Archive for the ‘Best of NFL File’ Category

For the first time in my blog I am not concerned about NFL stats; I am concerned about how the players played in college.  College football has had almost 150 seasons of different players from all around the country.  Obviously its hard to really say who the best college football players are/were, so the way I am doing this is I am just going to list players who I feel had incredible college careers.  It doesn’t matter what school you went to, what years you played, or how many championships you won; all I care about is how did you perform in those short years that they were in college.  I am sure there will be players that are not on this list, but I will do my best to outline who I feel had the best college careers.

Herschel Walker RB Georgia – From the first time he touched the ball he was impressive.  Just in his freshman year he rushed for 1,891 yards and 18 TDs.  Also, as a freshman he finished second in the Heisman race being beat out by Marcus Allen.  As a freshman he was a huge part in leading the Bulldogs to a National Title.  There was not a time where Walker failed to impress; even his work ethic was better than you could find in any other player.  As a junior he won the Heisman Trophy by rushing for 1,752 yards and 16 TDs.  There are few players who could even come close to the career that Walker had and earned his spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Archie Griffin RB Ohio State – Griffin is the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner and he delivered some epic performances.  Between the years of 1972 and 1975 Griffin rushed for more than 1,400 yards in 3 seasons; just in his junior year he rushed for 1,695 yards and 12 TDs.  By the time he ended his college career he totaled up 36 TDs, 5,589 rushing yards, and averaged 6 yards per carry.  There is still yet to be another player to win two Heisman trophies and during his time; there was no better RB than Griffin.

Barry Sanders RB Oklahoma State – Obviously cant have this list without including Barry.  All I need to say is “The 1988 season” and people will know what I am taking about.  Just in 1988, Sanders rushed for an amazing 2,850 yards, 37 TDs, averaged 7.6 yards per carry, and averaged 237.5 rushing yards per game.  He also easily won the Heisman Trophy during the 1988 season and it was well deserved.  I dare you to find a better season for a RB then that; and after that season Barry went pro. 

Tony Dorsett RB Pittsburgh – He was not the biggest guy on the field, but he knew how to make people miss.  Tony led the Panthers to the 1976 National Title and won the Heisman Trophy in the process.  Dorsett made first-team All-American three times and when he graduated he had rushed for 6.082 yards which was a record that stood until 1998.  Dorsett also still hold numerous team records and made the College Football Hall of Fame. 

Bo Jackson RB Auburn – “Bo Knows”.  Between the years of 1982 and 1985; Jackson terrorized defenses across the country.  In the 4 years Bo played at Auburn he totaled up 4,303 rushing yards, 43 TDs, and averaged 6.6 yards per carry.  His best season came in 1985 when he rushed for 1,786 yards in a season which earned him the Heisman Trophy.  After he retired the University of Auburn retired his number and named him to the college Hall of Fame.

The NFL was founded back in 1920 and during that time the NFL was mostly a run oriented  league and teams were interested in drafting the best RB to make a championship team.  In the NFL today the league is dominated by WR that will go over 1,000 yards every season.  In todays game we measure how good a team is by who is “catching the ball”.  When your team has a solid WR you can make the big plays and score a lot of points where the run game takes more time and it is easier to defend the run then to defend the pass.  In this article I have gone over each NFL team and decided who I think was/is the best WR to ever play for that franchise.  Just like my previous articles, this is a subjective opinion and I am open to hear other peoples opinions on the subject.  I am basing my decisions on stats, years played, and how they impacted their team.

Denver Broncos – Rod Smith: Smith was a Bronco for 12 seasons and in 8 of those seasons he had over 1,000 yards.  He was a huge part in the Broncos Super Bowl run against the Falcons in Super Bowl 33; and he also made 3 Pro Bowls in his career.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Jimmy Smith: Even with the Jaguars being a young franchise they had one of the better receivers of our time.  Smith ranks in the top 20 for receptions and receiving yards all-time.  In 1999 he led the NFL in receptions with 116 and led the Jaguars to a 14-2 record.  Smith was a very underrated receiver but he will still be considered the best Jaguar receiver to date.

Houston Texans – Andre Johnson: The Texans are another young franchise but already they have one of the best receivers in the game today.  Andre Johnson has really been the only good receiver the Texans have ever had; so far.  Johnson has made 5 Pro Bowls and has had five 1,000 yard seasons.  He also has had 3 seasons with over 100 receptions, and has led the league in receptions on two different occasions. 

Baltimore Ravens – Derrick Mason: The Ravens have always been a defensive team and the Ravens have never really had a dominant receiver.  Mason had bounced around to other teams, but while on the Ravens he had four 1,000 yard seasons and was a steady and reliable receiver for the club for six seasons.  Mason played a total of 14 seasons in the NFL, and in my opinion his best years were when he was a Raven.

Miami Dolphins – Mark Clayton: This was Marinos main receiver in the 80’s.  Clayton was a five time Pro Bowler and had five 1,000 yard seasons.  With Marino throwing him the ball he was targeted a lot during his career, and when the Dolphins brought in Duper, it just opened up more lanes for Clayton.  In 1984, Clayton set an NFL record for touchdown catches in a single season with 18; that was also the same year Marino broke the record for TD passes in a season.

Oakland Raiders – Tim Brown: The Raiders have had some very pure receivers, but none were as good as Tim Brown, “Mr. Consistent”.  Brown went to the Pro Bowl nine times and had nine 1,000 yard seasons.  Brown was not only a threat on offense, but he was also a special teams threat on punt returns and kickoff returns.  Brown played with the Raiders for 16 seasons and had he been on a different team he could have been one of the best of all-time.

San Francisco 49ers – Jerry Rice: This was a simple choice.  Rice is probably the best WR to ever play in the NFL and he was a huge part of the Championship years for the 49ers.  Rice was a 13-time Pro Bowler, won 3 Super Bowls, Hall of Famer, Super Bowl MVP, and NFL MVP.  Rice holds pretty much every receiving record there is to hold and current receivers will be chasing his success for years to come.  Rice had over 200 career touchdowns, over 22,000 receiving yards, and over 1,500 receptions.

Minnesota Vikings – Cris Carter: Even though Carter started in Philadelphia; he will always be known for his success in Minnesota.  Carter was a touchdown machine and sometimes he was criticized him for “only catching touchdowns”.  Carter had seven consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, five straight double TD seasons, and he was a part of the 1998 Vikings that broke almost every scoring record.

Arizona Cardinals – Larry Fitzgerald: The Cardinals have had plenty of incredible receivers but none have been more reliable then Fitz.  He has now been to five Pro Bowls and almost took his team to a Super Bowl victory.  Fitz is known for being a very physical yet agile player who can make a catch anywhere on the field.  Fitz led the NFL in receiving touchdowns twice and led the NFL in receptions in 2005.  Fitz still has a lot of years left in the NFL and he could end up being one of the best of all-time.

Buffalo Bills – Andre Reed: I know some people may think I should have chose Eric Moulds, but pound for pound I think Reed was the greatest for the Bills.  Reed was a 7 time Pro Bowler and he played in 4 Super Bowls.  He never got to win a Super Bowl, but he was a very physical receiver who was not scared to go across the middle.  By the end of his career he totaled up over 13,000 receiving yards and 951 receptions.

Carolina Panthers – Steve Smith: Smith is a very small receiver, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed.  The Panthers are still a young franchise, but anyone who plays for the Panthers in the future are going to have a hard act to follow.  He has made it to 5 Pro Bowls, 2005 Comeback Player of the Year, and in 2005 he led the NFL in receiving yards, TDS, and receptions.  Smith is also a return specialist which makes him even more dangerous.  In my eyes, he is similar to Tim Brown.  He has already totaled up over 750 receptions and over 11,000 receiving yards.

Cincinnati Bengals – Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson: The Bengals have had good receivers, but Johnson was their first dominant receiver.  Johnson has made 6 Pro Bowls and helped lead the Bengals to their first division title in 15 years.  Johnson was a very vocal player who always put on a show, especially when he got in the end zone.  Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in 2006 and holds numerous Bengals franchise records.  By the time he retired he totaled up 766 receptions and 11,059 receiving yards.

San Diego Chargers – Lance Alworth: Hands down this is the greatest WR to ever put on a Charger uniform.  On 3 separate occasions Alworth led the league in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.  In 1963 Alworth led the Chargers to their first Championship and was also named Player of the Year.  Lance was named to 7 All-Star teams, made the Hall of Fame, #19 was retired, and made the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.

New England Patriots – Stanley Morgan: I was kind of torn between Morgan or Wes Welker, but as an overall player I think Morgan is better.  Morgan played with the Patriots for 13 seasons and led the NFL in yards per catch three different times.  In 1985 the Patriots became the AFC Champions and Morgan was a huge part of that.  Morgan made the Pro Bowl four different times, over 10,000 receiving yards, 72 TDs, and 557 receptions.

New York Giants – Frank Gifford: I almost decided to put Amani Toomer, but Gifford was a beast in his time.  Gifford player RB and WR and in 1956 Gifford was the NFL MVP and helped the Giants win the Championship that same year.  Gifford played 13 seasons with the Giants and was an eight-time Pro Bowler.  In 1977, Gifford was selected to go to the Hall of Fame.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mark Carrier: Honestly, there really has never been a dominant WR to play for the Bucs.  They have had a long line of good receivers, but the person I picked was Carrier.  Carrier played for the Bucs for six seasons and in 1989 he caught 86 passes for 1,422 yards, and 9 TDs.  He did make the Pro Bowl in 1989 and ended his career with 48 TDs and 569 receptions.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Lynn Swann: The Steelers have had a long line of great receivers and this was a real hard decision.  Swann is now in the Hall of Fame, made the Pro Bowl three times, and led the NFL in receiving TDs one time.  Swann may not have had the highest numbers as some of the other Steeler greats, but what he did for the Steelers is what made him great.  Obviously John Stallworth and Hines Ward are both fantastic players, but overall Swann in my eyes will always be the best Steeler receiver.

Detroit Lions – Herman Moore: We all know that Calvin Johnson will most likely one day be the best Lion receiver, but until that time comes; Herman Moore will be the best.  Moore holds almost every franchise record for the Lions and holds career marks in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.  In 1995, Moore set an NFL record for receptions in a single season with 123, he also had 14 TDs and over 1,600 receiving yards.  He made it to four Pro Bowls and he was the fastest player in NFL history to reach 600 receptions.

New Orleans Saints – Joe Horn: The Saints had a real rocky start, but Horn was a steady receiver for the club.  Horn was a Pro Bowler four times, he had three 1,300 yard seasons, and two 90 reception seasons.  He played 6 seasons for the Saints and was one of the most reliable players on the offense.  Even being on a losing team he still found a way to be one of the best Saints receivers of all-time.

Chicago Bears – Harlon Hill: The Bears have always been known for having some of the greatest running backs of all-time.  When it comes to receivers there have never really been an explosive Bears receiver except for Hill.  Harlon Hill won the NFL MVP in 1955 and he was also the Rookie of the Year in 1955.  Even though he had a lot of injuries he still managed to make 3 All-Pro teams.

Dallas Cowboys – Michael Irvin: One of the most fantastic receivers to ever play.  Irvin was known as “The Playmaker”, and he was the main target in Dallas for a long time.  Irvin made five different Pro Bowls, 3 Super Bowl Championships, 1991 Pro Bowl MVP, and in 2007 was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  When Irvin retired he racked up 750 receptions, 11,904 receiving yards, and 65 touchdowns.

Indianapolis Colts – Marvin Harrison: People sometimes really forget how good Marvin really was.  He was a quiet guy who just did his job day in and day out.  Harrison had eight consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, and had double digit TD seasons in all of those years.  He never had a season with less than 82 receptions.  He led the NFL in receptions twice, receiving yards twice, and TDs once.  He still holds the record for receptions in a single season with 143.

New York Jets – Don Maynard: He played during the AFL days in the 1960s.  He was a 4 time Pro Bowler and he led the league in receiving yards and TDs in 1969.  He spent 12 seasons with the Jets and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.  He ended his career with 633 receptions, 11,834 receiving yards, and 88 TDs.

St. Louis Rams – Isaac Bruce: Bruce played 14 seasons with the Rams and during that time he established himself as one of the best in franchise history.  Bruce was the Rams Rookie of the Year and has gone to 4 Pro Bowls.  The Rams eventually retired his number, and took the Rams to their first Super Bowl victory.  Combined with Torrey Holt the Rams had one of the best passing games in the NFL.  Bruce ended his career with 1,024 receptions, 15,208 receiving yards, and 91 TDs.

Atlanta Falcons – Terance Mathis: Eventually either Julio Jones or Roddy White could take this title away from Mathis, but for right now Mathis is the best to ever play for the Falcons.  Mathis played with the Falcons for 7 seasons and took them to the Super Bowl for the first time.  He made the Pro Bowl the first year he was on the team and he eneded his career with 689 receptions, 8,809 receiving yards, and 63 TDs.

Cleveland Browns – Gary Collins: In the history of the Browns you will find a good number of running backs, but not so many good receivers.  Collins  won the MVP award in the Championship game in 1964 when he caught 3 TD passes in one game.  Collins still ranks on top of the franchise in receiving TDs and is second in receptions only behind Ozzie Newsome.

Washington Redskins – Art Monk: Monk was the first player to record over 100 receptions in a season and over 900 receptions in a career.  Monk won 3 Super Bowls and was a three time Pro Bowler.  Monk played for the Redskins for 13 seasons and when he finally retired he had 940 receptions, 12,721 receiving yards, and 68 TDs.  It took him awhile, but he finally was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.

Seattle Seahawks – Steve Largent: When Largent retired in 1989 he was the career leader in all major receiving categories in receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089), and TDs (100).  He also held a record for most consecutive games with a reception with a 177-game streak.  Largent made it to 7 Pro Bowls and was aprt of the 1980s All Decade Team.  The Seahawks were not a good team at the time and it is amazing to see what Largent could do with little or no help around him.

Tennessee Titans – Drew Hill: The Oilers played a run and shoot offense which put a lot of pressure on the QB.  So Hill was targeted a lot by Warren Moon in his career.  Hill was a two time Pro Bowler and had five 1,000 yard seasons and was part of one of the most prolific passing attacks in NFL history.  When he finally retired he totaled up 634 receptions, 9,831 receiving yards, and 60 TDs.

Kansas City Chiefs – Otis Taylor: Taylor is an easy choice to be the best Chiefs receiver.  Taylor made the Pro Bowl two times and was a key piece in the Chiefs first Super Bowl Championship.  He also led the Chiefs to an AFL Championship.  Even 40 years after Taylor retired he still is second in all major receiving categories.

Green Bay Packers – Sterling Sharpe: In his short 7 year career he made 5 Pro Bowls and led the NFL in receptions on three different occasions.  He also led the NFL in receiving TDs two different times.  His brother Shannon Sharpe also became another superstar in the NFL.  He broke Art Monks single season receptions record in 1992 with 107 receptions; then he broke his own record the following year by catching 112 passes.  In 1994, his 18 TD receptions in a single season was second to Jerry Rice.

Philadelphia Eagles – Harold Carmichael: Harold stood at an amazing 6 foot 8 and he just towered over everybody.  he made the Pro Bowl 4 times and he played for the Eagles for 13 seasons.  In 1973, he led the NFL in receptions and receiving yards.  he was one of the main reasons the Eagles went to the Super Bowl, but fell short to the Raiders.  Carmichael was named to the 1970s All Decade Team and will remain the best receiver to play with the Eagles.

Basically what happens every year is that some players will do very well and some players end up being busts.  This post is me predicting players who will have surprising seasons and also players who are expected to do well but will tank.  Whenever I draft my fantasy team I am always thinking; “Is this player for real?”  Last year I drafted a rookie named Doug Martin and I just had my fingers crossed that he would do well.  Low and behold; Martin tore it up and now he is a top 5 pick the very next year.  But on the flip side; a few seasons ago I drafted a guy named DeMarco Murray because almost every single website said “Murray is a huge sleeper!!!”  Murray totally tanked on me and spent more time watching the game then playing it. 

Now that I have taken the last few months and had time to analyze every player and all their opponents I am able to do my predictions on who I think will actually do well and who I think will bomb.  I am going to go through each team randomly and do my predictions.  I know that some of these may not make much sense; but based on my years of football knowledge and all the studying of past season, draft picks, schedules, and new coaches I think I have a firm grasp on most of these players.

Arizona Cardinals – Larry Fitzgerald is going to have a great year this year now that he has a somewhat decent QB throwing him the ball.  Palmer is not the best QB in the NFL but he threw for 4,000 yards with the Raiders and none of those receivers compare to Fitz.  The Cardinals also have a better run game now which will take some pressure off the passing game.  Look for Fitz to have 1,200 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns.

San Francisco 49ers – This may be obvious but based on everything that happened in the offseason I really think that Kaepernick is going to have a breakout year.  Since the season ended Kap has been a training machine and it would not surprise me if he throws for 4,000 yards, 30 touchdowns, and rushes for 800 yards,  The 49ers have a stellar running game which takes a lot of pressure off the passing game; not to mention the 49ers also have a great offensive line to make all this happen.

Seattle Seahawks – Most people would have put Percy Harvin for Seattle, but with his being injured now I really think that the Seattle defense is going to be a nightmare.  Seattle picked up a lot of key players in the offseason, such as; Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to help beef it up.  I think the Seattle defense could rack up 7 touchdowns, 40 sacks, and 25 interceptions.  I feel bad for any team that has to go against this defense.

St. Louis Rams – There is not a lot of people that I could put on this list, but honestly I think Sam Bradford could have a surprising season.  The Rams added a lot of new faces to the offense that could really help Bradford.  The addition of Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, and Jake Long will really help Bradford get the Rams back on track.  I really think that Bradford could get 3,800 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and over 350 completions.

Atlanta Falcons – Even with all the talent on this team I am really looking forward to seeing Steven Jackson in the back field.  Michael Turner was the RB for Atlanta last year and he was slow and getting up there in age, but he still got in the endzone 10 times.  Jackson is much quicker, more powerful, and better hands.  I predict Jackson getting 1,300 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

New Orleans Saints – The Saints are another team with a lot of talent but the player that could have a great year would be Darren Sproles.  I am not putting Brees in here because he always does good and everyone expects that.  Sproles had some injury issues, but now that he is healthy he adds an element to the Saints that makes them very hard to beat.  Sproles is more of a pass catching RB than a runner but I could still see him getting 500 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, 85 receptions, 750 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns.  When you put that into fantasy numbers it equals out to be awesome.

Carolina Panthers – I am going the other way on this one.  People are expecting a better Panther offense this year, but I am not.  They are trying to restrict how much Newton runs which is going to take away from the offense.  Jonathan Stewart in on the PUP list, DeAngelo is not playing his best football, and Steve Smith is still playing great but he is getting up there in football years.  I am not really predicting anything great out of Carolina.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – There is a lot of buzz around Doug Martin right now, because of what a good 2012 year he had and can he duplicate that in 2013.  My humble opinion is that Martin will still do well, but it would be hard to re-produce what he did last year.  If anything I think his numbers will drop a little from last year.  I could see him getting 1,200 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground.  Martin is also used as a receiver and that is where I think he will do very well.  He could get 60 receptions for 500 yards.

Chicago Bears – This one is all based on his health.  When Matt Forte is healthy he is a beast and a half, but that’s only when he is on the field.  Lets just say that Forte will be healthy for the whole 2013 season.  If that be the case then I can safely say tha he could rush for 1,400 yards and 7 rushing touchdowns.  But, lets not forget that he is a great safety valve for Cutler.  He could also pull in 65 receptions for 600 yards.  That means I am predicting Forte (healthy) to have 2,000 all-purpose yards.  It could happen.

Minnesota Vikings – We all know that Peterson will tear it up…duh.  I do have another player on the Vikings that people are overlooking.  Greg Jennings is going to do a lot better than people think.  Remember that he is filling a spot for a guy named Percy Harvin; remember him?  I do not care what the QB situation is in Minnesota because the Vikings will find a way to get Jennings the ball.  I seriously think Jennings will pull in 83 receptions for 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns.  You may be laughing right now, but you will be wishing you had drafted him come playoff time.

Detroit Lions – Everyone is talking about him so I might as well join the party.  It is obvious that the Lions got a steal by picking up Reggie Bush.  The Lions pass the ball more than any other team and Stafford dumps off a lot of passes to the RB’s.  Bush is going to have the best year of his career in 2013.  He will easily pull in over 90 receptions and have close to 1,000 receiving yards.  He might split some carries with Leshoure, but he will still rush for 800 yards too.  If you have Reggie Bush on your team then you are sitting pretty.

Green Bay Packers – The Packers had a lot of moves happen in the offseason but one thing remained the same; Aaron Rodgers.  It really does not matter what receivers you put around him; because Rodgers will get the ball to them.  I am sure you’re saying “well of course Rodgers will do well he always does well”.  What I am predicting here is that Rodgers throws for over 5,000 yards…yeah that’s right.  And to add to that I also predict he puts up 42 touchdown passes.  MVP year for Mr. Aaron Rodgers.

Dallas Cowboys – Ill make the first part of this short and sweet.  I predict that the Dallas run game will remain in the toilet just like it did in 2012.  The Cowboys ranked pretty much dead last in every rushing category in 2012 and I do not see that getting any better this year.  But I do see something interesting over the horizon.  Tony Romo has had an up and down career but based on what I have read about 2013 I really think this might be Romo’s year.  Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten are all healthy and ready to go and it would not surprise me to see Romo throw for 4,200 yards and have 32 passing touchdowns.  It may be a bit of a stretch, but the Cowboys have a pretty simple schedule this year and Romo has all his weapons available….think about it.

Washington Redskins – For the first time in a long time I am excited about a Redskins player; and I am not talking about RGIII.  I am referring to Alfred Morris who came out of nowhere last year and rushed for 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns.  I think he will have another solid year this year since he is just a bulldozer.  As long as the Redskins keep feeding him the ball he could have 1,500 rushing yards and another 13 touchdowns which is not bad for a second year player.  The only downfall to Morris is that he does not catch a lot of passes, but that could change in 2013.

New York Giants – The one player that I am actually excited about from New York is Brandon Myers.  Manning has needed a solid TE for awhile, and I think Manning will look his way a lot especially close to the endzone.  Last year Myers was targeted over 100 times and caught 79 of them…and that was with the Raiders.  Now he has a QB who knows how to throw a football and it would not surprise me if Myers pulls in 89 receptions for 900 yards and 9 touchdowns.  I really think that Myers could give Jimmy Graham a run for his money.

Philadelphia Eagles – Finally LeSean McCoy is healthy….FINALLY.  Now McCoy is in an offense that runs the ball a lot and that will play well with McCoy.  He just needs to stay healthy and there is nothing stopping him from having 1,300 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns.  Since he is also used as a receiver he should be able to have 70 receptions for 650 yards to boot.

 

When it comes to an offense many people think of the QB; I on the other hand always look at the running backs.  Even though the NFL is more of a passing league now; you cannot be an effective team without a solid running game.  I am taking each team and I am going to put who I think was the best running back for that team.  I am basing this on what they did for that team; not just how many yards they got.  Some teams are kind of a no-brainer; but there are a few teams where it will be really hard to choose who was the greatest of all time.  I know that people will have different opinions than me so feel free to put who you think were the best for each team if you think I have over looked someone.

Buffalo Bills – Thurman Thomas: I chose Thomas because he was an integral part of the Bills offense for a long time and he did help get the Bills to 4 straight Super Bowls.  OJ Simpson was a close second.  Thomas totaled up 11,938 yards in his time with the Bills and is now in the Hall of Fame.

Miami Dolphins – Larry Csonka: Tough running and strength is what separates Csonka from other Miami running backs.  He rarely ever fumbled the ball and he was one of the toughest running backs to tackle.  He totaled up 6,737 yards as a Dolphin and won 2 Super Bowls.  He was also part of the 1972 Dolphins that went 14-0.  Mercury Morris and Ricky Williams were in the running for best Dolphin RB as well.

New England Patriots – Sam Cunningham: I know most people will vote for Curtis Martin, but Cunningham is the Patriots all-time rushing leader and his nickname was “Bam”.  He is now in the Hall of Fame and was a very tough inside runner that could deliver a hit at any time.

New York Jets – Curtis Martin: The 8 seasons he was with the Jets he had over 1,000 yards in 7 of them.  He also had a nose for the endzone and rushed for 58 touchdowns as a Jet.  When he retired he was 4th on the all-time rushing list with 14,101 rushing yards and even though he was on a few teams; I feel he made the biggest impact with the Jets.  I was considering Freeman McNeil; but Martin earned this title.

Baltimore Ravens – Jamal Lewis: The Ravens are still a young team and Ray Rice will eventually take this title, but in the mean time Jamal Lewis is the king RB for the Ravens.  He took the Ravens to the Super Bowl as a rookie and in 2003 he rushed for an astonishing 2,066 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Also in 2003 he set an NFL record by rushing for 295 yards in a single game.  Lewis was a beast to tackle and was a dominant force for the Ravens for 6 seasons.

Cincinnati Bengals – Corey Dillon: There have been numerous Bengal running backs that were in the running for this but Dillon was the best in my opinion.  Dillon was with the Bengals for 7 seasons and rushed for 1,000 yards in 6 of them.  In 2000 he set an NFL record for 278 rushing yards in a game.  Even though injuries slowed his career down he made a big impact for the Bengals franchise.

Cleveland Browns – Jim Brown:  I don’t think anyone can argue with this one.  Brown was pure power and speed and for 9 seasons he led the league in rushing for 8 of them.  Brown made the Pro Bowl 9 times and in 1964 he led the Browns to the NFL Championship and got them to the title game the following season.  He ended his career with 12,312 rushing yards and 106 rushing touchdowns.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Franco Harris:  I was really torn between Harris or Jerome Bettis; but in the end I think Harris was the best Steeler RB.  Harris rushed for over 1,000 yards 8 times and was named to 9 Pro Bowls.  He was also part of the “Immaculate Reception” which gave the Steelers their first post season victory in franchise history.  The Steelers won 4 Super Bowls with Harris in the backfield and Harris set a Super Bowl record by rushing for 158 yards in Super Bowl IX against Minnesota.

Houston Texans – Arian Foster:  The Texans are the youngest NFL team and have not had a lot of RB’s; but Foster hands down wins this title.  Any RB that plays for the Texans is going to have a tough act to follow when Foster is finished.  He has already gone over 1,000 yards in 3 seasons and has been to 3 Pro Bowls.  He is an elusive yet powerful runner that is very hard to tackle. 

Indianapolis Colts – Edgerrin James:  Yes, I considered the Baltimore Colts players as well in this.  All in all; James was a nightmare for defense while on the Colts.  I know most people would say Marshall Faulk should be the best in Colts history and they would not be wrong, but when I watched James play he added an element to the team that I don’t think Faulk did.  James had over 1,000 yards in 5 seasons and had over 10 rushing touchdowns in 4 seasons.  James holds the franchise record for most rushing yards in a season with 1,709.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Fred Taylor:  I know that Maurice Jones-Drew has become a huge part of the Jaguars, but Taylor was a beast while he was on the Jaguars.  As a rookie Taylor rushed for 1,223 yards and 14 touchdowns.  He also had 7 seasons of at least 1,000 yards; and he totaled over 11,000 yards while he was with the Jaguars.

Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans – Earl Campbell:  This one was really tough to decide on.  Eddie George gained more yards for the franchise, but Campbell was more of a dominant runner by far.  He led the Oilers to the AFC Championship Game and was one of the toughest runners that the league has ever seen.  Campbell had 5 seasons where he had over 1,000 yards and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Denver Broncos – Terrell Davis: There have been few Bronco running backs that were as impressive as Davis.  His career was cut short by injuries, but during his time he led the Broncos to 2 Super Bowls.  In 1998 he eclipsed 2,008 yards in the season and 21 touchdowns and was the league MVP.  Even though Davis may never make the Hall of Fame he is still the record holder for most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for the Broncos.  He had 7,607 rushing yards and 60 rushing touchdowns.

Kansas City Chiefs – Priest Holmes: For the Chiefs; there has never been a better runner than Holmes.  He was another running back that was plagued by injuries, but he was a power back who had amazing speed.  Holmes was the first undrafted player to win a league rushing title in 2001.  In 2002 he had an NFL record 27 touchdowns and he also led the league in rushing yards. 

Oakland Raiders – Marcus Allen:  I really wanted to put Bo Jackson up for this, but in reality Allen was a huge part of the Raiders for a long time.  Not only was Allen a great runner; but he had excellent hands.  He was a key piece in the Raiders Super Bowl victory over the Redskins when he rushed for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns.  As a Raider Allen totaled up 8,545 yards and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

San Diego Chargers – LaDainian Tomlinson:  I really do not think there will be another like LT.  In the 9 seasons he was with the Chargers he had an amazing 12,490 yards and rushed for over 1,000 in 8 of those seasons.  The 2006 season was his best when he had 1,815 yards and an NFL record 28 touchdowns.  LT was able to run, catch, and sometimes throw the ball which made his deadly for defenses.  When it comes to Charger RB’s there will never be another who could match what he did.

Dallas Cowboys – Emmitt Smith:  I know that this one will be up for debate because Tony Dorsett was another Cowboy great.  Smith was a Cowboy for 13 seasons and 11 of those he had over 1,000 yards.  He is still the NFL’s All-Time leading rusher.  Not only has he won Super Bowls; he has also won Super Bowl MVP Awards and league awards.  By the end of his career Smith had 18,355 rushing yards and has been named to the Hall of Fame.

New York Giants – Tiki Barber:  He may not be too popular around New York anymore, but he did total up over 10,000 yards for the Giants.  Barber had great speed for a guy his size and he was also very powerful.  He did help the Giants reach one Super Bowl and his best season was in 2005 when he totaled up 1,860 rushing yards and had 11 touchdowns. 

Philadelphia Eagles – Steve Van Buren:  Brian Westbrook was in the running for this, but in the end Van Buren was the complete package.  Van Buren led the NFL in rushing 4 times and helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back titles in 1948 and 1949.  Back then teams only played 12 games and he still went over 1,000 yards twice.  He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame as will be considered the greatest Eagle running back.

Washington Redskins – John Riggins: I really wanted to put Clinton Portis for this, but when you add everything up Riggins was incredible for the Redskins.  He is the Redskins all-time leading rusher and he was a key piece in the Redskins Super Bowl victory.  He sealed the victory with a 43-yard touchdown run and was named the Super Bowl MVP.  His nickname was “The Diesel” and in his career he racked up 11,352 rushing yards with 7,472 while with the Redskins.

Chicago Bears – Walter Payton: The Bears have had some stellar RB’s but none have compared to ‘Sweetness”.  He rushed for over 1,000 yards 10 different times as a Bear and was a dangerous runner that was impossible to bring down.  His best season was in 1977 when he rushed for 1,852 yards and had a game where he rushed for 275 yards.  Payton had an amazing work ethic and was a constant leader for the team.  In his career he had 16,726 rushing yards and was named to the Hall of Fame.

Detroit Lions – Barry Sanders:  Probably one of the best of all-time played for a losing team.  Sanders was a dangerous runner that had the quickest feet anyone has ever seen.  Sanders had 4 rushing titles and in 1997 was league MVP.  He played 10 seasons in the NFL and had over 1,000 yards in all of them; and in 1997 he went over 2,000 yards in a single season.  When he retired he had 15,269 yards as a Lion and that is almost triple of the next highest Lion player.  Had he stayed in the league for another few season he could have easily been the record holder for rushing yards.

Green Bay Packers – Jim Taylor:  Taylor helped lead the Packer to 4 titles and to the first Super Bowl ever.  Taylor had 5 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and he would rather run you over than run around you.  In 1962 he beat out Jim Brown for the NFL rushing title by rushing for 1,474 yards and 19 touchdowns.  Taylor has been inducted into the Hall of Fame and even though he is no longer the franchise rushing yard holder he will stay at the top of Packer running backs.

Minnesota Vikings – Adrian Peterson:  Peterson is still very young and he has a very bright future ahead of him.  Peterson came into the league and was an immediate star; his rookie year he rushed for 1,300 yards and earned NFL Rookie of the Year.  In 2007, he ran for 296 yards in a single game and 3 touchdowns.  He has battled some serious injuries in his short career, but he has proven to be a freak of nature and over come injuries to be one of the best runners of all time.  In 2012 he fell just 9 yards short of the all-time rushing yard total in a single season.

Atlanta Falcons – William Andrews:  I know most people would put Warrick Dunn or Jamal Anderson, but Andrews was a complete package.  He played for the Falcons for 6 seasons and had over 1,000 yards in 4 of them.  In 1981 Andrews led the league in yards from scrimmage with 2,036 and 10 touchdowns.  Andrews finished his career with 5,986 yards and had he not had a terrible knee injury that ended his career he would have had a lot more.

Carolina Panthers – DeAngelo Williams:  Another young franchise but when it comes to pure running, DeAngelo is the best for Carolina.  He had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in 2008 and 2009 and averaged more than 5 yards per carry.  In 2008 he had his best season by rushing for 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns which helped the Panthers reach the playoffs.  In his career so far he has 5,784 rushing yards and he is now splitting time with Jonathan Stewart.

New Orleans Saints – Deuce McAllister:  He started his career with 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons for the Saints.  Even though he had some injury issues he still ended up having 6,096 rushing yards for the Saints which is a franchise record.  He was on the roster when the Saints won the Super Bowl that way he could get a Super Bowl ring.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – James Wilder:  This was a tough call because of Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott; but I feel Wilder was a more complete runner.  In 1984 he set an NFL record by rushing the ball 407 times in a single season and had 1,544 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.  Wilder had two 1,000 yard seasons and even though he was always on a losing team he proved to be a constant workhorse for the Bucs.

Arizona/St. Louis/Chicago Cardinals – OJ Anderson:  The Cardinals are the oldest NFL franchise, but Anderson has by far been the best runner to put on a Cardinal uniform.  He totaled up 7,999 rushing yards during his time and had five 1,000 yard seasons.  He won Rookie of the Year honors and was selected to 2 Pro Bowls.  After he was traded to the Giants he helped New York win 2 Super Bowls.

St Louis/Los Angeles Rams – Eric Dickerson:  This was an easy one to pick.  Even though the Rams have had some impressive runners like Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson; Dickerson is the best.  As a rookie he had 1,808 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.  In 1984 he set a record that still stands today by rushing for 2,105 yards in a single season.  Dickerson was a pure runner who made it look easy and even though he played for other teams he will be considered the best Rams runner of all-time.

San Francisco 49ers – Frank Gore: There have been numerous 49er runners that could have been the best but in my eyes there is none better than Gore.  Gore has been a constant threat for the 49ers since he came into the league in 2005.  He has had six 1,000 yard seasons and he is an excellent pass catcher as well.  He is the franchise rushing leader and has 51 career rushing touchdowns.  He is a powerful runner that will run you over, but has the agility to run around you.

Seattle Seahawks – Shaun Alexander:  Not only did he had five straight 1,000 yard seasons, he was a touchdown machine.  In 2005 he had 1,880 rushing yards and an NFL record 28 touchdowns.  He was plagued with injuries which cut his career short, but he still managed to have 9,429 rushing yards and was selected to 3 Pro Bowls.

 

 

 

There have been numerous players moving to new teams, veterans being signed to huge contracts, and then there are some amazing veterans that are still sitting as free agents.  Now the term veteran means that they have been in the NFL for awhile, so sometimes teams will stay away from veterans because they are getting up there in years.  The players I have included in this post may be older, but they still have a lot they could offer a team.  Whether it be as a starter or being a mentor to the younger NFL players, these players should be on an NFL team.

1. Charles Woodson – He may be getting older, but he has been a dominant force in the NFL for a long time.  He may not have the speed he used to have, but imagine how good he would be as a mentor to some of the younger defensive players in the NFL.  He could still be a nice addition to some teams as well; like the Ravens, Rams, Bills, or Raiders.  I hope he ends up somewhere because he is going to go to the Hall of Fame, but I still think he has some years to go.  He is an 8 time Pro Bowler, Defensive Player of the Year, and is part of the NFL All 2000s Team.

2. Dwight Freeney – He is now 33 and he is not the caliber he used to be, but he still has the ability to get to the QB.  He has had experience for a long time, and there are still a lot of teams that could benefit from Freeney like; Broncos, Ravens, or Chargers.  He has a big price tag though and I think that and his age are holding him back.  He has been to 7 Pro Bowl, Defensive Player of the Year, and a Super Bowl Ring.

3. Richard Seymour – He is also 33, has 7 Pro Bowls, and 3 Super Bowl rings.  He is still a great defensive player that can cause problems for offenses.  He has championship experience that could be very beneficial to most teams, and still is a good run stopper.  There is a large group of teams that could benefit from him like; Steelers, Lions, Colts, and Chargers.

4. Karlos Dansby – Dansby is turning 32 this year, but he still plays like he is in his twenties.  He is a tackle machine that could help a lot of teams in the run game and in the pass game.  Dansby is also a great leader, and that is what teams are looking for in a middle linebacker.  Teams such as Bills, Ravens, Giants, Bucs, or Panthers could benefit greatly from having Dansy on their squad.

5. John Abraham – He will be turning 35 this season and he has been a great defensive star for the Falcons.  He has been to 4 Pro Bowls and has over 100 sacks in his career.  He is not as fast as he used to be and he has had some injuries, but he could still be a situational pass rusher for a few teams.  He has looked around for some teams and I think the Pats, Steelers, Ravens, or Titans could use him very well.  As long as he stays healthy I think he could have a few more seasons.

6. Brandon Moore – He spent a decade on the Jets and he is in his 30s, and for an offensive lineman that means he has been beat up a lot.  With Moore though, you are still getting a quality pass protector who has been to a Pro Bowl and played in 144 games.  With 2013 being the year of the lineman there are a large group of teams that could take Moore and use him as a third down pass protector, especially on the blind side.

 

The NFL was formed in 1920 and since that time there has been 92 league champions.  Six of those championships were won by teams that do now exist anymore.  Out of those 86 championships over half of those have been won by only six teams.  Some teams will have a great year and then tank the next, but the teams that are included in this list have stood the test of time and are considered the best NFL franchises of all time.  I know that people may not agree with the list below, but I am factoring in; championships, revenue, player ability, coaching ability, and front office ability.  These are presented in no particular order.

Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys have always been considered “Americas Team” and they are still a young franchise.  They have been around since 1960 and they have won 5 Super Bowls and have produced some outstanding players and coaches.  The Cowboys have had 30 playoff appearances and have won 21 Division Championships.  Tom Landry has been the most notable Cowboy coach and is considered one of the greatest coaches of all time.  In the 1990s, Jimmy Johnson led the Cowboys to 2 Super Bowl victories with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin.  The Cowboys will always be a loved, and hated team in the NFL

San Francisco 49ers – Established in 1946 the Niners had a rocky start by only making the playoffs 4 times in 30 years.  After hiring Bill Walsh the 49ers started to become a dynasty.  In 49er history they have won 5 Super Bowls, had 25 playoff appearances, and 19 Divisional Championships.  The 49ers had Super Bowl wins in the 1980s and 1990s making them one of the most dominant teams in the NFL.  There have been numerous outstanding players play for San Fran; Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Joe Perry, Ronnie Lott, and Jimmy Johnson.  The Niners have had their share of poor seasons, but they always find a way to bounce back; just like they did in 2011 and 2012 where they just fell short of winning the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Founded in 1933 the Steelers have always had a power packed team.  They have had 6 Super Bowls victories, 27 playoff appearances, and 20 Divisional Championships.  The Steelers had a tough start only making one playoff game in 36 seasons, but since the 1970s they have remained as a solid contender every year.  The Steelers have had a lot of Hall of Famers with players and coaches; Terry Bradshaw, Chuck Noll, Franco Harris, Mean Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, and Lynn Swann.  No matter what happens to the Steelers they will always be a great team and a superior franchise.

New York Giants – The Giants are one of the oldest NFL teams, founded in 1925 and won their first championship in 1927.  The Giants have won 8 Championships, 4 of those are Super Bowls, 31 playoff appearances, and 16 Divisional Championships.  The Giants have had some amazing coaches and players as well, such as; Bill Parcells, Lawrence Taylor, Phill Sims, Frank Gifford, and Sam Huff.  The Giants took out the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl and took the world by storm by beating the Patriots again a few years later in another Super Bowl.  The Giants have had a stable organization for decades and it will continue to stay that way for years to come.

Chicago Bears – Founded in 1920 the Bears are one of the oldest franchises in history, and they have the most regular season wins then any other franchise.  The Bears have only won one Super Bowl but they have 9 total Championships.  George Halas coached the Bears for 40 years and is one of the most legendary coaches of all time.  The Bears also hold the record for most points scored in a game which is 73 against the Redskins.  The Bears also have 26 playoff appearances and 18 Divisional Championships.  Some of the greats to play for the Bears are; Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Brian Piccolo, and Sid Luckman.  It has been a long time since the Bears have been to a championship game, but you can always count on the Bears being a great defensive team.

Green Bay Packers – Founded in 1919, the Packers have stood the test of time to be one of the greatest franchises ever.  Not only have they won 4 Super Bowls; they were a powerhouse pre-Super Bowls as well.  In total the Packers have won 13 Championships, 28 playoff appearances, and 15 Divisional Championships.  The Super Bowl Trophy was named after Packer legend Vince Lombardi and there are countless Hall of Fame players from Green Bay; such as, Herb Adderley, Don Hutson, Ray Nitschke, Reggie White, Jim Taylor, and Bart Starr.  The Packers remain a powerhouse to this day and they are always a scary team to play.

This is the final installment of my “Best of Each Decade” posts.  In the 2000s the players had evolved a lot with the speed and the power of every player.  Between the year 2000 – 2009 there were a lot of players that made a huge impact in the NFL and in my opinion some of the best players of all time played in this decade.  So like my other posts; I will be going over each position and put who I think are the best players of the decade.

+Quarterbacks+
1. Tom Brady (Patriots) – 3 Super Bowls; 2 Super Bowl MVPs; 2 NFL MVPs; 8 Pro Bowls
2. Peyton Manning (Colts) – 12 Pro Bowls; 4 NFL MVPs; Super Bowl MVP
3. Drew Brees (Saints) – Super Bowl MVP; 7 Pro Bowls; 2 NFC MVPs

+Running Backs+
1. LaDainian Tomlinson (Chargers) – NFL MVP; 5 Pro Bowls; Numerous NFL Records
2. Edgerrin James (Colts) – 4 Pro Bowls; 12,246 rush yards; 2 Rushing Titles; 80 TDs
3. Jamal Lewis (Ravens/Browns) – Super Bowl Champ; 10,607 rush yards; NFL Records
4. Shaun Alexander (Seahawks) – 3 Pro Bowls; NFL MVP; 2005 Rushing Title; 100 TDs
5. Ahman Green  (Packers) – 4 Pro Bowls; 60 TDs; 9,205 rush yards

+Wide Receivers+
1. Marvin Harrison (Colts) – 8 Pro Bowls; several NFL Records; 1,102 catches; 128 TDs
2. Randy Moss (Vikings/Pats) – 7 Pro Bowls; 982 catches; 15,292 yards; 156 TDs
3. Terrell Owens (49ers;Eagles;Cowboys) – 6 Pro Bowls; 153 TDs; 15,935 yards
4. Torry Holt (Rams) – 7 Pro Bowls; 13,382 yards; 74 TDs; 920 catches
5. Hines Ward (Steelers) – 4 Pro Bowls; Super Bowl MVP; 1,000 catches; 12,083 yards

+Tight Ends+
1. Tony Gonzalez (Chiefs/Falcons) – 13 Pro Bowls; numerous NFL Records; 1,242 catches
2. Antonio Gates (Chargers) – 8 Pro Bowls; 642 catches; 83 TDs; 8,321 yards
3. Jeremy Shockey (Giants/Saints) – 4 Pro Bowls; 2 Super Bowls; 547 catches

+Offensive Lineman+
1. Orlando Pace (Rams) – 7 Pro Bowls; 169 games played
2. Walter Jones (Seahawks) – 9 Pro Bowls; 180 games played
3. Jonathan Ogden (Ravens) – 11 Pro Bowls; 177 games played
4. Will Shields (Chiefs) – 12 Pro Bowls; 224 games played
5. Kevin Mawae (Jets/Titans) – 8 Pro Bowls
6. Olin Kreutz (Bears) – 6 Pro Bowls

+Defensive Lineman+
1. Michael Strahan (Giants) – 7 Pro Bowls; numerous NFL Records; 141.5 sacks
2. Jason Taylor (Dolphins) – 6 Pro Bowls; 139.5 sacks; 773 tackles
3. Richard Seymour (Pats/Raiders) – 7 Pro Bowls; 3 Super Bowls; 57.5 sacks; 496 tackles
4. Warren Sapp (Bucs/Raiders) – 7 Pro Bowls; 573 tackles; 96.5 sacks
5. La’Roi Glover (Saints/Cowboys/Rams) – 6 Pro Bowls; 83.5 sacks; 433 tackles

+Linebackers+
1. Ray Lewis (Ravens) – 13 Pro Bowls;2 Super Bowls;numerous NFL Records;2,061 tackles
2. Derrick Brooks (Bucs) – 11 Pro Bowls; Super Bowl Champ; 1,715 tackles
3. Zach Thomas (Dolphins) – 7 Pro Bowls; 1,720 tackles; 17 interceptions
4. Brian Urlacher (Bears) – 8 Pro Bowls; NFL Def Player of Year; 1,353 tackles
5. Joey Porter (Steelers/Dolphins) – 4 Pro Bowls; Super Bowl Champ; 98 sacks; 672 tackles

+Corner Backs+
1. Champ Bailey (Broncos) – 12 Pro Bowls; 771 tackles; 52 interceptions
2. Charles Woodson (Raiders/Packers) – 8 Pro Bowls; 55 interceptions; 719 tackles
3. Ronde Barber (Bucs) – 5 Pro Bowls; numerous NFL Records; 1,172 tackles; 47 INTs

+Safeties+
1. Brian Dawkins (Eagles/Broncos) – 9 Pro Bowls; 1,131 tackles; 37 INTs
2. Ed Reed (Ravens) – 9 Pro Bowls; numerous NFL Records; 61 INTs
3. Troy Polamalu (Steelers) – 7 Pro Bowls; 5 AFC Def Player of Year; 640 tackles

+Special Teams+
1. David Akers (Eagles) – Kicker
2. Brian Moorman (Bills) – Punter
3. Joshua Cribbs (Browns) – Kick Returner
4. Devin Hester (Bears) – Punt Returner