PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Andrew Whitworth #77 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
ESPN's bloggers get together to produce a top-ten of the league's best left tackles. Awesome. Our team might not be in many top tens, except for maybe teams with the most losses in 2010, but the Bengals best player, Andrew Whitworth, will surely make this list. After all, it's like snow on Christmas morning, a hammer and a nail, Catholicism and Harry Potter, Touchdown Jesus and Solid Rock Church, or a bad Neil McCoy song.
The list according to ESPN's bloggers goes like this, with a definite appearance from Andrew Whitworth.
- Joe Thomas
- Jake Long
- Ryan Clady
- Jordan Gross
- D'Brickashaw Ferguson
- Michael Roos
- Jason Peters
- Marcus McNeill
- Donald Penn (tied for eighth)
- Matt Light
Wait. Let me go through that list again. Surely I missed Whitworth's name. One, two, three, four...
When it was all said and done, the highest vote Whitworth received was from Dan Graziano and Kevin Seifert. James Walker did his best "I'm losing my freaking mind" impression by voting Whitworth as the league's tenth-best NFL tackle with guys like Mike Sando, Bill Williamson and Pat Yasinskas not even submitting a vote for Whitworth.
Really. This is the measure of the informed class of the current ESPN bloggers. Players and coaches screwed Whitworth over in the Pro Bowl after he secured the fan vote.
It's unfortunate too. If ESPN's bloggers actually rated based on the performance of the individual and not the recognition of their names or the curse of the team they played for, they would have noted that Whitworth had one of the best performances in the league last year. Jake Long (6), Doug Free (5), Joe Thomas (5), Jordan Gross (6), Ryan Clady (6) and Matt Light (7) gave up more quarterback sacks than Whitworth, who allowed three.
Two tackles allowed less pressure on their respective quarterbacks than Whitworth. Jake Long and Joe Thomas. But not by much. Whitworth allowed 14 quarterback pressures while Long and Thomas each allowed 12. Donald Penn was rated by Pro Football Focus as the 45th best offensive tackle in the NFL while Whitworth was the best. You're kidding me. Right?
Typically I don't get worked up over subjective lists because, well, they're subjective. Not only is this list fraudulent, it's down right irresponsible and embarrassing.