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When this decade started, Lamar Jackson was 12, not even in high school yet. On the first NFL Sunday of the 2010s, Brett Favre threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
A lot can change in a decade. Yet, there are some constants. As the 2010s began, Drew Brees and Sean Payton were leading the New Orleans Saints to the top record in the NFC. They’d win a Super Bowl championship a few weeks later. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were putting the finishing touches on another AFC East title with the New England Patriots. The Patriots were the team of the decade in the 2000s, and the same can be said for the 2010s.
The past 10 years have seen plenty of stars, great games and signature plays. Here is Yahoo Sports’ NFL all-decade team:
QB Tom Brady: Drew Brees had a good argument, statistically, as did Aaron Rodgers. But once you factor in postseason success, Brady became an easy call.
RB Adrian Peterson: LeSean McCoy had more yards in the 2010s, Marshawn Lynch had iconic moments for a great Seahawks team, but if you have your choice of any running back you’d pick the 2012 NFL MVP.
WR Antonio Brown: Put all the drama aside. This was one of the easiest picks of the entire team.
WR Calvin Johnson: It was hard to leave Larry Fitzgerald off the list. But Johnson was a marvel, even if he retired too soon.
WR Julio Jones: Has the most receiving yards per game in NFL history and it’s not all that close.
TE Rob Gronkowski: The most obvious pick of the all-decade team.
C Maurkice Pouncey: Jason Kelce also was in the mix, but Pouncey barely edged him out.
G Zack Martin: He has made the Pro Bowl in each season of his career.
G Marshal Yanda: From 2011-18 Yanda made the Pro Bowl in each season except 2017, when he missed all but two games due to injury.
OT Joe Thomas: He was a consistent machine for a bad Browns team, an ironman who was a master technician at left tackle.
OT Tyron Smith: Hasn’t missed a Pro Bowl since 2012 and is the anchor of the best offensive line of the decade.
DE J.J. Watt: Tied Lawrence Taylor’s record with three Defensive Player of the Year awards and should have won NFL MVP in 2014.
DT Aaron Donald: Won back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards and in 2018 set a single-season record for a defensive tackle with 20.5 sacks.
DE Calais Campbell: Was a dominant force all decade. He is the only player who had more than 400 solo tackles and 80 sacks this decade. He’s a great two-way end and is finally getting his due after being overlooked for years.
LB Von Miller: The first player to reach 100 sacks in the 2010s. He also had perhaps the best individual defensive performance in championship game history, taking home MVP honors from Super Bowl 50.
LB Luke Kuechly: Has been a tackling and big-play machine for the Panthers, and was the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year. He's the prototype inside linebacker in the modern NFL.
LB Bobby Wagner: Has played eight seasons and posted 100 tackles every year. He made four All-Pro teams over the past five seasons and won a Super Bowl with a legendary Seattle defense.
EDGE Khalil Mack: Made history by being named All-Pro at defensive end and outside linebacker at the end of the 2015 season. The next year, he won Defensive Player of the Year.
CB Richard Sherman: In addition to being a lockdown cornerback, Sherman became one of the most prominent voices in the NFL. He clinched his spot on the team with a great 2019 season with the 49ers.
CB Patrick Peterson: There have been plenty of great cornerbacks this decade who could have made the team, but Peterson’s consistency in shadowing the opponent’s best receiver gave him the nod.
S Earl Thomas: The “Legion of Boom” had many stars, and Thomas was the most valuable of them all. His incredible range in the deep middle of the field allowed that Seahawks defense to play the aggressive style that made it a Super Bowl champion.
S Eric Weddle: Kam Chancellor, Harrison Smith and Eric Berry had good arguments, but Weddle’s consistency through the decade as a six-time Pro Bowler gave him the edge.
K Justin Tucker: The most accurate kicker in NFL history, with incredible range and plenty of clutch kicks. He also has a ring, from the 2012 Ravens.
P Johnny Hekker: Through the 2018 season Hekker had four Pro Bowls and four first-team All-Pro nods, twice as many as any other punter this decade.
KR Cordarrelle Patterson: Only one player has more than four kickoff return touchdowns this decade. Patterson has seven.
PR Devin Hester: He was the best punt returner in the 2000s, and the 2010s too. His seven punt return touchdowns this decade were two more than anyone else. His 12.1-yard average was tops among anyone with more than 30 returns.
Bill Belichick: He is the standard for NFL coaching, leading the Patriots to an unprecedented streak of a success in a league set up for parity.
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