The 2010s offered the sport of football a load of new stars throughout this 10-year span. The 2010s saw many great years for some of football’s all-time greats. Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady all participated in the 2010s and dominated the decade. These players and their teams define the decade and should be showcased for their accomplishments. With that in mind, here are the NFL 2010s Decade Awards.
NFL 2010s Decade Awards
Team of the decade – New England Patriots
The most successful franchise of the 2010s is easily the New England Patriots. No team would be more deserving of these NFL 2010s decade awards. The Patriots appeared in five of the decade’s 10 super bowls and won three of them. They are the only team to win multiple super bowl championships in the decade. Led by quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots established the benchmark for what a successful franchise was in the 2010s.
The Patriots won the AFC East championship all 10 seasons and had at least 11 wins in every season. This includes a year where Brady missed the entire season due to injury. New England is an established winner and dominated in all aspects throughout the 2010s. As the gatekeepers of the AFC for an entire decade, it will be interesting to see how they perform in the next decade without the services of Tom Brady.
Decade MVP – Tom Brady
Describing the achievements of the New England Patriots is just a list of Tom Brady’s achievements. Brady won 3 super bowls in the 2010s and participated in five. Brady won two MVP awards in this decade as well as an offensive player of the year award. He made nine pro bowls and was named first-team all-pro twice. Brady has enough accolades to go down as one of the greatest to ever play, yet he hasn’t called it a career yet. With eight seasons of at least 4,000 yards in this decade, it will be interesting to see how many more times Brady will hit that mark before he decides to retire from football.
Offensive Player of the Decade – Drew Brees
Brees started the decade with a super bowl victory and continued to dominate the game through to the end. He won the offensive player of the year award in 2011 and made the pro bowl in each year of the decade except for one. Brees had four seasons of at least 5,000 yards and seven straight 30-plus touchdown seasons to start the decade. These impressive seasons led to Brees setting the record for the most passing yards and touchdowns in NFL history during this decade. Brees also embodied consistency throughout the decade leading the NFL in completion percentage five times during the decade. If there was any player opposing defenses feared to see on the schedule in the 2010s, it was Drew Brees.
Defensive Player of the Decade – J.J. Watt
Much like Brees with his offense, Watt dominated on defense like no other. Watt entered the league as a rookie in 2011 and by 2012 had already had a 20-sack season. Watt made five pro bowls in the 2010s and was named first-team all-pro in each of those five seasons. Every season Watt missed the pro bowl resulted from an injury sustained during the year that derailed his dominance. Despite this, Watt has managed multiple 20-sack seasons and five seasons with at least 10 sacks.
Watt has won the defensive player of the year award three times and, in 2018, led the league in forced fumbles with seven. He is an incredible talent and has shown true resiliency with his ability to overcome multiple serious injuries and still perform at a high level. Watt currently has 96 career sacks and, with his work ethic and passion for competition, should be able to add many more to that total before his career is over.
Coach of the Decade – Bill Belichick
The head coach of the team of the decade is of course the coach of the decade. Belichick has been the leader of the Patriots’ dynasty and is a key piece to their success. He won the coach of the year award in 2010 and the success continued to roll through the decade. Belichick recently became the third coach in NFL history to reach 300 wins. His success in the 2010s is unmatched and it will be exciting to see Belichick coach a team without Tom Brady as the starting quarterback.
Game of the Decade – Super Bowl XLIX (NE vs SEA)
The 2010s had many great games during the 10-year span. However, super bowl 49 had the perfect mix of aspects that make it such an incredible game. This game had incredible stakes with it being the super bowl, close back and forth action, a thrilling finish, and a historic moment. When Malcolm Butler sealed the Patriots’ victory one-yard short of Seattle claiming victory for themselves, it secured this game’s status as an instant classic. The New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks are two franchises that define the 2010s and them meeting in the super bowl for a showdown is the perfect game to represent the 2010s decade.
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