Originally posted on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 5/30/12

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 27: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to throw the ball during the NFL game against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was named the 50th-best player in the league by NFL Network.  It’s a big drop for Manning, who was ranked 2nd overall in 2011.

The network’s reason for Manning’s low ranking is simple:  He didn’t play a down last season.  With that reasoning, wouldn’t it more logical to not put him on the list at all?

“If we’re talking about the impact that a certain player had,” Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark stated, “on the success or failure of his team, then Peyton Manning may need to be number one.”

We agree.  Either Manning’s absence in 2011 — which resulted in the Indianapolis Colts, a perennial playoff team with Manning, going 2-14 –  is reason to proclaim him the best player in the NFL, or reason to exclude him from a 2012 list.  Dropping his rank by forty-eight positions isn’t even logical.

“I think we should keep the Top 100 (list) to players that actually played (last season),”  Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels explained to the network.

After fourteen seasons in the NFL, Manning ranks third in NFL history in regular-season passing completions (4,682), yards (54,828) and touchdowns (399).  ”It was more than just the Colts, the whole NFL was effected by Manning’s absence last season,”  reiterated Arizona Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson.

“Anytime you’re a four-time NFL MVP, you should always be on the list,”  continued Wilson.  ”Even though he didn’t play, I still think there are a lot of players who will say he’s the best player in this league.  Period.  Hands down,”  added free agent running back Thomas Jones.

Manning is the fourth Bronco to make the 2012 list, joining outside linebacker Von Miller (52nd), defensive end Elvis Dumervil (68th) and running back Willis McGahee (98th).  Last season, only two players represented the Broncos (No. 48 cornerback Champ Bailey and No. 58 wide receiver Brandon Lloyd) on NFL Network’s Top 100 list.

What’s your take?  Should Manning be higher on the list?  Should he even be on the list?  Dish out your thoughts in the comments!

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