It’s never too early to look at next year’s Hall of Fame class.
Brett wrote about the class of 2017’s Hall of Fame inductees – and some players who were noticeably missing – on Saturday. But what better time than now to peek ahead at who could be inducted in Canton, Ohio in 2018:
1st Time HOF Eligibles for Class of 2018:
LB Ray Lewis
WR Randy Moss
G Steve Hutchison
DE Richard Seymour
LB Brian Urlacher
CB Ronde Barber
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 5, 2017
Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is part of a class that also features fellow linebacker Ray Lewis and wide receiver Randy Moss. Guard Steve Hutchison, cornerback Ronde Barber, and defensive end Richard Seymour each have strong cases for induction because they were among the best at their position of a long, long time.
Even still, Urlacher and Lewis were generational talents who changed the middle linebacker position forever. And Moss was a human highlight reel despite having the unfortunate distinction of being one of the all-time best players to never win a Super Bowl.
Speaking of Super Bowl, here are your Sunday Bullets:
- Matt Ryan is your 2016 NFL MVP. It’s an award that comes with some not-so-happy history, because the last seven MVPs who had their teams in the Super Bowl have ended up on the game’s losing end.
- Also, as an aside: it’s almost inexplicable that Ezekiel Elliott received more MVP votes than teammate Dak Prescott, who won the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award.
- When it comes to NFL wide receivers, Julio Jones is “The Anti-Diva”. No ridiculous displays of emotion. No using the media to get the attention of the coach, quarterback, or offensive coordinator. Nothing but football excellence on the gridiron. Jim Chairusmi of the Wall Street Journal explains how this superstar’s team-first attitude has the Falcons in the Super Bowl – with a good shot of bringing the Lombardi Trophy home to Atlanta.
- If the Falcons are going to win the Super Bowl, Jones will be a major part of the action – even if he isn’t the primary target. Over at Pro Football Focus, Michael Renner breaks down why Atlanta has football’s best play-action offense and how Jones is its X-Factor.
- If the game comes down to a two-point conversion at any point, FiveThirtyEight has you covered. Benjamin Morris analyzes when to go for it, the benefits of going for it, the probability of success and in what statistical moments provide the best opportunities to strike for two-point conversion attempts.
- ESPN’s Matt Bowen has an inside look at New England’s offensive playbook. After highighting Atlanta’s 15 go-to plays, Bowen illustrates the Patriots’ version.
- Hopefully, Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is taking notes on how to orchestrate an offense in a more effective and efficient manner. Because there aren’t too many offensive coordinators in the game as good as New England’s Josh McDaniels and Atlanta’s Kyle Shanahan.
- If only for a moment, can we re-live Devin Hester’s Super Bowl XLI-opening kickoff return touchdown?
- Slap that follow button:
That was a great moment. pic.twitter.com/U8WlS1TLrI
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) February 5, 2017
- Saturday marked the 10-year anniversary of Super Bowl XLI. Which means it was 10 years ago today, you probably woke up wondering how did the Bears waste such a golden opportunity – especially considering how the game started. You’re probably wondering the same thing today. I can’t blame you if you are, because I am, too.
- What if – in an alternate reality – other sports had a winner-take-all championship game? Over at CBS Sports, Dayn Perry explores what it would be like if MLB had its own Super Bowl. In this alternate reality, baseball’s history is altered significantly.
- Ticket prices on the secondary market for Sunday’s Super Bowl saw a small increase in the last few days, but only after a sharp decline earlier in the week. Maury Brown was tracking the Super Bowl ticket prices over at Forbes. In any case, be prepared to shell out a ridiculous amount of money just to get into the building.
- Trying to make the most of Super Bowl Sunday? There is an app for that as Mashable’s Anisa Purbasari and Freia Lobo have the ultimate app guide to the Super Bowl. Everything is covered from a virtual reality experience, to squares, recipes for Super Bowl snacks and what beers to pair with your treats. Happy browsing to those of you who will take in the game in this way.
- Eli Manning and Larry Fitzgerald will share the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, a well-deserved honor for the respective stars of the Giants and Cardinals. Kristie Rieken writes the duo is happy to share the award in this case, especially after losing out on the 2003 Heisman Trophy to Oklahoma’s Jason White.