Barry Sanders Is the Most Overrated Running Back in NFL History

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIINovember 2, 2010

As I was watched the countdown of the Top 100 Players in league history on NFL Network, I was astonished to see Barry Sanders ranked as high as number 17.

As I listened to fans argue that the 17th spot was too low for a player of Barry's caliber, I decided that I couldn't hold my tongue any longer. Therefore, I have decided to speak out against the Barry Sanders' apologists.

Sanders may have been a good physical talent, but I don't feel that his career was all that it's cracked up to be.

Players like Franco Harris, Emmitt Smith and even under-appreciated talents, such as Antowain Smith and Kevin Faulk, have something more than just the pure physical tools players like Sanders possessed.

They were winners. Plain and simple.

When I think of the Super Bowl era, I don't think there is much question that Franco Harris and Emmitt Smith hold the two top spots (take your pick) at the running-back position. They accumulated big numbers and, perhaps more importantly, the championship rings.

Flashy numbers may look impressive on a stat-sheet, but they mean little if your team can't get the job done. That was the case with Barry Sanders.

NFL Films always manages to showcase the highlights of Sanders running back, forth, left, right, over and under defenders. However, what did it accomplish?

A 1-5 career postseason record?

That's inexcusable for a player that is as great as many people claim Sanders to be.

Obviously, a running-back doesn't have as much control over his team as a quarterback does and to be one of the true greatest to ever play the game at quarterback, you need three rings at least.

But, to be one of the three greatest running-backs in the 90-year history of the league, you need to have at least one Super Bowl ring. No excuses.

Barry Sanders played ten seasons in the NFL and doesn't have a single ring to show for it.

I don't think asking for him to lead his team to a championship for only ten-percent of his career would be asking all that much and Sanders simply couldn't get the job done.

Was Barry a "good", perhaps even "very good" running-back?


But, is he one of the three greatest to ever play the game?

Absolutely not.

It's extremely disappointing to see Sanders ranked so high at the 17-spot, while real winners like Franco Harris and even guys like Antoine Smith and Kevin Faulk were excluded from the list all together.

Bogus rankings if you ask me.