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Pondering Matt Ryan's absence on 'Top 100' list

The latest ten-pack of "Top 100: Players of 2012" rankings included two noteworthy quarterbacks in Michael Vick and Philip Rivers. I noticed the absence of another quarterback: Matt Ryan.

Debate: "Top 100" surprises
NFL Network continued with the "The Top 100: Players of 2012," rolling out Nos. 61-70. Our analysts debate the rankings. More ...

We've reach the point where I don't expect Ryan to make the rankings at all this year. Ryan was ranked No. 52 in 2011, but my guess is that his fellow players don't respect him as much as they respect Rivers and Vick. Ryan's numbers improved in 2011, but his team's record did not.

Players also vote on the poll after the season is over, and the memory of Atlanta's playoff stinkbomb in New York was fresh in the minds of those voters. There is a sense that Ryan is a very good quarterback that hasn't significantly taken a step forward the last few years. Joe Flacco, on the other hand, rose in the rankings.

Maybe I'm wrong and Ryan will land on the list in the coming weeks. But it's more likely that we'll see Ryan's division rival Cam Newton celebrated.

Ryan was once the cool rising star in the league, but he's reached the stage of his career where more is expected of him.

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