The Chris O NFL 2010s Half Decade Team

The NFL Half Decade Team for the Decade of 2010-2019

 

Here it is, the Chris O’Keefe NFL Half Decade Team (2010-2014). Now this is a little bit of a misnomer and an odd thing to judge. This is a combination of: what a player has done in the first five years of the decade, what they will do in the remainder of the decade, and how likely they are to make the ACTUAL NFL All-Decade Team. This isn’t just reflective or just predictive, it’s a little of both, and neither necessarily outweighs the other. So, I’m not stating that ALL of these players will make the All Decade Team (or that they are who I believe will in every case), but many of them are likely going to make it. I also did a little less than standard format; I included three tight ends since the two TE system is more popular now. I also ignored fullbacks completely, and picked eight D Linemen and six linebackers, however two of the defensive ends picked are really hybrids. Also while I chose a special teamer, kickers, punters and return men were ignored. Now, without further adieu….

(stats only include through the end of the 2014 regular season and only include regular season stats – ages are for year of 2015 season)

 

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers (32) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro (2x 1st team), 2x MVP, 2x NFC Offensive Player of the Year, 1x SB MVP, 1x AP Athlete of the Year.

Decade Accomplishments: 4x Division Champ, 1x NFC Champ, 1x SB Champ, 2x NFL TD% Leader, 1x NFL Interception % Leader, 2x NFL QB Rating Leader.

Decade Statistics: QB Rec 53-18, 19,777 passing yards, 66.7% completions, 167 TDs, 36 INTs, 7.1% TDs, 1.5% TDs, 278.5 yards per game, QB Rating 110.3, 4QC: 5, GWDs: 8.

Some people will think, ‘was there ever a doubt’....Oh, but there was. Rodgers is incredible but his lock on the decade isn’t as strong as one would seem. First, it can be debated through this midway point Brady has actually been better for the decade. Second, the way Andrew Luck and even Russell Wilson are progressing they could be legitimate claimants to the decade throne by the time it’s all said in done. But as of now, and looking at probable expectations, Rodgers is making the All-Decade Team, so how could he NOT make the half? Aaron Rodgers is a bad man, one that I fear. I fear when my team has to play him, I fear my team possibly having to play him; shoot...I fear that my team is in the same LEAGUE as him...

 

Tom Brady  (38) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 5x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro (1st team), 1x MVP, 1x NFL Offensive Player of the Year, 2x AFC Offensive Player of the Year, 1x SB MVP.

Decade Accomplishments: 5x Division Champ, 2x AFC Champ, 1x SB Champ, 1x NFL Passing Touchdown Leader, 1x NFL TD % Leader, 2x NFL Interception % Leader, 1x NFL QB Rating Leader.

Decade Statistics:  QB Rec 63-17, 22,414 passing yards, 63.7% completions, 167 TDs, 44 Ints, 5.7% TDs, 1.5% INTs, 280.2 yards per game, QB Rating 99.5, 4QC: 14, GWDs: 17. 

It's odd to think about, but Brady was very close to talking Half Decade first team honors. That's insane when you think his age. There is still no quarterback that is more surgical in the league, as Brady seemingly prefers to dissect a defense one dink and dunk paper cut at a time. The biggest thing preventing Brady from garnering the top spot here was age. Rodgers is already a better quarterback overall and Brady is six years Rodger's senior and should only have so much left in the tank. Still, if there was ever one quarterback not to bet against to play at a high level until he's 50, it would be Tom Brady. 

 

Running Backs

 

Adrian Peterson  (30)– 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro (1x 1st team), 1x MVP, 1x NFL Offensive Player of the Year

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Rushing Leader, 2000 Yard Club, 1x NFL Rushing Yards per Game Leader.

Decade Statistics: 1139 Rushing Attempts, 5706 rushing yards, 46 rushing TDs, 125 Receptions, 886 receiving yards, 4 receiving TDs.

The laboratory prototype at running back- big, fast, strong, able to recover from injuries with apparent super human speed. He did just miss a year to suspension but maybe that gives the workhorse a much needed rest. Few backs in the history of the league if any have been a better combination of everything a running back should be. 

 

Shady McCoy (27) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1st team), 1x NFC Offensive Player of the Year.

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Rushing Leader, 1x NFL Rushing TDs Leader, 1x NFL TDs Leader.

Decade Statistics: 1306 Rushing Attempts, 6155 rushing yards, 40 rushing TDs, 260 receptions, 1974 receiving yards, 10 receiving TDs.

'Shady' is nicknamed appropriately as he is shifty and sneaky when it comes to his quickness and elusiveness. A change of scenery may be a good thing for him, it may not. Not a true workhorse back build.

 

Jamaal Charles (29)  – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (2x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Rushing TDs Leader, 1x NFL TDs Leader.

Decade Statistics: 992 Rushing Attempts, 5379 rushing yards, 31 rushing TDs, 195 receptions, 1697 receiving yards, 17 receiving TDs.

A speedy freak that is probably the best big play back of the decade; he is beyond explosive. His ability to be a threat in any way imaginable with any 'touches' is incredible. Charles is by far the best player on the Chiefs for the decade. 

 

Marshawn Lynch (29) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champion, 2x NFL Rushing TDs Leader, 1x NFL TDs Leader

Decade Statistics: 1382 Rushing Attempts, 6094 rushing yards, 54 rushing TDs, 146 receptions, 1246 receiving yards, 8 receiving TDs. 

Beastmode is almost assuredly the most powerful elite back in the game. When it comes to grounding out tough yards, or imposing fear in opposing players, there isn't a back that is better. 

 

Wide Receivers

 

Calvin Johnson (30) -1st team

Decade Accolades: 5x Pro Bowl, 4x All Pro (3x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 2x NFL Receiving Yards leader, 1x NFL Receptions Leader, 2x NFL Receiving yards per game leader.

Decade Statistics: 450 receptions, 7334 receiving yards, 53 receiving TDs.

Someone alert the autobots, Megatron is clearly from another world. He is a massive receiver, with incredible hands, great strength, superb balance and lightning speed. There has never been and it's hard to imagine there will ever be a more talented 'total package receiver.'

 

Antonio Brown (27) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1X NFL Receiving Yards leader, 1x NFL Receptions Leader.

Decade Statistics: 390 receptions, 5259 receiving yards, 28 receiving TDs.

When it comes to route running and ability to get open, Antonio Brown may be peerless. His ability to dart in and out of cuts is incredible. Although not a behemoth of a receiver he is much stronger, and fights much better for the ball than he gets credit for. A wide receiver who could easily challenge the season reception record at some point, Brown is a true master of his craft. And we aren't sure he reached his zenith. 

 

AJ Green (27) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (both 2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics: 329 receptions, 4874 receiving yards, 35 receiving TDs.

The man is a freak. Face it, Cincy doesn't make the playoffs seemingly every season recently for any reason other than A.J. Green is one of the game's elite offensive forces. Speed, power, ability to track the ball. Just feed him and most games will end in a victory. 

Image result for dez bryant one handed catch

 

Dez Bryant (27) - 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 1x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments:  1x NFL Receiving TDs leader.

Decade Statistics:  381 receptions, 5424 receiving yards, 56 receiving TDs.

There may not be a more aggressive and determined receiver in the league. Bryant doesn't just fight for jump balls, he obliterates defensive backs that stand in the way of him reaching the ball at its high point. No one is a better player with the ball in the air, perhaps ever. 

 

 

Being possibly the most stacked position in the league I felt it was necessary to list ‘the near misses’....

 

Julio Jones

Odell Beckham Jr.

Demaryius Thomas

 

 

Tight Ends

Gronk (26) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Receiving TDs leader. 

Decade Statistics:  308 receptions, 4379 yards, 54 receiving TDs. 

It's quite possible that Gronk is the most unique and most devastating offensive weapon in NFL history. The only thing stopping Gronk at all so far in his career has been, well Gronk (his injuries). His ideal body size, along with a tenacious yet carefree streak, and sneaky athleticism and speed makes Gronk the entire package. 

 

Jimmy Graham (29) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Receiving TDs leader. 

Decade Statistics: 386 receptions, 4752 receiving yards, 51 receiving TDs. 

A freak in his own right, he is clearly overshadowed by Gronk. Less because he doesn't have massive ability himself and more because Graham isn't the same multi-dimensional player (to say he is a poor blocker is an understatement) and not as devastating at his best. Graham, though, is one of the best pass catching tight ends in the annals of the game. His great size and basketball skills help him box out defenders to easily snag passes coming his way. 

 

Jason Witten (33) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics: 420 Receptions, 4537 receiving yards, 30 receiving TDs. 

The old reliable of the decade. Witten isn't as flashy or dominant as the players from the previous decade (Gonzalez and Gates) or the current decade (Gronk and Graham), but his ability to seemingly just put up quality numbers with borderline great play for such a stretch is beyond noteworthy. In some ways he is the Derek Jeter of TEs. 

 

Offensive Lineman (position designation)

 

Maurkice Pouncey (25 - C) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 4x All Pro (2x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

An athletic monster at the position, Pouncey is an extremely impactful player at the center position since he first entered the league. He is clearly the most talented player at a position that has had something akin to a renaissance.

Image result for nick Mangold nasty

 

Nick Mangold (31- C) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

A gutty behemoth of a man that enforces his will on an opposing defensive lines, Mangold is a great center in today’s day and age where a center means more than ever, and needs to be more athletic and intelligent than ever as well.

 

Marshal Yanda (31 - G) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x Super Bowl Champ

Yanda is a man that moved from college tackle to NFL guard, and boy was it the right decision. His quickness and speed allow him to be excellent pulling and blocking opponents out of nowhere. He also has great work ethic. Don’t be surprised if Yanda makes the Hall. He seems just like the type of player to do it.

Image result for Jahri Evans blocking

 

Jahri Evans (32 - G) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 5x Pro Bowl, 4x All Pro (3x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Evans is a mammoth and powerful guard that dominates the line of scrimmage. At times he looks like the clear cut best offensive lineman in the league. No success in football is in a vacuum, and clearly Evans, along with his linemates, has helped Drew Brees immensely.

 

Kyle Long (27 - G) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 1x All Pro (2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Long is shockingly the best player of Howie’s children. Based on the hype from college, one would have expected Chris to be that difference maker that Kyle has become. Maybe if Long had stayed at one college during his career he’d have come out with more buzz. Regardless, Kyle is now showing the league what he is made of. At 6’6", 313 pounds, Long is a very large man, making him able to play tackle or guard, but with that flexibility it’s easier to move him to guard on this team. He’s fast and agile.

 

Mike Iupati (28 - G) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 1x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Iupati is a massive guard at 6’5" and 331 pounds. He is a beast and strong as an ox. He is tenacious and powerful. And while he doesn’t have the most accolades so far, he should be in line to add to them. Very few interior linemen in the league have the balance, agility and power that Iupati has.

Image result for Joe Thomas blocking

 

Joe Thomas (31 - LT) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 5x Pro Bowl, 5x All Pro (4x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Thomas is the gold standard of this team. No one is as consistently excellent at their position as he is. In fact, if I had to pick an ‘All Decade Player’ Award, it would go to Thomas. He’s been a Pro Bowler and All-Pro ever season of the decade (and a Pro Bowler each of his eight years in the league). You could also argue he’s been the best at his position each and every year. Thomas is a grizzly of a man and if he played anywhere other than the offensive line, he’d for sure be a household name.

 

Tyron Smith (25 - T) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments:  None

Smith is a baby when you consider what he’s done in the league and his age, but his talent is undeniable. Anchoring what is probably the best line in football – the Dallas Cowboys O Line – Smith stands out. He’s a cornerstone for a franchise as a stud tackle, and he was drafted first out of all the O-Linemen in the 2011 Draft.

 

Jason Peters (33 - T) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 4x All Pro (2x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

You’re a pretty good player if you’ve made seven straight Pro Bowls. The only thing keeping Peters from making the 1st team here is the fact he’s 33. He’s a great rags-to-riches/ diamond in the rough story being one of the greatest undrafted players in NFL history. Someone who should waltz into Canton….he felt like a necessity on my Half Decade Team.

 

Joe Staley (31 - T) - 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Staley is a talented grinder is a premier player. He’s been a starter for San Francisco for nine seasons now and has made the Pro Bowl the past four. He’s athletic and a powerful cut blocker who is very impactful in the run game.

 

Defensive Line

 

DTs

Image result for Ndamukong Suh sack

 

Ndamukong Suh (28) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 4x All Pro (3x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2010)

Decade Statistics: 241 tackles, 36.0 sacks, 1 Int, 15 Passes Defended, 2 Forced Fumbles

There is no figure, defensively, more hulking and feared than Ndamukong Suh. Every time your team plays him (tell me it’s not true), you fear for your QB's safety. Suh is a vicious presence and to say he pushes the envelope is an understatement. He is one of the easiest members of this team to elect, clearly being deserving of any accolades and praise he has received.

 

Geno Atkins (27) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics: 176 Tackles, 33.0 Sacks, 0 Ints, 7 Passes Defended, 7 Forced Fumbles.

Atkins has become a much better pro player than could have been expected of a 4th round pick. He is a nightmare for opposing offenses. A torn ACL in 2013 seemed to slow him down a bit but he should be back to form. He is stout against the run, and creates strong pressure in the passing game.

 

Gerald McCoy (27) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics: 153 Tackles, 27.0 Sacks, 0 Ints, 13 Passes Defended, 4 Forced Fumbles

As versatile as big men come on the defensive line, McCoy gives ultimate flexibility to any defensive system he is put in. He can play in a 3-4 or 4-3 seamlessly. He’s an excellent combination of size, strength and athleticism, which is why he went third overall in the 2010 NFL Draft.

 

Haloti Ngata (31) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 4x All Pro (2x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x Super Bowl Champ

Decade Statistics: 265 Tackles, 19.0 Sacks, 2 Ints, 22 Passes Defended, 4 Forced Fumbles

Ngata seems a little long in the tooth for someone that would make this team, until you realize how dominating he’s been this decade. Already four Pro Bowls (and All Pros) deep, Ngata has been a force in the center of the defensive line. A true nose tackle who is a colossus at 6’4" and 345 pounds (listed maybe higher). Haloti has earned his spot, and garnered a ring as well.

 

DEs

 

JJ Watt (26) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Sacks Leader (2012), 2x NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014)

Decade Statistics:  295 tackles, 57.0 sacks, 1 Int, 37 Passes Defended, 12 Forced Fumbles.

There has only been one defensive player equal to Watt’s greatness in the history of the league, and his name is Lawrence Taylor. There has never been a player Watt’s size, with his athleticism that could create the havoc he does. And the funny thing is Watt could probably play anywhere. He’s moonlighted as a very capable tight end, and if you find the YouTube clips, he can sling that rock with perfect precision and a tight spiral, too. It seems like anything going forward for Watt now, after the last few seasons, is going to be underwhelming. The hype is too much.

 

Robert Quinn (25) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 1x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics:  155 tackles, 45.0 sacks, 0 Ints, 11 Passes Defended, 14 Forced Fumbles.

Quinn is the beast that makes the St. Louis defense run. He is extremely athletic and greatly disruptive. Quinn gets overshadowed by other players but is constantly in the conversation of the best defensive lineman in the game. While he isn’t as flashy as some of the others, he is a bad, bad man.

 

DeMarcus Ware (33) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Sack Leader (2010)

Decade Statistics: 265 tackles, 62.5 sacks, 2 Ints, 6 Passes Defended, 11 Forced Fumbles.

Many thought after leaving Dallas, with the injuries he’d suffered mounting, he’d be left for dead in the league. However, Ware has come back very strong, posting a double digit sack season in his first year with Denver and making the Pro Bowl yet again.

 

Cameron Wake – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics:  225 tackles, 57.5 sacks, 0 Ints, 12 Passes Defended, 12 Forced Fumbles.

Wake may be the biggest surprise of the defensive lineman on this team. He’s a borderline make, who is great at certain things (pass rushing) and struggles at others (like setting the edge). Wake is not the player many of the others are on this list, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been special in his own right.

 

 

LBs

Image result for Justin Houston

Justin Houston – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 1x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Sack Leader (2014)

Decade Statistics: 234 tackles, 48.5 sacks, 1 Int, 19 Passes Defended, 7 Forced Fumbles

Houston is an absurd talent. Incredibly explosive off the edge, he is a defensive coordinator's pass rushing dream and a quarterback's nightmare. Houston can bull rush or use solid technique. He was a bit of a tweener coming out of college but clearly translates well into the NFL. 

 

Von Miller (26) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2011), Butkus Award (2012)

Decade Statistics: 232 tackles, 49.0 sacks, 1 Int, 9 Passes Defended, 13 Forced Fumbles.

Miller is exactly what you want in today’s NFL. An impact edge rusher who can make opposing QBs consistently uncomfortable and timid. If the ball isn’t out almost immediately, Miller will get there. The only issue with Miller is, will he be able to stay on the straight and narrow? He’s a bit of a head case, already has drug issues, and has had a major injury in his career….but all those things be damned. Miller is still an elite player and one worthy of consideration for the best of his generation.

 

Luke Kuechly (24) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2012), NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2014), Butkus Award (2014)

Decade Statistics: 502 tackles, 6.0 sacks, 7 Ints, 29 Passes Defended, 1 Forced Fumbles

Kuechly is just a pup, but nothing shows that he can’t be one of the all-time greats at the position. His instincts are off the charts, and to say he is a tackling machine is an understatement. He makes big play after big play and is a force to be reckoned with. The sky is the limit.

Image result for Clay Mathews

 

Clay Matthews III (29) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 5x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1x 1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champ, Butkus Award (2010)

Decade Statistics: 268 tackles, 51.0 sacks, 5 Ints, 25 Passes Defended, 11 Forced Fumbles.

The Bloodline, he’s a ferocious competitor and creates mayhem for opposing offenses. It doesn’t seem to matter where he lines up either, outside linebacker or inside, he is all over the place. While he may not be the best player from his family ever, the fact that he is being mentioned with such lofty players should tell you just how good he is.

 

Navarro Bowman (27) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1st Team)

Decade Accomplishments: Butkus Award (2013)

Decade Statistics: 482 tackles, 9.0 sacks, 3 Ints, 23 Passes Defended, 7 Forced Fumbles

The 49ers had the best stud LB in the league a few years ago, his name was Patrick Willis. Then shockingly out of nowhere, his understudy Navarro Bowman supplanted him as the best defensive player on the team, and the best LB in the league. Bowman wasn’t highly touted out of college, he wasn’t particularly fast, but was considered a good pro-prospect, and was drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft. He became an inside linebacker after Takeo Spikes left the 49ers and in his second season tallied 143 tackles.

 

Bobby Wagner  (25) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 1x Pro Bowl, 1x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champ

Decade Statistics: 428 tackles, 9.0 sacks, 5 Ints, 15 Passes Defended, 0 Forced Fumbles

After the 2014 season, Wagner got a vote for MVP. Yes, you read that right. With Rodgers, Watt, and Brady, Bobby Wagner got a MVP vote. That says something for a linebacker. The Seahawks allowed 20.4 ppg without Wagner, and 6.5 ppg with him last season. He is a demon on the field, seemingly able to do anything his job could ask.

 

Cornerback

Image result for darrelle revis interception

 

Darrelle Revis  (30) – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champ

Decade Statistics: 202 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 10 Ints, 60 Passes Defended, 3 Forced Fumbles.

There has never been a more technically sound cornerback, but that alone doesn’t make Revis great. What makes Revis great is his ability to effortlessly shadow the game's elite receiver. Actually, shadow doesn’t even give his play justice. He is CLOSER to receivers than their shadow. He is basically stuck to whomever he covers. Just gliding along daring quarterbacks to throw his direction. His ball hawking skills are also unparalleled in the league right now.

 

Richard Sherman – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champ

Decade Statistics: 225 tackles, 1.0 sack, 24 Ints, 70 Passes Defended, 5 Forced Fumbles.

It just wouldn’t work. You can’t play a huge cornerback with middling speed and expect him to cover in the NFL. Guys are too fast, too quick, too explosive...except, it did work. Not only has it worked, but Sherman is perhaps the best CB of the decade. Sure, he’s had a TON of talent around him to help him out in the secondary (Earl Thomas for the lion's share) and sure, he only plays one side of the field and Seattle has a relatively individualized system (well, the way they play coverage comparative to most of the NFL). But Sherman is a beast. He does a lot of talkin’ but he can because he’s done a lot of walkin’.

 

Patrick Peterson – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (1st team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics:  216 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 15 Ints, 50 Passes Defended, 0 Forced Fumbles.

Peterson is the prototypical CB. Strong, athletic, long and tall enough to be a presence. He’s extremely fast, he ran a 4.34 40 at the combine. Peterson is young enough, and talented enough that you could expect him to be near the pinnacle of his profession for years to come.

 

Chris Harris Jr. (26) – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 1x Pro Bowl, 1x All Pro (2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics: 261 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10 Ints, 49 Passes Defended, 1 Forced Fumble.

Harris has cat-like reflexes and plays, it seems, almost any type of receiver pretty well (although having Aqib Talib with him seems to help a great deal). He’s young and came from out of nowhere but seems to be just constantly improving. Is this an early edition to the team? Sure, but is there a great chance he deserves it? Yep.

 

Safety

Image result for Earl Thomas playmaker

 

Earl Thomas – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 4x All Pro (3x 1st team, 1x 2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champ

Decade Statistics: 467 tackles, 0 sacks, 16 Ints, 41 Passes Defended, 9 Forced Fumbles.

ET is fast, he’s explosive, he can cover almost the entire field. He’s intelligent and cunning, and rarely makes a mistake. It’s clear to see that his entire package makes him the best safety in the game. His ability to play safety valve and field general makes him the most important player on the Seahawks defense.

 

Eric Weddle – 1st team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 5x All Pro (2x 1st team, 3x 2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x NFL Leader in Fumble Returned TDs, 1x NFL Leader in Interceptions.

Decade Statistics:  535 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 15 Ints, 52 Passes Defended, 5 Forced Fumbles.

Weddle is a ridiculously productive safety that seems to always play at a high level and gets little acclaim or limelight compared to what you’d expect. Maybe it’s his lack of hair like Polamalu or the lack of a ring, but Weddle is an extremely impactful and talented safety.

 

Kam Chancellor – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champ

Decade Statistics: 440 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 8 Ints, 30 Passes Defended, 6 Forced Fumbles

At 6’3" and 235 pounds, he’s a titan for the safety position, and he plays with giant strength as such. Kam delivers crushing hits, and his ability to match up with tight ends gives the Seattle secondary great flexibility and benefit.

 

Jairus Byrd – 2nd team

Decade Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 2x All Pro (2nd team)

Decade Accomplishments: None

Decade Statistics: 333 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 13 Ints, 24 Passes Defended, 11 Forced Fumbles.

This was a very hard pick as after the ‘Big 3’ safeties for the decade so far, there is a pool of similar ‘very good’ players. Byrd is a solid player with obvious talent. Does he deserve to be here? Maybe, maybe not. He’s probably the ‘weakest’ member of the entire team. But shoot, somebody gotta be the fourth safety.

 

 

Special Teamer

Matthew Slater

Decade Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl, 3x All Pro (1st teams)

Decade Accomplishments: 1x SB Champ

Slater is the preeminent special teamer in the league. There isn’t really much else to say about it. He makes plays. They may not be a lot of plays, but they are impactful nonetheless. You can be sure Belichick, a former special teams coach, loves the things Slater brings to his team, week-in and week-out.

 

Coach

Bill Belichick – 1st team

Decade Record: 63-17

Honors: 1x NFL Coach of the year (2010)

Decade accomplishments: 5x Division Champ, 2x AFC Champ, 1x SB Champ

This was a no brainer. And it’s even crazier when you compare him to his peers the entire time he’s coached. The gap from Belichick to the next best coach of his era is enormous…..and that’s before we consider BB might be the best GM the football world, and possibly sports history, has ever seen.

 

Pete Carroll – 2nd team

Decade Record: 50-31

Honors: None

Decade accomplishments: 2x Division Champ, 2x NFC Champ, 1x SB Champ

People will remember the play call he made to ‘lose’ the Super Bowl against the Patriots last year, but that should not be representative of his place in the league. He’s clearly one of the best coaches in the NFL, and his ability to envision a team and create success is stunning. He decided to build a big and bulky, while slow, secondary to change the prototype of what an NFL defense could look like.

 

 

Unfortunately for some, Father Time is creeping up on them. Some players missed the team as ‘guys that were just too old’: Justin Smith, Logan Mankins, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Peyton Manning, Vince Wilfork, Haloti Ngata, Drew Brees. It’s not like they can’t still play, or that they couldn’t finish out the decade looking good, it’s that the players above have more ‘left in the tank’ and All Decade Teams do tend to get influenced (at least to some extent) by the most recent thing(s) seen. Although this is a Half Decade Team, it’s still taking into consideration a player’s actual chance to make the real All Decade Team. Hope you enjoyed the read. 

 

 

The Half Decade Team