Why NFL left off LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson and Marshall Faulk from Top 100 list

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If the first batch of players revealed on the NFL’s Top 100 list is any indication, history will be served. Six of the 12 running backs chosen on the team played in the first 50 years of the professional game, and a seventh, O.J. Simpson, was a rookie in the league’s 50th anniversary season in 1969. It shows the 25 voters looked at the full century of football and not on the gaudy numbers of the past three decades or so, with longer schedules and longer careers.

The running backs were made public Friday night, on the first of six one-hour shows on NFL Network (Fridays through Dec. 27, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT; front seven players are on the docket this Friday). The 25-member committee that voted for the 100 best players put Steve Van Buren, Dutch Clark, Lenny Moore and Marion Motley—none among the top 90 rushers of all time—on the list of 12 and skipped Marshall Faulk, Adrian Peterson, Tony Dorsett and LaDainian Tomlinson—all in the top 15.

I feel for the great players of the TV era who got left off. (I was one of the voters.) I voted for the last running back to win the league MVP, Peterson, and not Campbell. I gave strong consideration to Faulk and Tomlinson. The way it ended up, Emmitt Smith was the only back who played in this century to make it, and he played only the last five of his 15 seasons after 2000. I don’t love that. But I’m glad greats from the early days were honored. Van Buren, a four-time NFL rushing champion in an era when every team ran the majority of the snaps, deserved his spot. Moore was the best runner-receiver of the first 60 years of the pro game, with 63 rushing TDs and 48 through the air; he averaged 128 scrimmage yards a game in the Colts’ championship season of 1958, and ranked in the top 10 in the league in both rushing and receiving yards for an iconic team. Paul Zimmerman called Motley the best running back he’d seen.

It’s tough to measure the contribution of Clark, who rushed for 2,772 yards for the Lions in the thirties, to Tomlinson, who rushed for 11,000 yards more seven decades later. In those days, backs threw and ran and caught. Clark was probably the best all-around back of his day, a six-time all-pro in seven seasons. He was the game’s best drop-kicker, which was a thing then. Clark played only seven years, but that’s how football was in those days … not a lot of long careers. Still, a great player in the thirties, when the game was growing most often painfully, mattered to me as much as a great player in the nineties.

Whittling to 100 was hard too. “This could easily have been 500,” voter Bill Belichick said. Another voter, well-respected Dallas writer Rick Gosselin, said: “The toughest part was keeping in mind that the NFL has been around for 100 years, not just the last 30 or 40, and that there were great players in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s when there wasn’t a lot of tape to watch, nor was statistic-keeping at a premium like it is today. How do you judge an Al Wistert against an Anthony Munoz, an Ed Sprinkle against a Reggie White, a Red Grange against a Walter Payton, a Sammy Baugh against a Brett Favre? In each case, both players were dominant in their eras. But in each case, one player played on television and the other didn’t. Does the heightened visibility of the game’s modern era dictate that one player should be declared better than another? I felt strongly there needed to be a mix of the old with the new.”

The most surprising things about the process? I’d guess—no one was keeping a clock—that the most talkative voter among the 25 was Belichick. A task like this was right up his alley. He has a Ph.D in football history, and it showed in the meetings, when he talked more about the players from the first 30 years of pro football than the last 30. In some cases, he and another influential voter, John Madden, educated the room on why the old timers matter.

One thing that’s notable about the team: We voted for a set number of players at each position group, and we voted in no order. In other words, we didn’t rank running backs 1 to 12 on our ballots; we just voted for 12. There will be 10 quarterbacks, 12 backs, 10 wideouts, five tight ends, seven tackles, seven guards, four centers, seven defensive ends, seven defensive tackles, six middle/inside linebacker, six outside linebackers, seven corners, six safeties, two kickers, two punters and two returners. Do the math and you may howl. We elected 55 players on offense and 39 on defense, with six on special teams. Some may argue it should have been 50-50, or closer than 55-39 offense, and I’d appreciate the argument. But that’s how it was laid out to us.

The committee of 25 had two long conference calls in April 2018 to handle the nominating process. Belichick and Madden were tabbed to pore over film and their own knowledge to issue a report to the committee on the players in the early years of the league. There was a vote to trim the list to 160 in mid-May, after considering the true old-timers recommended by Belichick and Madden. Over a long meeting in late May, final discussions and debates were held. Our votes were due June 15, 2018.

As for the TV show: The NFL matched a professional and smart host, Rich Eisen, with the equally smart Cris Collinsworth and Belichick to host this series. I screened the first two shows, and they’re a good and natural trio. (Eisen and Collinsworth engage Belichick on his love of football cards in show two—that’s a keeper.) Some of the selections, Jim Brown and Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders in the first show, appear on set. Belichick showed he’ll have a future in TV if he ever wants it. He’s into it, and his stories are very insider. A natural love of the game flows from him. Watching Belichick gush over running-back pick Emmitt Smith—with Smith sitting there on set—showed he doesn’t have to be professionally dour.

“I tell you, I never, I’m just … I’m absolutely flabbergasted at the way you could consistently run the ball for positive yards,” Belichick said, in a fanboy voice that I wasn’t sure existed in him. “I’ve never seen anybody take so many two-yard gains and turn ‘em into eight-yard plays.”

Smith, the all-time leading rusher, was clearly moved by what Belichick said. “Bill, coming from you, that is monumental.”

Then a couple of Smith clips were shown, and Belichick took over the conversation, asking Smith: “Tell us how you ran the ball … Tell me what you saw.

Best thing about the science of his game I’ve heard from Smith. He said: “For me, it was always playing chess against a defensive player, trying to get the defensive player to be undisciplined. Force him to make a decision that’s really not the right decision. And that is pressing the line of scrimmage, pressing the run play as far as I can, to get him out of position and overcommit.”

Just a great discussion about how a great running back did his job.

Belichick drops some interesting news in the show airing this Friday about Mick Jagger and a Rolling Stones tour from the early seventies that impacted football history. (Belichick the reporter, discussing a Stones concert, with Mick Jagger being carried offstage in the midst of some mayhem … I’ll say no more, other than there’s a story I never thought I’d hear.)

One other thing about more recent football history that I never realized, per Belichick: In April 1995, when Belichick was the Cleveland coach and de facto personnel czar, he made a draft-day trade with San Francisco. Belichick dealt the 10th pick in the first round to the Niners for first, third and fourth-round picks in 1995 and San Francisco’s first-round pick in 1996. The Browns, of course, shocked the football world in November 1995 by announcing a move to Baltimore. Belichick was fired at the end of 1995, and the franchise started over in Baltimore. The new team, christened the Ravens, had one parting gift from Belichick—the 49ers’ first-round pick in 1996. That pick turned out to be the 26th pick in the 1996 draft, and it turned out to be a player who would torment Belichick in his next head-coaching job in New England for 13 seasons: Ray Lewis.

The first two shows I screened amounted to a celebration of football, and of football history. We’ll be arguing about the results, and maybe about the process. But the TV result looks very good.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America here

Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

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It’s Patrick Mahomes vs Tom Brady this Sunday night on NBC and Peacock as the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) head to Raymond James Stadium to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) in a rematch of Super Bowl 55. See below for additional information on how to watch the big game between the greatest of all time and the heir to the throne.

RELATED:  How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

Mahomes is currently in his fifth season as the Chiefs starting quarterback. The 2019 Super Bowl MVP signed a 10-year, $450 million extension in July 2020, which was the richest contract in American sports history by total value. Over the last four seasons (2018-2021), Mahomes has led the league in both passing yards (18,707) and touchdown passes (151). The 27-year-old looks to lead the Chiefs to their seventh straight AFC West Title. Kansas City is the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

At 45 years old Tom Brady, who already holds 7 Super Bowl titles–the most in NFL history, is currently playing in his 23rd NFL season–one that many thought he wouldn’t see after an unpredictable offseason filled with rumorsretirement, and unretirement. But the greatest of all time is back–this time without the comfort of his longtime trusted TE Rob Gronkowski–and is not only facing the challenge of playing with a banged-up offensive line but is also adjusting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

This Sunday night’s game will mark the sixth meeting between Mahomes and Brady. The previous five matchups have been both high-stakes and high-scoring affairs as Brady holds a slight advantage over Mahomes. Here are all of their head-to-head matchups.

Every past matchup between Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes (3-2 overall record):

  1. Oct. 14, 2018 (Week 6) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 43-40. Brady threw for 340 yards and 1 TD. Mahomes threw for 352 yards, 4 TD, and 2 INT.
  2. Jan. 20, 2019 (AFC Championship Game) – Patriots defeated the Chiefs 37-31, in overtime. Brady threw 348 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INT. Mahomes finished with 295 YDS, and 3 TD
  3. Dec. 8, 2019 (Week 14) – Chiefs defeated the Patriots 23-16. Mahomes totaled 283 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. Brady had 169 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.
  4. Nov. 29, 2020 (Week 12) – Chiefs beat the Buccaneers 27-24. Mahomes threw for 462 yards with 3 TD. Brady finished with 345 yards, 3 TD, and 2 INT.
  5. Feb. 7, 2021 (Super Bowl 55) – Buccaneers defeated the Chiefs 31-9 playing on their home field at Raymond James Stadium. Brady threw for 201 yards and 3 TD and was named Super Bowl MVP for a record 5th time.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023

In an interview with NBC’s Maria Taylor for Football Night in America, Mahomes discusses the trademarks of a Brady-led team.

“First off, they take advantage of mistakes,” Mahomes said. “If you make a mistake on the field, if I throw an interception or if you fumble, or if something like that happens, he’s going to make you pay and get points on the board and then he’s going to manage the game.”

Mahomes also knows that while Brady has a knack for capitalizing on mistakes, he does not often make many of his own.

“He’s going to make some plays when he needs to make plays, but at the same time he’s not going to make that big mistake. So you have to go out there and play a near perfect football game to win. Another thing, he’s never out of it and I think that’s something I try to pride myself on as well is never being out of the game. So whenever you play against a Tom Brady-led team, you make sure you keep that foot down on the pedal and try to do whatever you can to finish the game off.”

Patrick Mahomes absorbs Tom Brady’s lessons

Despite the difference in age and experience, Brady and Mahomes are alike in their impact on the game.

“You want to not like Tom but he’s just like the best guy,” Mahomes said. “So it’s hard to not like him, but to be able to play in golf tournaments, and him give me kind of advice and stuff like that. I mean, he’s the GOAT. You want to learn from the best and it’s really cool to have that relationship with him.”

Even when Brady and Mahomes have faced off in high-stakes postseason games, the advice continues. The two met in the 2019 AFC Championship game, when Brady was still playing for the New England Patriots. Both quarterbacks delivered stellar performances, but Brady managed to lead the Patriots to an overtime victory.

Following this loss, Mahomes tells Taylor that he is upset and spends a lot of time after the game sitting in the locker room. But when Mahomes finally walks out, Brady is waiting for him.

“He could be celebrating” Mahomes said. “He’s going to the Super Bowl and everything like that, and all he said to me, ‘Hey, just keep doing it how you’re doing it. You’re doing it the right way.’ And as a young quarterback, you just go out there and play and try to have fun and do whatever you can to put your team in the best position to win.

But when the GOAT’s saying that, he’s saying you’re doing it the right way, it shows you that you are doing it the right way. And so that was big for me”

While Brady has not revealed all his football wisdom to Mahomes, the Chiefs’ signal-caller looks forward to learning more.

“He won’t give me all the secrets yet,” Mahomes said. “But hopefully one day I’ll get the secrets and can put those into my game.”

Patrick Mahomes embraces the Tom Brady mindset

While Brady and Mahomes are competitors, their respect from one another extends beyond the football field into their personal lives. Mahomes and his wife Brittany, have a young girl, Sterling, and are expecting a baby boy.

“You want to be able to be a family man and be with your family and you want to be able to do these different things, where you’re going into businesses and then helping out and shooting commercials and, at the same time, keeping football first.”

One of the biggest lessons Mahomes has taken from Brady is the importance of prioritizing football in addition to consistently improving at the game.

“That’s the greatness in Tom Brady is no matter how much off the field stuff he does, football is always the main priority and he makes sure to keep it that way,” Mahomes said. “And so you watch that and then at the same time you go back to him on the field and he’s always getting better. I feel like every single year he finds something he can get better at. And that’s what I want to do, is I want to keep getting better as my career goes on so that I can play hopefully, maybe not as long as him, but pretty long as well.”


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

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It’s the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, October 2 in a rematch of Super Bowl LV where Tom Brady earned his seventh ring. Sunday’s matchup marks the sixth meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Brady with the 45-year-old veteran holding a 3-2 edge in the series.

RELATED: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl wins, rings, MVPs, losses: Every appearance, NFL stats, records

Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

RELATED:Will Tom Brady make playing beyond 40 more common for quarterbacks?

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) picked up their first loss of the season last Sunday after falling 20-17 to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City struggled offensively in Week 3 as the team was held to just three points in the second half. The Chiefs are still working to fill the void in the passing game since trading star WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in the offseason but according to Mahomes, that doesn’t excuse Sunday’s loss.

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes –  I don’t expect growing pains, offense has to gel together

“I don’t expect any growing pains,” Mahomes told reporters at ESPN.com. “Obviously have new players and you don’t know everybody’s going to respond to tough situations. . . . We’ve got to gel all together. It starts with me. There were certain throws I was putting on guys’ back hips instead of in front of him. There were certain situations where we were just barely off of it.”

Mahomes, who signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension, in July 2020–the richest contract in American sports history by total value–is in his fifth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback and hopes to lead Kansas City to its seventh straight AFC West title. The Chiefs are the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

RELATED: Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady and the Buccaneers (2-1) are also coming off their first loss of the season–a 14-12 defeat at home from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday afternoon. With WRs Mike Evans (suspension) and Chris Godwin (hamstring)–Brady’s top two targets–and Julio Jones (knee) out in Week 3, Tampa Bay’s offense racked up a total of just 285 yards in the loss. Additionally, the team is still adapting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason. Despite some challenges on offense, Tampa Bay’s defense has remained consistent and currently leads the NFL in scoring defense (9.0 pts/gm) and also ranks in the top 5 in total defense.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!