Not a single Bills player cracked the NFL Network’s Top 100 in 2011, but that’s not the case in 2012. In the second episode of the NFLN’s ‘The Top 100: Players of 2012’
Jackson was ranked 83rd overall after his breakout 2011 season, which was on a record-setting pace before a cracked fibula in Week 11 ended his season after just 10 games. At the time of his injury Jackson was leading the league in yards per carry average (5.5), second in total scrimmage yards (1,376) and third in rushing yards (934). He was also fourth among running backs in receiving yards (442) and had more receptions of 25 yards or more than any other back in the NFL (6).
Naturally Jackson was honored by the ranking.
“It was one of my goals to be on this list,” Jackson told Buffalobills.com. “So to not have a full season and still make the list it’s cool. To be voted as one of the best players in the league by your peers, you always want to be considered one of the best. To do that in a 10-game season is a good thing.”
With the pace Jackson was on he was a shoo-in for the Pro Bowl, but the league removed his name from the AFC team ballot after he was placed on injured reserve. This ranking in the ‘Top 100’ lessens the sting of that missed opportunity.
“For the most part you’re getting voted on by all your peers so it’s the same group of people,” said Jackson. “It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. You didn’t get to the Pro Bowl, but your peers still think you’re one of the best players in the league so it’s something you can hang your hat on.”
Jackson is hopeful that other Bills players will appear on the ‘Top 100’ list before the countdown concludes at the end of June.
“I think Stevie (Johnson) and Ryan Fitz(patrick) both have a chance of being on there on the offensive side of the ball. Along with (Andy) Levitre,” he said. “He was one of the offensive linemen that played consistently through the whole season. Defensive side of the ball I like what Nick (Barnett) did and even what Marcell (Dareus) was able to do. So I think those guys have a good shot too.”
Always one to set new goals Jackson now has a new mark to shoot for this fall.
“Now I want to beat this ranking next year and get a higher ranking in 2013,” he said. “So it’s definitely something to build off of.”
The NFL Network’s ‘Top 100: Players of 2012’ airs every Wednesday on NFL Network at 8 pm ET and concludes with the number one player on June 27th.