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Four Eagles Make NFL Network Top 100

Posted Jul 10, 2014

On Wednesday night, the NFL Network unveiled the final 10 names of its Top 100 Players of 2014 list. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning took home the title of No. 1, and it’s tough to argue against that, but Eagles fans know that the best players in the league are wearing midnight green. Here’s a recap of the four Eagles players that made the list …

Guards don’t typically receive a lot of love when it comes to national praise. Tackles and centers sometimes catch people’s attention along the offensive line, but often times guards only have their name called during broadcasts if they commit a penalty.

Don’t tell that to Mathis.

Since joining the Eagles in 2011, Mathis has been incredibly consistent. The website Pro Football Focus ranked Mathis as the seventh best player in the league, thanks in part to his streak of 48 games with a positive grade based on their system. Denver’s Louis Vasquez and Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda were the only other guards to crack NFL Network’s Top 100, and the All-Pro Mathis seems to have a firm hold of being one of the top guards in the league, and as defenders will tell you, Mathis’ grip is nothing short of legendary.

Also, Mathis may have the best ride in the NFL (via his Facebook page) ...

Unlike the guard position, the quarterback often gets put in the national spotlight. and in just his second year in the NFL, Nick Foles has become one of the top signal-callers in the league. A 27-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio will do that. Foles blew away even the highest expectations that fans around the league had of the former Arizona Wildcat. He stepped in for an injured Michael Vick, led the Eagles to an NFC East title and gained a reputation as one of the best decision-makers at the quarterback position.

Fourteen quarterbacks made the Top 100 list, and Foles ranked ahead of established names like Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick and Tony Romo. The past 12 months have surely been incredible for the Eagles' quarterback - he tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns against the Raiders, led the Eagles to the playoffs, won Offensive MVP honors at the Pro Bowl, and on top of all of that, he got married earlier this offseason. Eagles fans are anxiously awaiting an encore from Foles in 2014.

After Jason Peters went undrafted out of the University of Arkansas, who would have thought that he’d end up an All-Pro and potential Hall of Fame offensive lineman? He entered the NFL as a tight end in Bufalo, and although he had the athleticism, his coaches saw an opportunity to transition him to tackle. Six Pro Bowl appearances later, it’s safe to say that move was a success.

Peters stands tall at 6-foot-4, 328 pounds, and the times that he gets beat on a play are few and far between. But what makes him such a special player is his agility and quickness on his feet. He can get out and lead the way on a screen pass just as well as he can flatten a pass rusher with a pancake block. Peters signed a new five-year contract after the 2013 season, with the goal of winning a Super Bowl with the Eagles and adding to his legacy as perhaps one of the best tackles in franchise history.

There’s not much to say about McCoy that hasn’t already been said. In his first season with Chip Kelly at the helm, McCoy lived up to his Twitter handle (@CutOnDime25) and then some. He led the NFL in rushing yards and also set the Eagles' single-season rushing record with 1,607 yards. He cemented himself as one of the best running backs in the game and added some more electrifying plays to his highlight reel. McCoy’s Snow Bowl performance against the Detroit Lions (franchise-record 217 rushing yards) will forever be part of Eagles lore, and his elusiveness as a runner ranks among some of the best names to ever suit up.

When players around the league were asked to describe him, some of the phrases that came up were, “A modern day Barry Sanders," “Like playing a video game,” and “A nightmare." He may be a terror for opposing defenses, but to Eagles fans, watching McCoy play is like having a great dream that they don't want to wake up from any time soon.

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