouldn’t be. DeAngelo Williams has been a major factor in the Panthers current 9-3 record. Williams has not only averaged 4.9 YPC, scored 13 total touchdowns, and had over 1,000 yards total offense; he has no fumbles. Williams is in a split back system and does not get the recognition he deserves. With only 2 games in which he has had 20 or more carries, Williams has still managed nearly 1,000 yard rushing season with over 10 rushing touchdowns with 4 games in the regular season left to play.
#4. Michael Turner- RB Atlanta Falcons
1200+ rushing yards and 13 touchdowns after 12 games. If you had to guess who would be the first running back in the league to accomplish those numbers you would have probably guess Tomlinson, Portis, or maybe even Larry Johnson, but not Michael Turner. The Atlanta Falcons have been the surprise team of the year and Turner has been a big part of it. Everyone saw flashes of brilliance from Turner as a backup to LT in San Diego, but no one quite expected his game to be at this level in the first year as a starter. Turner is 3rd in yards (103 behind Peterson) and 1st in rushing TD’s.
#3. Anquan Boldin- WR Arizona Cardinals
Boldin has been the most explosive receiver if not overall player all year. Boldin missed two complete games due to one of the most dangerous hits I have ever witnessed against the New York Jets. The time off and surgery seemed to give Boldin super powers. In the next three games after his return, Boldin had 22 catches for 240 yards and 5 touchdowns. Through week 13 in only 10 games Boldin has managed 11 touchdowns and 942 yards receiving on 78 catches. One can only imagine his statistics for the year if he had not missed 2 games. Boldin has been the best wide receiver of 2008.
#2. Kurt Warner- QB Arizona Cardinals
Kurt Warner is a contender for MVP and for good reason. Warner has benefited from one of the best receiving groups ever assembled. Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, and Stevie Breaston make a trio that is near impossible to stop. Warner has 24 passing touchdowns and 3,741 passing yards with 4 games left. Warner will contend with Brees down the stretch for the most passing yards. Warner has proved all doubters wrong by having a season that stirs up talks about a possibly hall of fame induction when it’s all said and done. Warner has been fantastic this season and will lead the Cardinals into the playoffs.
#1. Drew Brees- QB New Orleans Saints
Brees is can make an average receiving group look spectacular. Brees leads the league in passing, is tied for first in touchdowns, has been sacked 9 less times and lost 5 less fumbles than Kurt Warner. Drew Brees is by far the best overall player in the NFL of 2008. Brees has lost some of his most dangerous targets (Colston, Bush) for several games and has still been able to put up phenomenal numbers. The Saints have struggled to a 6-6 record thus far but that has been due to a struggling defense. If Brees and the Saints stay healthy expect a late playoff push from New Orleans. Drew Brees has had a MVP worthy season and deserves acknowledgement for the way he has led the Saints through a devastating amount of injuries within the team.
Why did I pick DeAngelo Williams over Adrian Peterson? Peterson has more fumbles, less touchdowns, and they have an equal yards per carry mark at 4.9 YPC. DeAngelo Williams deserves to be considered one of the best backs in the NFL for 2008. Please list your top 5. Here are the next few that would be on the list.
Honorable Mention: Adrian Peterson, Clinton Portis, Thomas Jones, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Forte, Larry Fitzgerald