Joe Flacco, Ed Reed, Ray Rice named to NFL Network top 100 list

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was named to the NFL Network list of the top 100 players of 2013 tonight along with former Ravens free safety Ed Reed and Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice.

Flacco, the Most Valuable Player of February's Super Bowl, is ranked 19th overall in balloting from NFL players after previously ranking 74th in 2012 and 90th in 2011.

A former NFL Defensive Player of the Year who's the NFL's all-time active leader with 61 interceptions, Reed signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Texans after the Super Bowl.

He's ranked 18th on the list.

"He's amazing," Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch said of Reed. "You respect him because of what he's able to do. When you see him back there, you always have to be aware of where he's at."

Named to the past two Pro Bowls, Rice has rushed for 1,000 yards each of the past four seasons to establish a new franchise record. He's ranked 13th on the list.

Rice ranks second in Ravens franchise history with 5,517 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns behind Jamal Lewis.

Last season, Rice rushed for 1,143 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 61 passes for 478 yards and a touchdown.

Rice's dramatic fourth-and-29 conversion against the San Diego Chargers was shown on a highlight reel during his selection.

Flacco drew praise from Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey during the television program unveiling the list. Flacco delivered a 70-yard game-tying touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones against the Broncos in a double-overtime victory.

"He's tough," Bailey said. "I don't know how he does it. When it's time to turn it on, he has the ability to turn it on. He's clutch. He can throw the ball 80 yards."

Flacco is the Ravens' all-time leading passer with 17,533 yards and 102 touchdowns. He was signed to a $120.6 million contract his offseason.

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis expressed frustration at a sidearm screen pass Flacco completed to Rice in an AFC wild-card playoff win.

"It was kind of disheartening," Mathis said. "It was the perfect play."

During the playoffs, Flacco had 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions.

He outdueled New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the AFC championship game with three touchdown passes.

Brady was shown on the Patriots bench watching Flacco, praising his willingness to hang in the pocket and absorb hits after getting rid of the football.

"He's about to get smoked," Brady said, "and he just launches it."

Six other players from the Ravens' roster last season were previously named to the list.

That includes Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (42nd), former NFL Defensive Player of the Year outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (56th), strong safety Bernard Pollard, who was ranked 87th and is now with the Tennessee Titans after being cut by Baltimore in March, Pro Bowl kick returner Jacoby Jones (88th), former Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who was ranked 93rd and was traded to the San Francisco 49ers after a contract dispute, and tight end Dennis Pitta (100th).

awilson@baltsun.com

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