Minkah Fitzpatrick Snubbed on CBS Sports’ NFL Top 100 Players’ List

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By: CJ Lester
SteelerNation.com

 

Three days ago, CBS Sports Analyst Pete Prisco released his 2020 NFL Top 100 Players. After looking over the list, I agreed with Prisco’s ranking of a lot of players, but there was one thing that I found completely ridiculous! Prisco’s Top 100 list snubbed one the Pittsburgh Steelers’ key defensive playmakers, First-Team All Pro Free Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Prisco has grabbed the attention of a lot of Steelers fans on social media, especially the Twitter universe. We have come to the defense of our beloved free safety that has made a huge impact on our defense in so many ways! We have defended Fitzpatrick being snubbed, not solely based on our fandom of the Steelers, but because of how his statistics stack up against the league’s top defenders.

At one point, Fitzpatrick was in the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year conversation among many NFL Analysts. When the Steelers first traded for Fitzpatrick, a lot of NFL Analysts were scratching their heads. The team had just lost QB Ben Roethlisberger for the season, and a lot of those analysts just wanted to see the Steelers close up shop for the 2019 season. The Fitzpatrick trade gave Steeler fans hope and a sense of pride that the team wasn’t just going to lay down in order to collect a top 2020 NFL Draft pick. That’s just not the Steeler way! After watching how the free safety impacted the team’s defense, a lot of those same analysts that were ridiculing the Steelers decision to trade a first round pick for him, were backtracking on their statements and how wrong they were.

According to CBS Sports, before the Fitzpatrick trade, the team’s defense gave up 30.5 point per game, 320 pass yards per game, 125 rushing yards per game, and had a -32 point differential. After the trade, the team’s defense gave up 17.3 points per game, 176.7 pass yards per game, 107 rushing yards per game, and had a +18 point differential. A lot of good football was played by the entire Steelers defense, but it would be completely asinine to ignore the impact that was made by Fitzpatrick. How can you look at those before and after stats and say that he isn’t worthy of a Top 100 NFL player slot? Along with a lot of pure football fans, Fitzpatrick definitely disagreed with Prisco’s list and Cam Heyward, another Steelers’ defensive star disagreed as well!

 

I want to show you three defensive backs’ statistics and I will let you guess where each player was ranked on Prisco’s Top 100 list.

 

Player A: 69 total tackles, 5 interceptions for 130 yards and 1 touchdown, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries for 79 yards and 1 touchdown.

 

Player B: 53 total tackles, 6 interceptions for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns, 0 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and 0 touchdowns.

 

Player C: 75 total tackles, 4 interceptions for 70 yards and 0 touchdowns, 0 forced fumbles, 0 fumble recoveries and 0 touchdowns.

 

The three players above are Minkah Fitzpatrick, Stephon Gilmore, and Tyrann Mathieu. I’ll keep you wondering which player is Player A, B, and C for now, but the statistics all stack up against each other really well. One player had more tackles, one had more interceptions, and the other forced more total turnovers and capitalized more on those turnovers. Things can get a lot easier for a football team when the defense is able to get the ball back and even more so, when the defense can capitalize on those turnovers themselves by gaining yardage and scoring touchdowns. By looking at the stats, Player A forced and capitalized on turnovers more than the other two players. Player A is Fitzpatrick, who was, by the way, left off of Prisco’s Top 100 NFL Players list, Player B is 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, was ranked number 6 on Prisco’s list, and Player C is Prisco’s top ranked safety at number 34, Tyrann Mathieu. How is it possible to have these three players so far apart on a Top 100 list when their statistics are so similar? You can actually argue more so for Fitzpatrick being snubbed for Defensive Player of the Year as opposed to him not being a top 100 NFL Player! I know a lot of Steelers “block out the noise” from outside sources, but with the ability to have the world at our fingertips, it’s really hard to not see these very bad takes and address them, and in Fitzpatrick’s words, it just adds “fuel.” Fuel to an already hungry defense that didn’t get the season outcome they desired a season ago after dominating opponents can be a very dangerous thing for future opponents on the 2020 schedule, so when the Steelers’ defense wreaks more havoc in 2020, and with Minkah Fitzpatrick getting his hands on several turnovers next year and continuing to make an impact on this elite defense remember a few things. We can be thankful for the hard work and dedication of the Steelers defensive unit, but we can also thank Pete Prisco for this very bad take.

 

Isn’t it ridiculous that Minkah Fitzpatrick would be left off of anyone’s Top 100 NFL Players list? Sound off in the comments section below, on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

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