The NFL counted down the 100 Greatest Players in NFL history and Jerry Rice was the last man standing. Rice was ranked number 1 NOT Walter Payton. Payton was ranked 5th behind Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor and Jim Brown.
Not to take anything away from Jerry Rice but Payton deserves the Number 1 spot. Hands down. Payton was the complete football player.
Payton ran the ball exceptionally with power, grace and vision. He
caught the ball like a receiver and delivered bone-crushing blocks like a
For a majority of Payton's career, he played on some really bad Bears
teams. Payton was the entire offense and their only option. Teams knew the ball was going to Payton. He also played quarterback, was split out wide and an emergency punter.
Rice on the other hand, played on great 49er teams. His career benefited from being thrown to by Joe Montana and Steve Young. Not to mention, Rice played for probably the greatest offensive mind in NFL history, Bill Walsh.
To put it in perspective, Payton played for 12 years while Rice played for 18 years, an amazing feat in itself. Rice, however, didn't take the punishment Payton took throughout his career. In 12 years, Payton gained 21,264 yards from scrimmage while Rice gained 17,140 yards in his first 12 years.
If you put him on the Bears in the late 70's and early 80's he'd be a
completely different player. Payton would've succeeded on any team.
Aside from being ranked fifth, Payton was ranked behind Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor and Jim Brown.
I'm not going to rant about Montana because everything that applies to Rice applies to Montana too. If you put him on the Bears in the late 70's and early 80's he'd be a completely different player.
Taylor revolutionized the linebacker position because of his size and speed but he should be dropped down for being a malcontent off the field.
Brown too was revolutionary and dominant player but wasn't the complete player Payton was.
NFL is wrong in ranking Payton 5th in this elite list. Payton is the REAL Number 1.