My Mount Rushmore: The 2010’s

1. Tom Brady– I think you’ll see his name on a few decade teams’ lists. Rightfully so. After making a name for himself in the early 2000s, the icon that is Tom Terrific has grown. After the ACL tear in 2008, many would think he’d slow down. Nope, like a fine wine, he’s gotten better as he’s aged. This decade was also nice to number 12. In 2010, he wins league MVP after throwing 36 touchdown passes to a league-low, four interceptions. 2014, when you think he’s done, he goes on a tear to help lead the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title in ten years with a memorable win over the Seahawks. Tom was also named Super Bowl MVP. That was also his fourth Super Bowl title tying him with his boyhood idol, Joe Montana. 2016, in the 12 games he started, he won 11 of them. New England gets back to the Super Bowl for the seventh time. They faced the Atlanta Falcons and came back from 25 points down to win another Lombardi. 2017, he becomes the oldest player in NFL history to win league MVP at 40. He helped lead the Patriots to their sixth Super Bowl title this past February becoming the first quarterback to win six rings. He won three in the early 2000s and he’s added three more to the collection in the 2010’s.

2. Drew Brees– This was another no brainer for me. The city of New Orleans saved this man’s career. He received his second chance and hasn’t looked back since then. He’s the catalyst of this prolific Saints offense. You can’t mention the elite quarterbacks without his name in the conversation. He’s a Super Bowl champion, a Super Bowl MVP, led the league in passing yards back in 2011, 2012 and 2014-2016. In 2011, he led the league in passing touchdowns, yards and completion percentage which is known as the “Triple Crown” for quarterbacks. That same year, he would go to break Dan Marino’s for most passing yards in a single season (5,084). In 2012, Drew broke Johnny Unitas’ record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass. On a Sunday night that year against his former team, he connected with Devery Henderson for a 40-yard touchdown pass. In 2018 on a Monday night against the Redskins, Drew broke another record. With a 62-yard touchdown pass to TreQuan Smith. With that pass, number nine broke Peyton Manning’s all-time passing yardage record. Just this week against the Indianapolis Colts, the legend surpassed Peyton Manning as the all-time leader in touchdown passes. The man has set records and shattered records. He continues to play at a high level in his 19th season in the NFL.

3. J.J. Watt– I still remember the day he was drafted. In a loaded class back in 2011 that consisted of Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Von Miller, J.J. was determined to stand out. He was just getting started in his rookie season. He finished his first year with 48 solo tackles, eight assisted tackles and 5.5 sacks. J.J. was also a reason why the Texans were able to win the AFC South and make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. 2012 was when he began to establish himself. He put together a season to remember. 69 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, 20.5 sacks, 16 passes defended, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He won his first Defensive MVP award becoming the first Texans player to receive any award of this type. In 2014, he put together the greatest season I’ve seen from a defensive player in all my years of breaking this game down. J.J. became the first player in NFL history to record multiple 20 sack seasons. This guy was impacting the game that year in more ways than one. Defensively, he was all over the place. The Texans were even using him on offense. He was named the Defensive MVP for his 2014 season becoming the first player since Ray Lewis to win the award twice. In 2015, despite battling injuries, he was able to put together another quality season. 76 tackles, he led the league with 17.5 sacks and eight passes defended. He won the Defensive MVP for the second straight season. If you’ve kept track, he’s won this award three times in five seasons. He was the most dominant defensive player of the decade.

4. Aaron Rodgers– It seems as if it’s been forever that he sat behind a Hall of Famer until he got his chance to play. He’s become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He has been considered the most talented quarterback ever to play the game. This decade was nice to Mr. Rodgers. In 2010, he led the Green Bay Packers on a run to remember. The Packers began their postseason by beating the Eagles on the road, a week later, they travel to Atlanta and knocked off the top-seeded Falcons then the following week, they defeated the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship. Then came the big moment when he won his first Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers helping bring the Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay. The following season in 2011, he was on a tear. Each week, he was shredding defenses apart. The Packers won their first 13 games of the year. They would go on to finish with a 15-1 record. Aaron finished that season with 4,643 yards passing, 45 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He was named NFL MVP for the first time in his career. Three years later in 2014, the Packers got off to a slow start. After some concerns, he tells the media to “R-E-L-A-X”. Everything was going to be just fine. He makes those comments, the Packers become one of the hottest teams in the league that season. He went 212 consecutive attempts without throwing an interception. At Lambeau that year, he set an NFL record for most consecutive pass attempts at home without throwing an interception. He was named MVP once again for the second time in three seasons. He’s a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP and two-time league MVP.

2 thoughts on “My Mount Rushmore: The 2010’s

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