PFF's 2010s All-Decade Team Correctly Distinguishes Best Patriots Players of Past Decade
On Monday the the NFL released their All-Decade team for the 2010s, which received much criticism because of the players they selected and their choice of positional breakdown.
Instead of labeling the front seven of the defense like all NFL teams do now, which is "EDGE","defensive interior" and "linebacker", the league decided to use the archaic approach to labeling those positions as "defensive end", "defensive tackle" and "linebacker" which caused them to categorize very different types of players under the same position.
In what seems to be a reactionary effort to the NFL's lackluster approach to recognize some of their greatest players to play in the league over the past 10 years, PFF released their own version of the All-Decade team for the 2010s, which used the correct position labels and also accurately distinguished the best players from the past decade.
Here is PFF's first-team offense:
Offensive Linemen (left to right)
No Patriots players were listed on PFF's second-team All-Decade team. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were obviously first-team choices, as they are two of the best to ever play their positions.
In a league where seeing four wideouts on the field is commonplace, having a wide receiver in the flex position is much more appropriate than have a running back, which is the position the NFL decided to put at flex (Darren Sproles).
Here is PFF's first-team defense:
Chris Harris Jr.
Earl Thomas III
Listed on the second team were two Patriots: Stephon Gilmore and Devin McCourty. Both of those players were snubbed from the NFL's All-Decade team, which is crazy considering how dominant Gilmore has been over the past five years, and McCourty's high-level consistency over the past 10 years makes him deserving of a spot on the team as well.
Here are PFF's first-team specialists:
Listed on the second-team was Patriots captain Matthew Slater, who has made a career out of being a special teams standout, so he absolutely deserves to make this team.
All-in-all, eight current and former Patriots players that have played at least one game with New England made PFF's All-Decade team, and PFF - unlike the NFL - gave credit to Gilmore, McCourty and Slater for their high level performances over the past 10 years. They did excluded kicker Stephen Gostkowski - who was on the NFL's All-Decade team -and replaced him with Matt Prater, which is questionable but can be understood because of Prater's elite accuracy from beyond 50 yards. Former Patriots guard Logan Mankins - who was also on the NFL's All-Decade team - was also excluded from the list as well, which is understandable because he earned consistent PFF grades in the 70s between 2011-2015, which is average.