NFL Nation: all-decade players
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
ESPN.com's all-decade top-25 player list is top heavy with players from the AFC West.
Only three players on the list spent a major portion of their careers in the division, but they're all in the top 10. It was the only division to boast three of the top-10 players. They are running back LaDainian Tomlinson at No. 3 (San Diego), cornerback Champ Bailey at No. 6 (Denver) and tight end Tony Gonzalez at No. 10 (Kansas City).
Tomlinson was the highest ranked nonquarterback on the list. Bailey was the highest ranked cornerback and the second-highest ranked defensive player on the list and Gonzalez was the only tight end on the list.
What are your thoughts on the AFC West's influence on the list?
|Best of the best: Michael Strahan, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Randy Moss.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Ranking the 25 best NFL players of the decade seemed easy.
AFC West blogger Bill Williamson sent an initial list to me for review. The list appeared strong. I suggested a couple minor tweaks.
The hard part came when we considered those who fell just short of the list.
Guard Alan Faneca has gone to eight Pro Bowls this decade. John Lynch and Will Shields went to seven. Brian Dawkins, La'Roi Glover, Kevin Mawae, Olin Kreutz, Matt Birk, Larry Allen, Chris Samuels and Zach Thomas went to six. Ronde Barber, Keith Brooking, Al Wilson, Julian Peterson, Donovan McNabb, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten and Chad Ochocinco were among those with five.
None of them made the top 25 list. Had all of them made it, only six spots would have remained for the 25 players you see in the chart.
We settled on five quarterbacks, four receivers, four offensive linemen, three linebackers, three defensive ends, two running backs, two safeties, one cornerback, one tight end and zero defensive tackles (few dominated consistently for extended periods).
Seven of 10 league MVPs this decade made the top 25. Marshall Faulk, Rich Gannon and 2003 co-MVP Steve McNair were the exceptions.
Ben Roethlisberger made the list despite only one career Pro Bowl appearance. It's not his fault Manning and Brady play in the same conference.
9:27 4th Qtr Carolina 0 New England 23 2:42 3rd Qtr New York 20 New York 17 0:00 3rd Qtr Jacksonville 12 Detroit 7 Halftime Oakland 7 Green Bay 22 10:00 PM ET Chicago Seattle
4:30 PM ET Tampa Bay Buffalo 7:00 PM ET Dallas Miami 7:00 PM ET Tennessee Atlanta 7:30 PM ET Washington Baltimore 8:00 PM ET New Orleans Indianapolis 8:00 PM ET St. Louis Cleveland 8:00 PM ET Minnesota Kansas City 9:00 PM ET Houston Denver
4:00 PM ET San Diego San Francisco 8:00 PM ET Cincinnati Arizona