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NFLGround >> Polamalu & the NFL's Most Irreplaceable Players


1/16/11 1:40 AM
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Kliquid
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Edited: 01/16/11 1:41 AM
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An article I wrote, ranking the most irreplaceable player on each NFL team... Comments appreciated!

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Power Ranking Troy Polamalu and the Most Irreplaceable Player on Each NFL Team

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/574167-power-ranking-troy-polamalu-and-the-most-irreplaceable-player-on-each-nfl-team

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Every NFL team is built in different ways but perhaps no team is more built around a player’s individual skill set than Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu. Experts constantly talk about the Steelers defense as being “a completely different unit”—and not in a good way—when Polamalu is out.

Though Ben Roethlisberger or James Harrison are often considered the best player on the team, it is Polamalu who is actually the most irreplaceable.

This concept got me thinking and I started to realize that there are quite a few situations like this in the NFL. So who are the most difficult to replace players on each NFL team, and how important are they, really?

Read on to find out.


Read more:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/574167-power-ranking-troy-polamalu-and-the-most-irreplaceable-player-on-each-nfl-team#page/4

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32. Cincinnati Bengals—Jonathan Joseph, Cornerback
31. Carolina Panthers—Jon Beason, Linebacker
30. Seattle Seahawks—Earl Thomas, Safety
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Josh Freeman, Quarterback
28. New York Giants—Chris Snee, Guard
27. Buffalo Bills—Steve Johnson, Wide Receiver
26. Washington Redskins—Brian Orakpo, Linebacker
25. Jacksonville Jaguars—Maurice Jones-Drew, Running Back
24. Kansas City Chiefs—Jamaal Charles, Running Back
23. Denver Broncos—Champ Bailey, Cornerback
22. Atlanta Falcons—Roddy White, Wide Receiver
21. St. Louis Rams—Steven Jackson, Running Back
20. New York Jets—Nick Mangold, Center
19. Chicago Bears—Julius Peppers, Defensive End
18. Detroit Lions—Calvin Johnson, Wide Receiver
17. Minnesota Vikings—Jared Allen, Defensive End
16. Arizona Cardinals—Larry Fitzgerald, Wide Receiver
15. San Diego Chargers—Philip Rivers, Quarterback
14. Houston Texans—Andre Johnson, Wide Receiver
13. Baltimore Ravens—Haloti Ngata, Nose Tackle
12. Miami Dolphins—Jake Long, Tackle
11. Philadelphia Eagles—Mike Vick, Quarterback
10. Oakland Raiders—Nnamdi Asomugha, Cornerback
9. San Francisco 49ers—Patrick Willis, Linebacker
8. Tennessee Titans—Chris Johnson, Running Back
7. Green Bay Packers—Clay Matthews, Linebacker
6. Cleveland Browns—Joe Thomas, Tackle
5. Dallas Cowboys—DeMarcus Ware, Linebacker
4. New Orleans Saints—Drew Brees, Quarterback
3. Pittsburgh Steelers—Troy Polamalu, Safety
2. Indianapolis Colts—Peyton Manning, Quarterback
1. New England Patriots—Tom Brady, Quarterback


Thanks in advance. :)
1/16/11 11:35 AM
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qp222
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I don't think every team has an irreplaceble player

my list is short and reserved for Superbowl Winners

Ed Reed, Polomalu, Manning, Brady, Brees,

possibly Aaron Rogers and/or Darel Revis if they win the big one


1/16/11 3:33 PM
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Doomsday
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Jamaal Charles is probably extremely accurate. Offense no go w/o him.
1/16/11 4:04 PM
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SecondBase
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"my list is short and reserved for Superbowl Winners

Ed Reed, Polomalu, Manning, Brady, Brees,"


Ed Reed has not played in the Super Bowl, let alone won one.

1/16/11 5:59 PM
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qp222
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my bad

he'd still make my list though, ironically over ray lewis who did win a superbowl
1/16/11 7:31 PM
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Kliquid
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Why is a player (especially some random position like cornerback) more irreplaceable if he wins the Super Bowl with his team?
1/17/11 9:51 AM
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419
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A true shutdown corner allows a defense to do things they couldn't do without him.
1/17/11 10:19 AM
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419
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Edited: 01/17/11 10:35 AM
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Polamalu should be ranked higher than Brady. In 2009, the Patriots went 10-5 without Brady. Last year, the Steelers went 3-0 in games Polamalu finished, but had a losing record in games where he didn't play. Additionally, the guys who play on losing teams shouldn't be ranked as high.
1/17/11 4:52 PM
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Kliquid
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419 - A true shutdown corner allows a defense to do things they couldn't do without him.


Sure, but winning or not winning a super bowl doesn't make a player good or not good.

Nnamdi Asomugha is a better corner than any of the scrubs that Pittsburgh has had, and they could be on their way to their THIRD Super Bowl in recent years.

Doesn't mean Nnamdi isn't better.

The Raiders have had pretty good pass defenses almost the entire time they've had Nnamdi, and a lot of that comes from the fact that he literally shuts down whatever player he's covering.

419 - Polamalu should be ranked higher than Brady. In 2009, the Patriots went 10-5 without Brady. Last year, the Steelers went 3-0 in games Polamalu finished, but had a losing record in games where he didn't play. Additionally, the guys who play on losing teams shouldn't be ranked as high.


In fairness, that Patriots roster was significantly better than the one that they have right now. They also missed the playoffs. And they scored 179 points less in 2008 than they did in 2007 -- that's over 11 points per game difference.

Brady's impact is unbelievably huge.
1/17/11 6:01 PM
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419
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"Sure, but winning or not winning a super bowl doesn't make a player good or not good."

This thread isn't about good, it's about irreplaceable.
1/17/11 6:18 PM
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419
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The Steelers missed the playoffs last year and went 5-6 in games where Polamalu didn't play. In 2008, he played in every game; Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl. This year, he missed two games, a loss to the Jets and a victory over Carolina. Polamalu allows Pittsburgh's defense to do things that nobody else can.
1/17/11 11:52 PM
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TheRealJoker
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"Mathews was the 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year when he made 51 tackles while adding 10 sacks and a forced fumble."

No he wasn't. Other than that, cool article.
1/18/11 4:31 PM
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Nanook
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^^ Right school (USC), wrong player..

2009 Rookie of the Year: Brian Cushing.
1/20/11 4:45 AM
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Kliquid
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TheRealJoker - "Mathews was the 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year when he made 51 tackles while adding 10 sacks and a forced fumble."

No he wasn't. Other than that, cool article.

 Derp. Stupid mistake. I should have just said what he was, which is a bigger deal, as he was a Pro Bowler as a rookie.
1/20/11 4:46 AM
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Kliquid
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419 - "Sure, but winning or not winning a super bowl doesn't make a player good or not good."

This thread isn't about good, it's about irreplaceable.

 Yes, but winning a Super Bowl or not winning a Super Bowl as a team really doesn't make any difference on an individual.
1/20/11 10:58 AM
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419
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The word "irreplaceable" suggests that the team would not perform as well without that particular player. Team performance is measured by victories. Do you think it's a coincidence that the top three players on your list have six rings between them?
1/20/11 12:47 PM
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Kliquid
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419 - The word "irreplaceable" suggests that the team would not perform as well without that particular player. Team performance is measured by victories. Do you think it's a coincidence that the top three players on your list have six rings between them?

 There are only a handful of players in the NFL who are legitimately the difference between their team being a Super Bowl winner or not.

Just because a team doesn't win the Super Bowl does not mean a player isn't important to his team's success. A team could win 3 games a year but an individual player could still be very irreplaceable on their roster. On the flip side, a player could be on a 14-win team and not be that important to his team's success. There's a lot more that goes into it than simply wins and losses.
1/20/11 12:49 PM
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419
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"There are only a handful of players in the NFL who are legitimately the difference between their team being a Super Bowl winner or not."

Aren't those players the topic of this thread?
1/20/11 5:05 PM
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None So Blind
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Brees is definitely one, I don't think the Saints win 5 games in a season if he dies in a car wreck or some such....
1/20/11 6:10 PM
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Kliquid
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419 - "There are only a handful of players in the NFL who are legitimately the difference between their team being a Super Bowl winner or not."

Aren't those players the topic of this thread?

To some extent, yeah. The ones that ARE legitimate game-changers and potentially the reasons that their teams win the Super Bowl are pretty much at the top of the list.

Other than that, it's full of players who are just helping get wins on teams that aren't likely to win many Super Bowls. 

Every team has an irreplaceable player but not every team is a Super Bowl contender. Simply being the most irreplaceable player of a Super Bowl contending team doesn't automatically make you better than a player who's NOT on a Super Bowl contending team, either.

For example:

Nick Mangold is who I listed as the Jets' most irreplaceable player and his team may very well win the Super Bowl this year, but he is not as valuable to his team as DeMarcus Ware is to the Cowboys. The Jets could still be decent without Mangold -- it'd be tough and they'd have to change a lot of what they do on offense, but they could get by. The Cowboys, defensively, would be completely screwed. Their defense was at least decent all year because they had perhaps the best pass-rusher in the league. Take Ware away and I don't see any reason to believe that the Cowboys aren't instantly THE WORST defense in the league. Their secondary is that bad.
1/20/11 7:52 PM
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419
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Worse than Houston's?
1/22/11 8:06 AM
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Kliquid
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 OK maybe not worse than Houston's. LoL.
1/22/11 10:00 AM
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TheRealJoker
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1/22/11 2:50 PM
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419
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"Every team has an irreplaceable player but not every team is a Super Bowl contender."

Some teams are so bad that removing their key player isn't going to make them any worse.

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