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Sports Then and Now



Best of the Decade: NFL Rules The Roost in Professional Sports 2

Posted on December 31, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts

Peyton Manning passed for more more than 42,000 yards in the decade while leading the Colts to double digit victories nine times.

It was a banner decade for the NFL with many franchises building new stadiums and posting record attendance. The caliber of the play on the field was arguably the greatest of all time with many superstars putting their stamp on the decade.

Unlike previous decades where a Super Bowl blowout was a common occurrence, the 2000’s saw six Super Bowls decided by a touchdown or less, including dramatic endings to the final two Super Bowls played in the decade.

Offenses generally ruled the roost with high-powered attacks lighting up scoreboards across the league. However, defense was still an important component of most championship teams.

Because NFL careers are often short, selecting the top 10 players of the decade is a challenge because many of the best players at the end of the decade were not even in the league when the decade started.

Most of the players on this list were key performers on teams that achieved playoff and often Super Bowl greatness. Please feel free to share your thoughts on who else you think is deserving of being considered among the best of the decade.

Who Was the NFL's Best Player of the Decade?

  • Peyton Manning (45%, 134 Votes)
  • Tom Brady (28%, 82 Votes)
  • Ladainian Tomlinson (6%, 17 Votes)
  • Ray Lewis (6%, 17 Votes)
  • Troy Polamalu (4%, 13 Votes)
  • Champ Bailey (3%, 9 Votes)
  • Derrick Brooks (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Randy Moss (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Tony Gonzalez (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Ed Reed (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Marvin Harrison (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Jonathan Ogden (0%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 296

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Below is our list of the top players of the decade:
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