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ALL-TIME TEAM OF GREATEST NFL PLAYERS ANNOUNCED, WITH 1ST, 2ND & 3RD TEAMS NAMED IT’S THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS EVER

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By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO and MARIO DEL VECCHIO

Let’s just get right to it. In order to select the best of the best in any area of expertise, such a process requires research – and a lot of it – not just fan-favorite picks and gut instinct. Before we began the endeavor of selecting the players for the greatest all-time NFL team (and second and third teams), we already knew a lot about the best professional football players, including those from long ago and those from current day. However, as an effort to deliver the most fairly selected all-time teams, we, literally, researched and researched and researched for multiple weeks; in all, we clocked over 100 work hours of research, discussions, and calculations. We poured over endless statistics, read voluminous articles defining others’ opinions of the best players at each position, went through numerous binders and boxes of football cards, watched several TV programs and videos wherein many additional persons named their picks of the best, drafted dozens of handwritten legal-sized pages of notes, and discussed, discussed, and discussed the voluminous worthy options.

This article defines our selections of the greatest of the great, in a position-by-position roster. We are providing somewhat lengthy discussions for the NFL’s three most dominant players – Drew Brees, Jim Brown and Rod Woodson – as well as comprehensive information for all of the other all-time players (there are First, Second, and Third All-Time Teams). The “First Team,” of course, comprises those who we believe are the absolute best at each position, with the “Second Team” naming the second best, and the “Third Team” naming the third best. Although we highlight it many times in our below picks and corresponding evaluations, it should be noted that since 1978 there have been 16-game seasons. Prior to that, from 1961 – 1977, there were 14 games per season; and before 1961, there were only 12 games in a season. Naturally, those who played in the eras of the lesser games had less opportunities to add onto both season and career stats, which means those older-era players hold very few season and career records; accordingly, we considered such when making our selections, making sure those great players were not forsaken in a statistical injustice. Below are our conclusions.                                                                                                                  

*ALL-TIME NFL FIRST TEAM*

OFFENSE

QB – DREW BREES

SDG (2001 – 2005); NOR (2006 – 2019*)

If it weren’t for Jim Brown, Drew Brees would, hands-down, be the most dominant player to ever set foot on a football field. At first blush, it would appear to be a close call among Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady, but it’s not; Brees’s accomplishments are mind-boggling, far superseding any QB in the history of the NFL:

*#1 in Career Passing Yards – 76,577

*#1 in Career Completion Percentage – 67.5%

*#2 (about to be #1) in Career Touchdowns – 537…Brees is only 2 TD’s beyond the current leader, Peyton Manning, who he will surely surpass this season, battling for the #1 spot with contemporary Brady.

*He has had an absolutely astonishing 5 seasons of over 5,000 passing yards; no other QB has accomplished this feat more than once…Brees has bested the 4,000 yards mark in a season a staggering 12 times.

*In single season records for passing yards, he has 3 of the top 5 seasons (and 5 of the top 10 seasons) ever, including: #2 all-time (5,476 yards in 2011) – note that Peyton Manning holds the season record, but with just one more yard than Brees (5,477 yards); #4 all-time (5,208 yards in 2016); #5 all-time (5,177 yards in 2012); #6 all-time (5,162 yards in 2013); and #10 all-time (5,069 yards in 2008). He also is #13 on the all-time list (4,952 yards in 2014), with several more seasons in the top ranks.

*In season records for TD passes, he is the top 15 three times, with #6 all-time (46 TDs in 2011), #9 all-time (43 TDs in 2012), and #14 all-time (39 TDs 2013). Out of all NFL QBs seasons (meaning over 5,000 individual QB seasons), Brees is in the top 55 best TD seasons eight times, tossing 37, 34, 34, 33, and 32 TDs in varied other seasons–in addition to his aforementioned 46, 43 and 39 TD campaigns.

*Brees holds the record for the highest passing completion record in a single season (74.4% in 2018). In fact, he’s not only number one in this defining statistic, but he has had 5 of the 6 best seasons in NFL history, also being #2 all-time (currently 73.6% in 2019), #3 all-time (72% in 2017), #5 all-time (71.2% in 2011), and #6 all-time (70.6% in 2009). In numerous other seasons, he has completed over 65% of his passes.

*He comes in #19 all-time in career completed passes to interception percentage (2.4%)

*He has led the league as follows: 7 times in passing yards; 6 times in completion percentage; and 4 times in passing touchdowns.

*Brees has twice been selected the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. And he has been selected to the Pro Bowl 12 times (1x All-Pro). A definite first-ballot NFL Hall of Famer, he is still playing strong.

There is no QB, in the history of the NFL, who has been anywhere near the accurate passer that Drew Brees has been. Completion percentage, arguably, is the most important statistic for a quarterback – one that transcends time, and is irrelevant to the number of games played in a season. Certainly, it is valid to point out (as we will multiple times in this article) that players from long ago were at a disadvantage in compiling both season and career statistics. For many years, they played only 12-game seasons, and then, for many following years, they played just 14-game seasons. The schedule switched to 16-game seasons in 1978. Thus, Brees – and all players who began their careers subsequent to 1977 – have had additional games at their behest, to pad season and career stats and records. Completion percentage (like a few other statistics) is immune to this 12- and 14-game seasons’ issue, however. Either a QB threw accurately, or he didn’t, regardless of the amount of games he played in a season or his career. And, simply, Drew Brees, has been masterful in this category, greatly outshining all colleagues.

It is important to note that if one extrapolates the stats of the best of the best QBs prior to 1978, none of them would have come even close to Brees’s passing yards marks, as well. Even if Fran Tarkenton, Johnny Unitas, etc. were given the extra games in every one of their seasons (and they had thrown their best yardage games in every one of those games), none of those great helmers would have gotten even close to Brees’s career or season records. Simply, he’s unapproachable…And don’t bring up the “Super Bowl” argument. Football is a the ultimate of team sports. There are 22 starting players (11 on each side of the ball), plus starters om special teams. If Brees had played for the Patriots instead of Tom Brady, or if he played for the Steelers instead of Terry Bradshaw, all of those season (and Super Bowl) victories, obviously, still would have occurred. A reckoning – an admission – needs to be had throughout football: Drew Brees is the all-time best quarterback. Period.

RB – JIM BROWN

CLE (1957 – 1965)

This very tough man is the other most dominant offensive football player in NFL history. Watching him run over people is quite spectacular. Here are his stats, but keep in mind that Brown only played nine seasons – and for the first four years of his career, he only played 12 games (the balance were just 14-game seasons):

*#1 in Career Rushing Yards-Per-Carry Average (5.4)

*#1 in Career Yards-Per-Game (104.3)

*#6 in Career Rushing TDs (106)

*#11 in Career Rushing Yards (12,312)

*Has 12th Highest Rushing Yards in a Season (1,862 in 1963 – a 14-game season)

*In 12-game seasons, he compiled the following yards: 1,527 in 1958; 1,320 in 1959; and 1,257 in 1960. In addition to the 1,862 yards that he ripped up in 1963, in other 14-game seasons, Brown generated 1,446 rushing yards in 1964, and 1,544 yards in his final season of 1965.

*He led the league in rushing yards in 8 of his 9 seasons. He also led the league in rushing yards-per-game in 8 of his 9 seasons. And he led the league in rushing TDs 5 times, netting his career high of 17 TDs two different times (1958 & 1965).

*Brown won the NFL MVP 3 times. And he was selected to the Pro Bowl all 9 years of his career (8x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Can you imagine what Brown would’ve accumulated had he played in 16-game seasons his entire career? First, since he was averaging 133.1 yards per game in 1963 (a 14-game season) when he ran for 1,862 yards, he likely would, right now, have the season record for rushing yards; adding in those additional yards would have brought him to a total of 2,128, which would have overcome Eric Dickerson’s single season record of 2,105 yards. Similarly, while averaging 127.3 yards per game in 1958 (a 12-game season) when he ran for 1,527 yards, he likely would have, right now, the two highest seasons of rushing yards. And, even with just a 9-year career, if Brown had the luxury of 16-game seasons during his career, he could be the all-time leading rusher in current day, as well as holding the record for most career rushing TDs. And what if he had played more than 9 seasons (unbelievably, ending his career on a spectacular high note of 1,544 yards & 17 TDs in a 14-game 1965 season)…

RB – BARRY SANDERS

DET (1989 – 1998)

*#2 in Career Rushing Yards-Per-Carry Average (5.0)

*#2 in Career Rushing Yard-Per-Game (99.8)

*#4 in Career Rushing Yards (15,264)

*#11 in Career All Purpose Yards (18,308)

*Rushing Yards in a Season: #4 all-time (2,053 yards in 1997) and #9 all-time (1,883 yards in 1994)

*#10 in Career TDs (94)

*Rushed for over 1,100 yards in all 10 years of his career and, like Jim Brown, ended his career with an outstanding season in 1998, gracefully gliding to 1,491 yards

*League Leader: 4x in Rushing Yards; 4x in Yards-Per-Game; 1x in Rushing TDs; 1x in Rushing Yards-Per-Carry

*Won an NFL MVP award and 2x was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year…Was selected to the Pro Bowl in all 10 years of his career (6x All Pro)…Sanders is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

WR – JERRY RICE

SFO (1985 – 2000); OAK (2001 – 2003); OAK/SEA (2004)

*#1 in Career Receiving Yards (22,895)

*#1 in Career All Purpose Yards (23,546)

*#1 in Career Receptions (1,549)

*#1 in Career Receiving TDs (197)

*#11 in Career Receiving Yards-Per-Game (75.6)

*Receiving Yards in a Season: #3 all-time (1,848 in 1995) and 5 other seasons in top 55 of all-time

*Receiving TDs in a Season: #2 all-time (22 in 1987) and #5 all-time (17 in 1989), with 4 additional seasons in the top 25 of all-time

*His 122 receptions in 1995 is the 8th highest in a season.

*Had 14 seasons of over 1,000 yards (11 seasons of over 1,200 yards); nine seasons of 10 or more TDs (five seasons of 15 or more); and 4 seasons of over 100 receptions

*League Leader: 6x in Receiving Yards; 6x in Receiving TDs; 2x in Receptions; and 6x in Receiving Yards-Per-Game

*2x won NFL Offensive Player of the Year…Was selected to the Pro Bowl 13x years (10x All Pro)…Rice is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

WR – RANDY MOSS

MIN (1998 – 2004); OAK (2005 – 2006); NWE (2007 – 2009); MIN/NWE/TEN (2010); SFO (2012)

*#2 in Career Receiving TDs (156)

*#4 in Career Receiving Yards (15,292)

*#15 in Career Receptions (982)

*#21 in Career Receiving Yards-Per-Game (70.1)

*Receiving TDs in a Season: #1 all-time (23 in 2007); #5 all-time (17 in 1998); and #5 all-time (17 in 2003)…Had 9 seasons with over 10 TDs (four seasons of 15 or more)

*His 1,632 receiving yards in 2003 is the 16th all-time season best…Had 10 seasons of over 1,000 yards (8 seasons over 1,200 yards), including beginning his career with 6 straight seasons of over 1,200 yards

*Career high of 111 receptions in 2003

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 6x (4x All Pro)…Moss is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

TE – TONY GONZALEZ

KAN (1997 – 2008); ATL (2009 – 2013)

*#3 in Career Receptions (1,325)…1st for Tight Ends

*#6 in Career Receiving Yards (15,127)… 1st for Tight Ends

*#8 in Career Receiving TDs (111)… 2nd for Tight Ends

*Led the League in Receptions in 2004 with 102…Had over 1,000 yards 4x (tied for most by tight end)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 14x (6x All Pro)…Gonzalez is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

TACKLE – ANTYHONY MUNOZ

CIN (1980 – 1992)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 11x (9x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

*It’s a shame that there are really no available statistics for offensive linemen. Some of the most valuable players on the field, one just needs to watch highlights reels of these tough, strong, fierce competitors. Watching these all-timers muscle-block, with great quickness, one powerful defensive lineman after another, is quite spectacular.

TACKLE – FORREST GREGG

GNB (1956 – 1970); DAL (1971)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 10x (7x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

GUARD – JOHN HANNAH

NWE (1973 – 1985)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (7x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

GUARD – BRUCE MATTHEWS

HOU (1983 – 1996); TEN (1997 – 2001)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 14x (7x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

CENTER – MIKE WEBSTER

PIT (1974 – 1988); KAN (1989 – 1990)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (5x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DEFENSE

DE – REGGIE WHITE

PHI (1985 – 1992); GNB (1993 – 1998); CAR (2000)

*#2 in Career QB Sacks (198)

*QB Sacks in a Season: #5 all-time (21 in 1987), with 2 additional seasons of 18 QB sacks in a season…12 seasons of over 10 QB Sacks (five of 15 or more)..Led league in sacks 2x.

*#30 in Career Tackles (1,048) – which is #2 all-time for a DE

It should be noted that Tackles, as a stat, have a number of issues, including that prior to the mid-1980s, the stat, simply, was not officially maintained. More so, the stat of “tackles” remains “problematic in its calculation” – well, sort of – through current day. This Sports Illustrated article details the elusive and unclear methods of tallying NFL tackles numbers, which is applicable to many players who have made this all-time team.

*33 Career Forced Fumbles (#19 all-time)

*20 Career Fumble Recoveries (#33 all-time)

*White was twice selected the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. And he was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times (8x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DE – DEACON JONES

RAM (1961 – 1971); SDG (1972 – 1973); WAS (1974)

*#3 (tied) in Career QB Sacks (173)…Note: this is an unofficial stat because QB sacks weren’t officially tallied until after he retired, but the stat comes from reliable sources. This QB sacks total is particularly super-impressive because Jones played his entire career in 14-game seasons.

*QB Sacks in a Season: #2 all-time (22 in one season); #2 all-time (22 in another season); #3 all-time (21 ½ in another season)… Note: again, this is an unofficial stat.

*Numerous career tackles that cannot be determined.

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (5x All Pro)

*Jones is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DT – ALAN PAGE

MIN (1967 – 1977); MIN/CHI (1978); CHI (1979 – 1981)

*#3 (tied) in Career QB Sacks (173)…Note: this is an unofficial stat because QB sacks weren’t officially tallied until after he retired, but the stat comes from a reliable source: the NFL Hall of Fame website. Just like in the case of Deacon Jones, this QB sacks total is particularly super-impressive because Page played nearly his entire career in 14-game seasons.

*QB Sacks in a Season: #3 all-time (21 ½ in one season)…Note: again, this is an unofficial stat.

*#1 in Career Blocked Kicks (28) – unofficial

*#4 in Career Safeties (3)

*#12 in Career Fumble Recoveries (23)…Also had an enormous number of career tackles and forced fumbles that can’t be located.

*Won an NFL MVP award – one of only two defensive players to ever win an MVP (Page was the first)…Also won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…And he was selected to the Pro Bowl 9 times (6x All-Pro)…Page is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DT – JOE GREENE

PIT (1969 – 1981)

*Mean Joe Greene had countless tackles during his career, but the countless numbers are not exactly known because, as stated above, the NFL did maintain the statistics – and unofficial numbers could not be found

*Nailed 78.5 QB sacks – unofficial (note that he played 9 years of his career in 14-game seasons)

*Gathered 16 fumble recoveries, and forced many more.

*2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year award winner…Greene was selected to the Pro Bowl 10 times (3x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – LAWRENCE TAYLOR

NYG (1981 – 1993)

*#14 in Career QB Sacks (133 ½)…However, this figure does not include LT’s rookie season because the NFL did not start recording QB sacks until 1982. Per reliable unofficial stats, Taylor really had 142 QB sacks, which would put him higher up on the all-time list – noting that, although he climbs the list while adding in the unrecorded season, he also falls on the list (when adding in the top earlier years’ players – e.g., Alan Page, Deacon Jones, etc. – who had more career sacks than Taylor).

*The 20.5 QB sacks that he racked up in 1986 is the all-time 7th highest season total.

*33 Career Forced Fumbles (#20 all-time)…This is unofficial stat, but, like the others, comes from a reliable source: the NFL Hall of Fame website

*1,088 Career Tackles, which puts him in the top 25 all-time (again, this is an unofficial, but reliable number)

*Won the NFL MVP in 1986 – one of only two defensive players to ever win an MVP…Also was 3x the NFL Defensive Player of the Year…And he was selected to the Pro Bowl 10 times (8x All-Pro)…Taylor is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – RAY LEWIS

BAL (1996 – 2012)

*#2 in Career Tackles (1,562) – and #1 in Combined Career Tackles (2,055)

*184 Combined Tackles in 1997 (9th best ever in a season) and 156 Solo Tackles in that year

*20 Career Fumble Recoveries (puts him in top 35), with 19 Forced fumbles

*2-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year award winner…Lewis was selected to the Pro Bowl 13 times (7x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – DICK BUTKUS

CHI (1965 – 1973)

*1,020 Career Tackles…It is notable that Butkus’s 1,020 career tackles were racked up in only 9 seasons, given that he retired early (and were accumulated in a career of 14-game seasons). He is largely considered one of the absolute best – and hardest hitting – tacklers of all-time.

Again, the above tackles stat is an unofficial, but reliable number, for the reasons identified earlier in this article. Given that we have stated – multiple times – that certain stats are unofficial (though reliable), unclear or otherwise not obtainable, we will merely note such (in a word or two), for each applicable matter, in the balance of this article.

*#6 in Career Fumbles Recovered (27) – and forced many more fumbles

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (5x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

CB – ROD WOODSON

PIT (1987 – 1996); SFO (1997); BAL (1998 – 2001); OAK (2002 – 2003)

Woodson was a truly unique, outstanding player, pursuant to the fact that he excelled in every facet of defensive football – with high-ranking stats in more categories than any other defensive player. Rarely, is there a defensive back who is equally a superstar in both interceptions and tackles—and Woodson was the best of the best, in this regard (taking nothing away from his First Team defensive back counterparts, who all share in this athletic anomaly). Interestingly (and rather impressively), Woodson transitioned to safety later in his career (being selected to the Pro Bowl at that position four times, in addition to seven selections at CB). On top of all of this, as the below stats will reveal, Woodson was a standout punt returner. Here are some of this incredible athlete’s highlights:

*#3 in Career Interceptions (71)

*#1 in Career Interceptions Returned for a TD (12)

#2 in Career Interception Return Yards (1,483)

*#3 in Career Non-Offensive TDs (17)

#1 in Career Fumbles Recovered (32)

#29 in Career Tackles (1,049) – which puts him at #7 for defensive backs

*His 20 Career Forced Fumbles is at the higher end for defensive backs

*Twice had 8 interceptions in a season, leading the league in interceptions two times

*In top 30 in punt return yards (2,362) and had 2 punt return TDs

*Won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…Woodson was selected to the Pro Bowl 11 times (6x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

CB – DICK “NIGHT TRAIN” LANE

RAM (1952 – 1953); CRD (1954 – 1959); DET (1960 – 1965)

*#1 in Single Season Interceptions (14 in 1952), which was his rookie season…Also had 10 INT in 1954…These feats are particularly amazing, given that they occurred in 12-game seasons

*#4 in Career Interceptions (68), including 5 INT for TDs during his career – also particularly amazing, given that Lane played his entire career in 12- and 14-game seasons

*#6 in Career Interception Return Yards (1,207)

*#7 in Single Season INT Return Yards (298 in 1952)

*Hit super hard, accumulating an unknown amount of tackles

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (3x All Pro)…Lane is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

S – RONNIE LOTT

SFO (1981 – 1990); RAI (1991 -1992); NYJ (1993 – 1994)

*#8 in Career Interceptions (63), including 5 INT for TDs during career

*10 INT in 1986 (less than 30 defenders have snagged 10 or more interceptions in a single season)

#19 in Career Tackles (1,163) – which puts him at #4 for defensive backs…deemed one of the hardest hitting defenders ever

*His 3 INT for TDs in 1981, ranks him #4 all-time for this accomplishment…And his 730 Career INT Yards puts him in the top 50

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 10x (6x All Pro) – notable that 4 of his Pro Bowl selections were at CB, with 6 at safety…Lott is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

S – EMLEN TUNNELL

NYG (1948 – 1958); GNB (1959 – 1961)

*#2 in Career Interceptions (79) – Again, this is a particularly astounding stat, given that in all but one year of his career, Tunnel played 12-game seasons (the final year of his career was a 14-game season).

*#5 in Career Interception Return Yards (1,282)

*10 INT in 1949 and 9 INT in 1951 (12-game seasons)

*In top 20 in Single Season INT Return Yards (251 in 1949)

*#18 in Career Non-Offensive TDs (13)

*#14 in Career Punt Return TDs (5), with 2,209 Career Punt Return Yards (which puts him in top 35 in that category)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (4x All Pro)…Tunnell is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

K – ADAM VINATIERI

NWE (1996 – 2005); IND (2006 – 2019*)

*#1 in Career Kicking Points (2,673)

*Career Highs in Points of 141 (2004), 140 (2014) & 139 (2013)

*In top 25 in Career Field Goal Percentage (84.3%)

*Has been selected to the Pro Bowl 3x (3x All Pro)…A sure bet for the Hall of Fame, he is currently playing in the NFL.

P – SAMMY BAUGH

WAS (1937 – 1952)

*Holds Record of Leading Lead in Punting AVG – 5x (tied with Shane Lechler)

*Career Punting AVG of 45.1% is not far off from all-time best of 47.5%

*Led League in Punting Yard AVG 5x, with his single season best being 51.4 yards-per-punt in 1940

*Led League in Longest Punt 5x, with his ultimate longest punt of 85 yards coming in 1940

*Also a great QB, Baugh led the league as follows: 4 times in passing yards; 8 times in completion percentage; and 2 times in passing touchdowns. His 70.3% passing completion percentage in 1945 stands as the 10th best of all-time.

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 6x (3x All Pro)…Baugh is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

KR/PR – BRIAN MITCHELL

WAS (1990 – 1999); PHI (2000 – 2002); NYG (2003)

*#1 in Career Kick Return Yards (14,014)

*#1 in Career Punt Return Yards (4,999)

*#2 in Career All Purpose Yards (23,330)

#3 in Career Punt Return TDs (9)

*#19 in Kick Return TDs (4)

*#5 in Career Non-Offense TDs (13)

*Also accumulated over 3,000 career receiving yards, with over 250 receptions

*Mitchell was selected to the Pro Bowl 1x (1x All Pro) – and he should be in the Hall of Fame.

*ALL-TIME NFL SECOND TEAM*

OFFENSE

QB – PEYTON MANNING

IND (1998 – 2010); DEN (2012 -2015)

*#3 in Career Passing Yards – 71,940

*#1 in Career Touchdowns – 539 (but he’s only 2 TD’s ahead of Drew Brees and 3 ahead of Tom Brady, both of whom will surpass him this season – perhaps even next week)

*#7 in Career Completion Percentage – 65.3%

#1 in Single Season Passing Yards (5,477 in 2013)…He also came in at #30 all-time (4,727 yards in 2014), and he has 4 other seasons in the top 60 best of all-time in passing yards

#1 in Single Season Passing TDs (55 in 2013)…He is also #4 all-time (49 TDs in 2004) and #14 all-time (39 TDs in 2014), and he has 4 other seasons in the top 60 best of all-time in passing TDs, tossing 37, 33, 33, and 33 TDs in varied other seasons

*He has 1 season of over 5,000 passing yards, and a remarkable 14 seasons with over 4,000 yards

*He comes in #39 all-time in career completed passes to interception percentage (2.7%)

*He led the league as follows: 4 times in passing touchdowns; 3 times in passing yards; and 2 times in completion percentage

*Manning won the NFL MVP an astounding 5 times, and was twice selected the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He was selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times (7x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

RB – EMMITT SMITH

DAL (1990 – 2002); ARI (2003 – 2004)

*#1 in Career Rushing Yards (18,355)

*#1 in Career Rushing TDs (164)

*#4 in Career All Purpose Yards (21,564)

*Rushing TDs in a Season: #4 all-time (25 TD in 1995), #6 all-time (21 TD in 1994), and #15 all-time (18 TD in 1992)

*Rushed for over 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons (7 seasons with over 1,300 yards)…He had three seasons in the top 60 best seasons, with: #23 all-time (1,773 yards in 1995) and #29 all-time (1,713 yards in 1992)

*#15 in Career Yards-Per-Game (81.2), with a Career Rushing Yards-Per-Carry Average of 4.2

*League Leader: 4x in Rushing Yards; 3x in Rushing TDs; 3x in Yards-Per-Game; 1x in Rushing Yards-Per-Carry

*Won an NFL MVP award…Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (4x All Pro)…Smith is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

RB – WALTER PAYTON

CHI (1975 – 1987)

*#2 in Career Rushing Yards (16,726)

*#2 in Career All Purpose Yards (21,803)

*#4 in Career Rushing TDs (110)

*Has 15th Highest Rushing Yards in a Season (1,852 in 1977 – a 14-game season). Like Jim Brown’s amazing 1963 season, since Payton was averaging 132.3 yards per game in this 14-game season, he likely could have come out ahead of Eric Dickerson’s single season record of 2,105 yards.

*Rushed for over 1,200 yards in 10 seasons (6 seasons with over 1,400 yards)…His second best marks were 1,684 yards in 1984, and 1,610 yards in 1979. His career high in touchdowns was 14.

*#6 in Career Yards-Per-Game (81.2), with a Career Rushing Yards-Per-Carry Average of 4.4

*League Leader: 1x in Rushing Yards; 1x in Rushing TDs; 1x in Yards-Per-Game; 1x in Rushing Yards-Per-Carry

*Won an NFL MVP award, and also won an NFL Offensive Player of the Year award…Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (5x All Pro)…Payton is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

WR – MARVIN HARRISON

IND (1996 – 2008)

*#5 in Career Receptions (1,102)

*#5 in Career Receiving TDs (128)

*#9 in Career Receiving Yards (14,580)

*#10 in Career Receiving Yards-Per-Game (76.7)

*Receptions in a Season: #1 all-time (143 in 2002) and #19 all-time (115 in 1999)

*Receiving Yards in a Season: #7 all-time (1,722 in 2002) and #13 all-time (1,663 in 1999), with one additional season of over 1,500 yards

*Had 8 consecutive seasons of over 1,100 yards (4 consecutive seasons of over 1,400 yards); 8 consecutive seasons of 10 or more TDs (2 seasons with 15); and 4 seasons of over 100 receptions.

*League Leader: 2x in Receiving Yards; 2x in Receptions; 2x in Receiving Yards-Per-Game; and 1x in Receiving TDs

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (3x All Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

WR – LARRY FITZGERALD

ARI (2004 – 2019)*

*#2 in Career Receiving Yards (16,928)

*#2 in Career Receptions (1,364)

*#6 in Career Receiving TDs (119)

*#18 in Career All Purpose Yards (16,996)

*#27 in Career Receiving Yards-Per-Game (68.6)

*Has had 9 seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards (4 seasons over 1,400 yards), with a career best of 1,431 yards in 2008

*Five seasons of over 100 receptions, with a career high of 109 receptions in both 2015 and 2017…Five seasons of over 10 receiving TDs, with a career high of 13 in 2009

*Led the league in Receptions 2x and Receiving TDs 2x

*Has been selected to the Pro Bowl 11x (1x All Pro)…Currently playing in the NFL, Fitzgerald is certainly a first-ballot NFL Hall of Famer.

TE – JASON WITTEN

DAL (2003 – 2017 & 2019)

*#4 in Career Receptions (1,205)…2nd for Tight Ends

*#19 in Career Receiving Yards (12,903)…2nd for Tight Ends

*Has 71 Career Receiving TDs – which is 4th for Tight Ends

*Has had over 1,000 yards 4x (tied for most by tight end)

*Has been selected to the Pro Bowl 11x (2x All Pro)…Still playing in the NFL, Witten, no doubt will enter the Hall of Fame once he is eligible.

TACKLE – JONATHAN OGDEN

BAL (1996 – 2007)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 11x (4x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

TACKLE – WALTER JONES

SEA (1997 – 2008)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (4x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

GUARD – GENE UPSHAW

OAK (1967 – 1981)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (5x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

GUARD – LARRY ALLEN

DAL (1994 – 2005); SFO (2006 – 2007)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 11x (6x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

CENTER – JIM OTTO

OAK (1960 – 1974)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 13x (10x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DEFENSE

DE – BRUCE SMITH

BUF (1985 – 1999); WAS (2000 – 2003)

*#1 in Career QB Sacks (200)

*QB Sacks in a Season: 19 was his season best (1990)…13 seasons of over 10 QB Sacks (five of 14 or more)

*#23 in Career Tackles (1,075) – this is #1 for a DE

*#8 in Career Forced Fumbles (43)

*Smith was twice selected the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. And he was selected to the Pro Bowl 11 times (8x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DE – GINO MARCHETTI

DTX (1952); BAL (1953 – 1966)

*The Real Single Season QB Sacks Leader – having an incredible 43 QB Sacks in a 12-game season, according to a 2019 Washington Post article. This is, perhaps, the greatest single season stat in the history of professional football.

*The same Washington Post article reported that Marchetti had 9 QB sacks in one game

*Likely the Real Career Leader in QB Sacks (which is also particularly amazing, given that he played his entire career in 12- and 14-game seasons)…Stats, however, are not available.

*Numerous career tackles that cannot be determined

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 11x (7x All Pro)

*Marchetti is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DT – JOHN RANDLE

MIN (1990 – 2000); SEA (2001 – 2003)

*#10 in Career QB Sacks (137 1/2)

*Had 9 seasons of over 10 QB sacks, with a career high of 15.5 in 1997 (which led the league)

*29 Career Forced Fumbles, which ranks him 27th all-time

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (6x All Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DT – RANDY WHITE

DAL (1975 – 1988)

*#20 in Career Tackles (1,104) – this is #1 for a DT…Note that the first 3 years of his career were 14-game seasons)…Stat is unofficial

*#23 in Career QB Sacks (111) – unofficial

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (7x All Pro)

*White is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – JACK LAMBERT

PIT (1974 – 1984)

*#6 in Career Tackles (1,479) – unofficial…Note that the first 3 years of his career were 14-game seasons.

*Won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (6x All Pro)

*Lambert is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – DERRICK BROOKS

TAM (1995 – 2008) 

*#7 in Career Tackles (1,297) – #6 in Career Combined Tackles (1,710)

*#19 in Career INT for TD (6) – it’s notable that he was a linebacker

*Had 3 INT for touchdowns in one season (2002) – this ranks him #4 all-time in this category

*24 Career Forced Fumbles – which puts him in top 45 all-time

*Won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…Brooks was selected to the Pro Bowl 11 times (5x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – DERRICK THOMAS

KAN (1989 – 1999)

*#17 in Career QB Sacks (126 1/2)

*#9 in Career Forced Fumbles (41)

*QB Sacks in a Season: #11 all-time (20 in one season)

*Had 7 seasons of 10 QB sacks or more (4 seasons with 13 or more)

*Had 19 Career Fumbles Recovered

*#4 in Career Safeties (3)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (2x All Pro)…Brooks is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

CB – CHARLES WOODSON

OAK (1998 – 2005 & 2013 – 2015); GNB (2006 – 2012)

*#5 in Career Interceptions (65)

*#2 in Career Interceptions Returned for a TD (11)

*#12 in Career Interception Return Yards (966)

*#5 in Career Non-Offensive TDs (13)

*#3 in Career Passes Defended (183) – this is a relatively new stat maintained, becoming an official stat in about 1999

*#19 in Forced Fumbles (33) – this is #2 for Defensive Backs

#43 in Career Tackles (983) – which puts him at #11 for defensive backs

*Had 9 INT in 2009 and 8 in 2006, leading the league in interceptions two times

*Won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…Woodson was selected to the Pro Bowl 9 times (3x All-Pro)…He is expected to be enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

CB – DEION SANDERS

ATL (1989 – 1993); SFO (1994); DAL (1995 – 1999); WAS (2000); BAL (2004 – 2005)

*#4 in Career Interception Return Yards (1,331)

*#5 in Career Interceptions Returned for a TD (9)…His 3 INT for TDs in 1994 ranks him #4 all-time for this accomplishment

*#4 in Single Season INT Return Yards (303 in 1994)

*#2 in Career Non-Offensive TDs (19)

*#24 in Career Interceptions (53)

*#9 in Punt Return TDs (6)…Also had 3 Kick Return TDs…Garnered 2,199 in Punt Return Yards (#33 all-time), and had 3,523 in Kick Return Yards

*Won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…Sanders was selected to the Pro Bowl 8 times (6x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

S – PAUL KRAUSE

WAS (1964 – 1967); MIN (1968 – 1979)

*#1 in Career Interceptions (81), including 5 INT for TDs during career

*#5 in Single Season Interceptions (12 in 1964), which was his rookie season…Also had 10 INT in 1975 and 8 INT in 1967…It is particularly notable that these interceptions were in 14-game seasons.

*#7 in Career Interception Return Yards (1,185)

*Had 19 Fumble Recoveries

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (3x All Pro)…Krause is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

S – ED REED

BAL (2002 – 2012); HOU & NYJ (2013)

*#1 in Career Interception Return Yards (1,590)

*#2 in Single Season INT Return Yards (358 in 2004) and #15 (264 in 2008)

*#7 in Career Interceptions (64)

*#5 in Career Non-Offensive TDs (13)

*#11 in Career Interceptions Returned for a TD (7)

*#18 in Career Passes Defended (139) – as noted earlier, this is a relatively new stat maintained, becoming an official stat in about 1999

*Had 9 INT in both 2004 and 2008, and 8 INT in 2010 – leading the league in interceptions three times

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (5x All Pro)…Reed is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

K – GARY ANDERSON

PIT (1982 – 1994); PHI (1995 – 1996); SFO (1997); MIN (1998 – 2002); TEN (2003 – 2004)

*#3 in Career Kicking Points (2,534)

*#2 in Single Season Kicking Points (164 in 1998)…Other Career Highs in Points were 139 (1985), 125 (1997) and 123 (2003)

*In 1998 was League Leader in Field Goal Percentage when he successfully kicked 100% of his field goal attempts (was 35 of 35)

*Had Career Field Goal Percentage of 80.1%

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 4x (1x All Pro)…Anderson should be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

P – SHANE LECHLER

OAK (2000 – 2012); HOU (2013 – 2017)

*#1 in Career Punting AVG (47.5%)

*Holds Record of Leading Lead in Punting AVG – 5x (tied with Sammy Baugh)

*Led League in Punting Yard AVG 5x, with his single season best being 51.1 yards-per-punt in 2009

*Led League in Longest Punt 5x, with his ultimate longest punt of 80 yards coming in 2011

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (6x All Pro)…Lechler is expected to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

KR/PR – DEVIN HESTER

CHI (2006 – 2013); PHI (2014 – 2015); BAL & SEA (2016)

*#1 in Career Non-Offense TDs (20)

*#1 in Career Punt Return TDs (14)

*#9 in Kick Return TDs (5)

*#3 in Career Punt Return Yards (3,695)

*#11 in Career Kick Return Yards (7,333)

*In Top 50 in Career All Purpose Yards (14,455)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 4x (3x All Pro)… He should be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

*ALL-TIME NFL THIRD TEAM*

OFFENSE

QB – TOM BRADY

NWE (2000 – 2019)

*#2 in Career Passing Yards – 73,951

*#3 in Career Touchdowns – 536…Brady is only 3 TD’s beyond the current leader, Peyton Manning, who he will surely surpass this season, battling for the #1 spot with contemporary Drew Brees who, currently, is only one TD ahead of him).

*#15 in Career Completion Percentage – 63.9%

#3 in Single Season Passing Yards (5,235 in 2011)…He also came in at #22 all-time (4,827 in 2012), #23 all-time (4,806), and #26 all-time (4,770). He has 4 other seasons in the top 60 best of all-time in passing yards.

#2 in Single Season Passing TDs (50 in 2007)…He is also #14 all-time (39 TDs in 2011) and #26 all-time (39 TDs in 2010 & 39 TDs in 2015), and he has 2 other seasons in the top 55 best of all-time in passing TDs, tossing 34 and 33 TDs in two other seasons.

*He has 1 season of over 5,000 passing yards, and 10 seasons with over 4,000 yards

*#2 all-time in career completed passes to interception percentage (1.8%)

*He led the league as follows: 4 times in passing touchdowns; 3 times in passing yards; and 1 time in completion percentage

*Brady won the NFL MVP 3 times, and was twice selected the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl 14 times (3x All-Pro)…He is currently playing in the NFL, and is a sure bet to be enshrined in the NFL hall of fame in his first year of eligibility.

RB – ADRIAN PETERSON

MIN (2007 – 2016); ARI & NOR (2017); WAS (2018 – 2019)*

*#6 in Career Rushing Yards (14,036) – but he is less than 70 yards behind Curtis Martin, so he should be claiming the #5 ranking before the end of the 2019 season

*#5 in Career Rushing TDs (109) – but he is only one behind Walter Payton, so he should be claiming the #4 ranking before the end of the 2019 season

*Rushing Yards in a Season: #2 all-time (2,097 yards in 2012) and #24 all-time (1,760 yards in 2008)

*Rushing TDs in a Season: #15 all-time (18 TD in 2009), plus he has had 8 seasons with 10 or more TDs

*Rushed for over 1,000 yards in 8 seasons (7 seasons with over 1,250 yards)

*#8 in Career Yards-Per-Game (87.3)

#16 in Career Rushing Yards-Per-Carry Average (4.7)

*#20 in Career All Purpose Yards (16,773)

*League Leader: 3x in Rushing Yards; 4x in Yards-Per-Game; 2x in Rushing TDs; 1x in Rushing Yards-Per-Carry

*Won an NFL MVP award and won an Offensive Player of the Year Award…Has been selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (4x All Pro)…He is currently playing in the NFL, and is a definite to enter the NFL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

RB – ERIC DICKERSON

RAM (1983 -1986); RAM & IND (1987); IND (1988 – 1991); RAI (1992); ATL (1993)

*#1 in Single Season Rushing Yards (2,105 yards in 1984)

*In addition to holding the Single Season Record for Rushing Yards, Dickerson also ranks the following in Single Season Rushing Yards: #18 all-time (1,821 yards in 1986), #21 all-time (1,808 yards in 1983), and #44 all-time (1,659 yards in 1988)…Had 7 consecutive seasons of over 1,200 rushing yards.

*#9 in Career Rushing Yards (13,254)

*#5 in Career Yards-Per-Game (91), with a Career Rushing Yards-Per-Carry Average of 4.4

*#13 in Career Rushing TDs (90)

*His career high in touchdowns was 18 in 1983, which ranks #15 all-time…He had 10 or more TDs in five seasons

*#32 in Career All Purpose Yards (15,411)

*League Leader: 4x in Rushing Yards; 5x in Yards-Per-Game; 1x in Rushing TDs

*Won an NFL Offensive Player of the Year award…Was selected to the Pro Bowl 6x (5x All Pro)…Dickerson is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

WR – TERRELL OWENS

SFO (1996 – 2003); PHI (2004 – 2005); DAL (2006 – 2008); BFU (2009); CNI (2010)    

*#3 in Career Receiving Yards (15,934)

*#3 in Career Receiving TDs (155)

*#8 in Career Receptions (1,078)

*#17 in Career Receiving Yards-Per-Game (72.8)

*Receiving TDs in a Season: #14 all-time (16 in 2001); #21 all-time (15 in 2007); #34 all-time (14 in 1998 & 14 in 2004)…Had 8 seasons with 10 or more TDs

*Had 9 seasons of over 1,000 receiving yards (5 seasons of over 1,200 yards). Had career high of 1,451 receiving yards in 2000…Had a career high of 100 receptions in 2002.

*League Leader: 3x in Receiving TDs; and 1x in Receiving Yards

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 6x (5x All Pro)…Owens is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

WR – CRIS CARTER

PHI (1987 -1989); MIN (1990 – 2001); MIA (2002)

*#4 in Career Receiving TDs (130)

*#6 in Career Receptions (1,101)

*#13 in Career Receiving Yards (13,899)

*Receiving TDs in a Season: #5 all-time (17 in 1995)…Had 6 seasons with over 10 or more TDs

*Receptions in a Season: #8 all-time (122 in 1994 & 122 in 1995)

*His career high in receiving yards was 1,371 in in 1995…Had 8 consecutive seasons of over 1,000 yards

*League Leader: 3x in Receiving TDs; and 1x in Receptions

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (2x All Pro)…Carter is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

TE – ANTONIO GATES

SDG (2003 – 2016); LAC (2018 – 2018)

*#7 in Career Receiving TDs (116)…1st for Tight Ends

*17 in Career Receptions (955)…3rd for Tight Ends

*#28 in Career Receiving Yards (11,841)…3rd for Tight Ends

*Had over 1,000 yards 2x

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (3x All Pro)… He is certain to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

TACKLE – RON YARY

MIN (1968 – 1991); RAM (1982)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (6x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

TACKLE – DAN DIERDORF

STL (1971 – 1983)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 6x (3x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

GUARD – RANDALL MCDANIEL

MIN (1988 – 1999); TAM (2000 – 2001)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 12x (7x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

GUARD – MIKE MUNCHAK

HOU (1982 – 1993)

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (2x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

CENTER – CHUCK BEDNARIK

PHI (1949 – 1962)

*Playing both ways his entire career, Bednarik is also considered one of the greatest linebackers of all-time – snagging 20 interceptions, recovering 21 fumbles, and making voluminous tackles.

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 8x (5x All Pro)

*He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Defense

DE – JULIUS PEPPERS

CAR (2002 – 2009 & 2017 – 2018); CHI (2010 – 2013); GNB (2014 – 2016)

*#4 in Career QB Sacks (159 1/2)

*#2 in Career Forced Fumbles (52)

*#2 in Career Tackles for a Loss (175) – note that the NFL did not start recording this as an official stat until 1999

*#26 in Career Fumble Recoveries (21)

*QB Sacks in a Season: 14.5 was his season best (2008)…10 seasons of over 10 QB Sacks

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (3x All Pro)… No doubt, he will enter the NFL Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

DE – JACK YOUNGBLOOD

RAM (1971 – 1984)

*#7 in Career QB Sacks (151 1/2) – unofficial…Note that the first 7 years of his career were 14-game seasons

*An enormous number of tackles and forced fumbles that can’t be located

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (5x All Pro)

*Youngblood is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DT – BOB LILLY

DAL (1961 – 1974); SEA (2001 – 2003)

*94.5 Career QB Sacks – unofficial…Note that he played his entire career in 14-game seasons

*18 Career Fumbles Recovered, plus voluminous career tackles and forced fumbles that can’t be located

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 11x (7x All Pro)

*Lilly is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

DT – MERLIN OLSEN

RAM (1962 – 1976)

*94 Career QB Sacks – unofficial…Note that he played his entire career in 14-game seasons

*An enormous number of career tackles and forced fumbles that can’t be located

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 14x (5x All Pro)

*Olsen is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – KEVIN GREENE

RAM (1985 – 1992); PIT (1993 – 1995); CAR (1996); SFO (1997); CAR (1998 – 1999)

*#3 in Career QB Sacks (160)

*#8 in Career Fumble Recoveries (26)

*QB Sacks in a Season: Twice was in top 50 of all-time, with 16.5 QB Sacks in both 1988 and 1989…10 seasons of 10 or more QB Sacks (7 seasons with 12.5 or more)

*Had 23 Career Forced Fumbles (which puts him the Top 50)

*Led League in QB Sacks 2x

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 5x (2x All Pro)…Greene is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – MIKE SINGLETARY

CHI (1981 – 1992)

*#5 in Career Tackles (1,488) – unofficial

*2x NFL Defensive Player of the Year award winner…Was selected to the Pro Bowl 10x (7x All Pro)

*Singletary is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

LB – TERRELL SUGGS

BAL (2003 – 2018); ARI (2019)*

*#1 in Career Tackles for a Loss (201) – note again that the NFL did not start recording this as an official stat until 1999

*#9 in Career QB Sacks (138)

*#11 in Career Forced Fumbles (37)

*Has 15 Career Fumble Recoveries

*QB Sacks in a Season: 14 was his season best (2011)…7 seasons of 10 or more QB Sacks

*Won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…Has been selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (1x All Pro)…Still playing in the NFL, Suggs surely will enter the Hall of Fame once he is eligible.

CB – MEL BLOUNT

PIT (1970 – 1983)

*#13 in Career Interceptions (57)…Note that the first 8 years of his career were 14-game seasons

*#14 in Single Season Interceptions (11 in 1975) – this was in a 14-game season

*One of the hardest-hitting defensive backs of all-time, he accumulated a voluminous number of tackles that can’t be located

*Won an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award…Blount was selected to the Pro Bowl 5 times (2x All-Pro)…He is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

CB – CHAMP BAILEY

WAS (1999 – 2003); DEN (2004 – 2013)

*#1 in Career Passes Defended (203) – note again that the NFL did not start recording this as an official stat until about 1999

*#26 in Career Interceptions (52)…With 4 Career Interceptions Returned for a TD

*#28 in Single Season Interceptions (10 in 2006)…Had 8 INT in 2005

*Has Career 812 Tackles – which is #21 all-time for defensive backs

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 12x (3x All Pro)…Bailey is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

S – KEN HOUSTON

HOU (1967 – 1972); WAS (1973 – 1980)

*#5 in Career Interceptions Returned for a TD (9)

*#1 in INT for TD in a Season (4 in 1971)…This was in a 14-game season

*#11 in Non-Offensive TDs (12)

*#18 in Career Interception Return Yards (898)

*#26 in Career Fumbles Recovered (21)

*In Top 50 in Career Interceptions (40)…Career season high of 9 INT  in 1971…Note that the first 11 years of his career were 14-game seasons

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 12x (2x All Pro)…Houston is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

S – BRIAN DAWKINS

PHI (1996 – 2008); DEN (2009 – 2011)

*#7 in Career Passes Defended (153) – note again that the NFL did not start recording this as an official stat until about 1999

*#13 in Career Forced Fumbles (36) – this is #1 all-time for defensive backs

*In Top 60 in Career Tackles (845) –  this is #17 all-time for defensive backs

*Had 37 Career Interceptions…and 19 Career Fumble Recoveries

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 9x (4x All Pro)…Dawkins is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

K – STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI

NWE (2006 – 2019)*

*#3 in Career Field Goal Percentage (87.1%)

*#12 in Career Kicking Points (1,775)

*Single Season Kicking Points: #5 all-time (158 in 2013), #8 all-time (156 in 2014 & 156 in 2017), #11 all-time (153 in 2012), #12 all-time (151 in 2015), and #16 all-time (148 in 2008)…Also ranks in the top 60 in Single Season Kicking Points in several other seasons, where he had points of 143, 141, 141, 141, and 140.

*Led league in Field Goals 3x and Extra Points 2x

*Has been selected to the Pro Bowl 4x (2x All Pro)… Still playing in the NFL, Gostkowski should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

P – RAY GUY 

OAK (1973 – 1986)

*Led League in Punting Yard AVG 3x, with his single season best being 45.3 yards-per-punt in his 1973 rookie season

*Had 42.4 Career Punting AVG

*Led League in Longest Punt 1x, with his ultimate longest punt of 77 yards coming in 1980

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 7x (3x All Pro)…Guy is in the NFL Hall of Fame.

KR/PR – MEL GRAY

STL (1971 – 1982)

*#4 in Career Kick Return Yards (10,250)

*#4 in Career Kick Return TDs (6)

*#16 in Career Punt Return Yards (2,753)…Had 3 Punt Return TDs in his career

*Also accumulated over 6,500 career receiving yards, with over 350 receptions – and career yard-per-catch AVG of 18.9…He led the league in TD Receptions 1x.

*Was selected to the Pro Bowl 4x (1x All Pro)…Gray should be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

And there you have it – the First, Second and Third All-Time NFL Teams. There are obviously several other worthy players, but, as in any selection process, hard decisions had to be made. And the above are our decisions. Just two glimpses into our tough decision-making processes:

The nearest misses in making the Third Team were at LB (Junior Seau) and DE (Chris Doleman).

The currently active players who were the most difficult to leave off the teams were Antonio Brown (WR), Julio Jones (WR), and J.J. Watt (DE). Their single-season accomplishments have been amazing; they just each need a few more years in professional football to gain greater career statistics to justify making an all-time team. We’ll see how things may change in the next few years…

Mario Del Vecchio is an 11-year-old standout 5th grade student-athlete, whose “Renaissance Boy” accomplishments as a film actor, top athlete, and straight A’s in school were recently profiled in an Empire State News article. Just a few weeks ago, his movie A Karate Christmas Miracle was released (see trailer here). He is again playing a lead role in a currently shooting movie, A Wrestling Christmas Miracle. That ESN article said of Del Vecchio’s athletic abilities: The kid is just entering wrestling season, after winning over 80% of his tournament matches during the 2019 off-season, where he medaled in every single tournament. First, second, and third place trophies cover the walls of his bedroom. Some of his victorious matches can be seen here: a 20-second pin, a 12 – 1 victory, a  48-second pin, another first period pin, and an 11 – 1 win. In 2018, he was his football team’s Lineman of the Year. In 2019, he was an absolute tour de force: on defense, terrorizing opposing teams’ backfields, and on offense a consistent powerhouse blocker. His 2019 football highlights reel tells it all…Del Vecchio, who dons jersey #44, was relentless as a defensive tackle. He led the team by recording 10 1/2 QB sacks, seemingly breaking through the opposing team’s offensive line in just about every play during the second half of the season. The sacks were complemented by constant pressures of the quarterback and running back tackles, as well as multiple forced fumbles. On the offensive side, Del Vecchio was the model guard. Block. Block. Block. And some pretty brutal ones. An atypical lineman – Del Vecchio has the build of a halfback (but is smaller than most of his lineman counterparts) – he’s a rock of lean muscle, whose physical and mental strengths power him, along with surprising quickness. But the kid has this to say: “Football is a team sport. Our entire team has a number of great players. If you want to see some amazing players, look at Baby and Donavin.”

Kenneth Del Vecchio’s greatest claim to fame in athletics comes in weightlifting. At his best, he was in the top five in the country in bench press (385 lbs. in 165 lbs. weight class). This was in drug-free competitions; when the steroid users joined in, Del Vecchio still ranked in the top 20 nationwide. In decline bench press, he may have been number one nationally for his weight class: he pressed 450 lbs. as his best lift. But, like some of the NFL statistics, this one is unofficial because there were no real competitions in decline bench press. See Del Vecchio’s bench press in this bio video…Aside from lifting weights, Kenneth Del Vecchio is an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Millennium Entertainment, Cinedigm, Screen Media Films, Anchor Bay, Gravitas Ventures, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. Del Vecchio is founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.” He also is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM. A best-selling criminal suspense novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years-old. In addition, he is a regular legal/political analyst on the major news networks (i24 News & Fox News), and he is the owner of the Criminal Law Learning Center, where he has taught thousands of police officers and lawyers…And he is a former Judge, who also has tried over 400 cases as a practicing criminal and commercial litigation attorney; he is a partner at the law firm Stern, Kilcullen & Rufolo.  

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