2020 offseason coaching, G.M. and front office tracker

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Here’s a one stop look at all coaching, G.M. and front office moves, interviews, rumors, etc. for the 2020 cycle.

Atlanta: The Falcons announced head coach Dan Quinn and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff would return ahead of Week 17.

Carolina: Fired Ron Rivera with four games left in the regular season. Perry Fewell was the interim head coach and is expected to interview for the job. Interviewed former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Requested permission to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Requested permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Eric Bieniemy will interview Jan. 2. Will interview Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski on Jan. 9 in Minnesota. Interviewed Baylor head coach Matt Rhule on Jan. 6. Planned to interview McDaniels on Jan. 7. Gave Rhule a seven-year contract to become head coach on Jan. 7.

Cleveland: Fired Freddie Kitchens on December 29. Fired General Manager John Dorsey on December 31. Requested permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Requested permission to interview Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Requested permission to interview 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Plan to interview former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, along with bringing Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski back again this year. Requested permission to interview Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur is expected to interview with the Browns and 49ers run game coordinator Mike McDaniel may also meet with the team. Baylor head coach Matt Rhule reportedly declined an interview request. Requested permission to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Set to interview McCarthy Jan. 2. Set to interview Saleh. Set to interview Daboll Jan. 6. Interviewing Roman on Jan. 2. Interviewing Bieniemy on Jan. 3. Set to interview McDaniels on Jan. 10. Requested permission to interview Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Interviewed Schwartz on Jan. 8. Interviewed Stefanski on Jan. 9.

Dallas: Made no move immediately after Week 17. Head coach Jason Garrett meeting with ownership on December 30. Garrett will meet with the front office for a second time Dec. 31. Garrett’s second meeting ended with no resolution to his status. Interviewed former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. Interviewed former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Lewis and McCarthy interviews took place before any announcement was made regarding Garrett’s status. Informed Garrett he will not return to team on Jan. 5. Announced Garrett will not return on Jan. 5. Reached an agreement with Mike McCarthy to be the next head coach on Jan. 6.

Detroit: Announced head coach Matt Patricia and General Manager Bob Quinn would return on December 17.

Jacksonville: Fired executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin on December 18. The team denied a December 28 report that they decided to fire head coach Doug Marrone. Announced Marrone and General Manager Dave Caldwell will remain in their roles in 2020.

New York Giants: Fired Pat Shurmur on December 30. Requested permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Requested permission to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Requested permission to interview Cowboys defensive passing game coordinator Kris Richard. Reportedly set to interview former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. Requested permission to interview Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale. Requested permission to interview Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge. Eric Bieniemy will interview Jan. 4. Set to interview Richard Jan. 2, McCarthy Jan. 3 and Martindale Jan. 4. Judge will interview Jan. 6. Set to interview Baylor head coach Matt Rhule Jan. 7. Set to interview McDaniels Jan. 8. Team announced it completed an interview with Patriots assistant Joe Judge on Jan. 6. Hired Judge on Jan. 7.

Washington: Fired Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start to the season. Set to interview former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera on December 30 and believed to have strong interest in hiring him. Fired team president Bruce Allen on December 30. Expanded the role of senior vice president of football operations/general counsel Eric Schaffer. Rivera agreed to become their head coach on December 31.

FMIA Week 17: 49ers’ Thrilling Win vs. Seahawks Sets Table for NFL Playoffs

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The NFL playoffs are finally here, but not before a fun finish to the regular season. Peter King opens Football Morning in America Week 17 with a look at the thrilling ending to Game 256, San Francisco at Seattle. Also in the column:

• Unpacking all of the crazy things that happened in the final seconds of the 49ers’ No. 1-seed clinching win over the Seahawks in Seattle.

• A quick look at all four wild-card weekend games—Buffalo-Houston, Tennessee-New England, Minnesota-New Orleans and Seattle-Philadelphia.

• Dark Gray Monday is here, with a slightly less dark outlook than previous coaching doomsdays of the past. Plus a look at names to watch with teams looking to fill vacancies quickly.

• An exit interview with Kyler Murray, looking back at the No. 1 pick’s promising first season in the NFL.

• The Week 17 awards, including strong performances from Derrick Henry, Shaq Barrett and more.

• More thoughts, notes and opinions on 12 football men who departed in 2019; what’s next for Philip Rivers and the Chargers; the hard numbers behind AFC North success; Larry Fitzgerald’s future.

• Plus 10 things, factoids, coffeenerdness, beernerdness and things learned during a holiday week in San Francisco. (Sorry not sorry, Airbnb.) [more]

2020 promises a who’s who of free-agent quarterbacks

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As the 2019 regular season ends, an irregular 2020 offseason could be looming.

Free agency currently promises to consist of a laundry list of quarterbacks with recognizable names. And while contracts done (and/or tags applied) between now and the middle of March could remove some of the names from the list, plenty of veteran quarterbacks currently are due to be available.

The list includes Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Washington quarterback Case Keenum, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, and Rams quarterback Blake Bortles.

And that doesn’t include the quarterbacks who are under contract beyond 2019, but who could be available via release or trade, including Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles, Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (if he plays horribly in the playoffs), Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (if he plays horribly tonight and/or in the playoffs).

Prescott surely isn’t going anywhere, and it would be a stunner if Cousins or Garoppolo move on. For the rest of the guys on the list, who knows what will happen? It all will unfold in the coming weeks, and frenzy will hit full boil by the middle of March.

Week 17 early inactives

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Every week we bring you all the inactives from the 1 p.m. ET games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. Check back to see the full list as it becomes available 90 minutes ahead of kickoff.

Jets at Bills

Jets: WR Demaryius Thomas, DB Blake Countess, RB Josh Adams, RB Kenneth Dixon, DB Bennett Jackson, DL Jordan Willis, TE Ross Travis

Bills: DE Shaq Lawson, WR Andre Roberts, WR Cole Beasley, WR John Brown, CB Tre'Davious White, RB Devin Singletary, TE Dawson Knox

Dolphins at Patriots

Dolphins: CB Jomal Wiltz, WR Allen Hurns, LB Vince Biegel, T J’Marcus Webb, OL Keaton Sutherland, TE Clive Walford, DE Taco Charlton

Patriots: DT Byron Cowart, S Terrence Brooks, CB Jason McCourty, QB Cody Kessler, RB Damien Harris, TE Ryan Izzo, OL Jermaine Eleumunor

Saints at Panthers

Saints: CB Eli Apple, S Vonn Bell, S Marcus Williams, RB Zach Line, OL Ethan Greenidge, DL Noah Spence, LB Manti Te’o

Panthers: WR D.J. Moore, LB Shaq Thompson, CB Corn Elder, OL Matt Kaskey, DE Christian Miller, DT Woodrow Hamilton, DE Marquis Haynes

Browns at Bengals

Browns: WR Rashard Higgins, S J.T. Hassell, T Kendall Lamm, G Colby Gossett, TE Pharaoh Brown, WR Taywan Taylor, DE Robert McCray

Bengals: G John Jerry, T Isaiah Prince, TE Mason Schreck, TE Jordan Franks, WR Stanley Morgan, WR Damion Willis, QB Jake Dolegala

Packers at Lions

Packers: RB Jamaal Williams, WR Ryan Grant, S Will Redmond, FB Danny Vitale, OL Alex Light, T John Leglue

Lions: DT A'Shawn Robinson, T Rick Wagner, OL Caleb Benenoch, CB Dee Virgin, CB Michael Jackson, RB Wes Hills, DL Jonathan Wynn

Chargers at Chiefs

Chargers: QB Easton Stick, WR Jalen Guyton, S Jaylen Watkins, S Roderic Teamer, G Spencer Drango, T Russell Okung, DT Sylvester Williams

Chiefs: CB Morris Claiborne, QB Chad Henne, CB Alex Brown, OL Jackson Barton, OL Andrew Wylie, TE Deon Yelder, DL Xavier Williams

Bears at Vikings

Bears: WR Taylor Gabriel, CB Michael Joseph, G Rashaad Coward, T Bobby Massie, TE Bradley Sowell, DT Eddie Goldman DL Akiem Hicks

Vikings: RB Dalvin Cook, RB Alexander Mattison, LB Eric Kendricks, LB Anthony Barr, T Riley Reiff, T Brian O'Neill, DT Shamar Stephen

Falcons at Buccaneers

Falcons: G Jamon Brown, DE Adrian Clayborn, S Chris Cooper, G Sean Harlow, WR Brandon Powell, LB Ahmad Thomas, OL John Wetzel

Buccaneers: WR Chris Godwin, LB Kahzin Daniels, G Aaron Stinnie, T Jerald Hawkins, WR Spencer Schnell, TE Codey McElroy, DL Beau Allen

10 games have playoff implications today

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The NFL has 16 games to end the 2019 regular season today, and 10 of them have playoff implications.

Here’s a look at which games have implications for both teams, which games have implications for one team, and which games don’t matter in the playoff race:

49ers at Seahawks: Sunday Night Football has the game of the day, the NFC West championship game. The winner wins the division, the loser is the NFC 5 seed and will play on the road against the NFC East champion next week. If the 49ers win they earn home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs; if the Seahawks win they still need help to get a bye.

Titans at Texans: For the Titans, they’re in the playoffs with a win. For the Texans, it’s possible that a win could bump them from the AFC 4 seed to the AFC 3 seed, but that’s such a minor difference that Houston plans to rest its starters and accept the 4 seed.

Steelers at Ravens: The Steelers make the playoffs with a win and a Titans loss. (The Steelers can also make the playoffs with a loss, if the Titans also lose, the Colts win and the Raiders lose.) The Ravens have already clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Eagles at Giants: If the Eagles win, they win the NFC East. (They also win the NFC East with a loss, if the Cowboys also lose.) The Giants are mathematically eliminated.

Washington at Cowboys: The Cowboys win the NFC East if they win and the Eagles lose. Washington is mathematically eliminated.

Dolphins at Patriots: The Patriots earn a playoff bye with a win. (The Patriots also earn a playoff bye if the Chiefs lose.) The Dolphins are mathematically eliminated.

Chargers at Chiefs: The Chiefs earn a playoff bye with a win and a Patriots loss. The Chargers are mathematically eliminated.

Raiders at Broncos: The Raiders make the playoffs with a win, a Titans loss, a Steelers loss and a Colts win, as long as they clinch the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Steelers, which they will if at least one of the Bears, Lions, Chargers or Patriots win.

Packers at Lions: The Packers clinch a first-round bye with a win and can clinch home-field advantage with a win and a 49ers loss. (The Packers could also clinch a bye with a loss, if the Saints also lose.) The Lions are mathematically eliminated.

Saints at Panthers: The Saints clinch a first-round bye with a win and either a Packers or 49ers loss, and clinch home-field advantage with a win and both a Packers and a 49ers loss. (The Saints can also clinch a bye with a loss, if the 49ers lose and the Packers win.) The Panthers are mathematically eliminated.

Colts at Jaguars: Both teams are mathematically eliminated, but a Colts win is necessary for the Raiders to win the AFC tiebreaker.

Bears at Vikings: The Bears are mathematically eliminated and the Vikings are locked into the NFC 6 seed, but a Bears win is one component that can give the Raiders the strength of victory tiebreaker over the Steelers.

Jets at Bills: The Jets are mathematically eliminated and the Bills are locked into the AFC 5 seed.

Browns at Bengals: Both teams are mathematically eliminated.

Falcons at Buccaneers: Both teams are mathematically eliminated.

Cardinals at Rams: Both teams are mathematically eliminated.

Week 17 injury report roundup

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All 32 teams will be playing their final regular season game on Sunday. They have handed in their final injury reports of the week and all injury designations for those games are below.

Dolphins at Patriots

The Dolphins ruled out CB Jomal Wiltz (shoulder). LB Vince Biegel (elbow), DE Taco Charlton (ankle), WR Allen Hurns (ankle, neck), DT Zach Sieler (ankle, thumb) and DE Christian Wilkins (ankle) are considered questionable for Sunday.

The Patriots made good use of the questionable category this week. LB Ja'whaun Bentley (knee), S Terrence Brooks (groin), LB Shilique Calhoun (illness), T Marcus Cannon (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (shoulder), WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder), CB Jonathan Jones (groin) and CB Jason McCourty (groin) all drew that tag.

Jets at Bills

The Jets ruled out guards Tom Compton (calf) and Alex Lewis (ankle). S Jamal Adams (ankle), DE Henry Anderson (knee, shoulder), WR Robby Anderson (calf), T Kelvin Beachum (back, ankles), RB Kenneth Dixon (illness), DT Steve McLendon (knee, hip), CB Brian Poole (ankle) and WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) give the team plenty of questionable tags to sort through on Sunday.

DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring) and WR Andre Roberts (foot) are out for the Bills. T Ty Nsekhe (ankle) is listed as questionable.

Saints at Panthers 

The Saints won’t have CB Eli Apple (ankle), S Vonn Bell (knee) and S Marcus Williams (groin). RB Zach Line (knee) is listed as questionable.

WR D.J. Moore (concussion) and LB Shaq Thompson (foot, shoulder) will miss Week 17. CB Corn Elder (illness) and LB Marquis Haynes (knee) are listed as questionable.

Browns at Bengals

WR Odell Beckham (groin, illness), TE Pharaoh Brown (illness), T Kendall Lamm (knee), DT Sheldon Richardson (back), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (illness), C J.C. Tretter (knee) and DE Olivier Vernon (knee) make up a sizable group of questionable Browns players.

CB William Jackson (shoulder) is out for the Bengals. WR Stanley Morgan (concussion) is expected to sit after being listed as doubtful.

Packers at Lions

S Will Redmond (hamstring), RB Dan Vitale (knee) and RB Jamaal Williams (shoulder) are listed as doubtful, although Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said Williams won’t play. WR Jake Kumerow (illness) is listed as questionable.

DT A'Shawn Robinson (shoulder) is out for the Lions. LB Devon Kennard (shoulder), LB Steve Longa (quadricep), K Matt Prater (illness), T Rick Wagner (knee) and S Tavon Wilson (hamstring) make up Detroit’s questionable group.

Chargers at Chiefs

T Russell Okung (groin) is out for the Chargers.

Chiefs CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder, not injury related) is out this Sunday. T Cameron Erving (illness), DT Xavier Williams (ankle) and G Andrew Wylie (ankle) are listed as questionable.

Bears at Vikings

The Bears will close their season without WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion), DT Eddie Goldman (concussion) and DT Akiem Hicks (elbow). Tackles Rashaad Coward (knee) and Bobby Massie (ankle) are listed as doubtful while CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring) is questionable.

RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) and LB Eric Kendricks (quadricep) will sit out for the Vikings. CB Mackensie Alexander (knee), S Jayron Kearse (foot) and RB Alexander Mattison (ankle) drew questionable tags.

Falcons at Buccaneers

G Jamon Brown (illness), DE Adrian Clayborn (knee) and WR Brandon Powell (wrist) won’t play for the Falcons.

Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (thumb, knee) and T Donovan Smith (ankle, knee) are listed as questionable. DT Beau Allen (ankle) and WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) have been ruled out.

Steelers at Ravens

RB James Conner (quadricep) and C Maurkice Pouncey (knee) are out for the Steelers.

The Ravens are expected to rest starters on Sunday. For now, RB Mark Ingram (calf) is the only player ruled out. TE Mark Andrews (ankle), WR Marquise Brown (illness), CB Marcus Peters (chest), CB Jimmy Smith (groin) and S Earl Thomas (knee, hand) may be joining him on the bench after drawing questionable listings.

Washington at Cowboys

Washington ruled out S Landon Collins (shoulder), QB Dwayne Haskins (ankle) and WR Terry McLaurin (concussion). S Troy Apke (knee), T Morgan Moses (knee) and CB Josh Norman (illness) are listed as questionable.

The Cowboys hope to have CB Byron Jones (ankle), T Tyron Smith (back) and DT Antwaun Woods (hip, ankle) after listing them as questionable. LB Joe Thomas (knee) has been ruled out.

Titans at Texans

RB Derrick Henry (hamstring) is off the Titans inury report, but WR Adam Humphries (ankle), CB Adoree' Jackson (foot) and WR Kalif Raymond (concussion) have been ruled out. WR Cody Hollister (ankle) is listed as questionable.

WR Will Fuller (groin) is the only player ruled out for the Texans. S Jahleel Addae (achilles), WR DeAndre Hopkins (illness), LB Jacob Martin (knee), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring), WR Kenny Stills (knee), T Laremy Tunsil (ankle) and QB Deshaun Watson (back) are all listed as questionable.

Colts at Jaguars

Colts RB Jordan Wilkins (ankle) and CB Quincy Wilson (shoulder) are out this weekend. DT Denico Autry (concussion) and S Khari Willis (shoulder) are listed as doubtful while CB Kenny Moore (ankle), DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (groin) and G Quenton Nelson (concussion) are listed as questionable.

WR Michael Walker (hamstring) has been ruled out by the Jaguars. LB Dakota Allen (hamstring), CB A.J. Bouye (wrist), RB Leonard Fournette (neck), QB Gardner Minshew (right shoulder), TE Nick O'Leary (shoulder) and WR Dede Westbrook (neck, shoulder) are listed as questionable.

Eagles at Giants

The Eagles ruled out WR Nelson Agholor (knee) and TE Zach Ertz (ribs, back). RT Lane Johnson (ankle) and CB Jalen Mills (ankle) are listed as questionable.

T Mike Remmers (concussion) and TE Scott Simonson (concussion) are out for the Giants. CB Corey Ballentine (back), CB Sam Beal (shoulder) and LB Alec Ogletree (back) get the team’s final questionable listings of the year.

Raiders at Broncos

G Richie Incognito (ankle) and RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder, illness) are set to sit for the Raiders after drawing questionable tags.

T Ja'Wuan James (knee), G Ronald Leary (concussion) and T Elijah Wilkinson (ankle) are all out for the Broncos.

Cardinals at Rams

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (hamstring) is questionable after being forced out of last week’s game. TE Charles Clay (calf) is also listed as questionable while TE Darrell Daniels (biceps) is out.

CB Jalen Ramsey (knee) will sit out for the Rams, who will also play without RB Darrell Henderson (ankle). CB Troy Hill (thumb) is listed as doubtful.

49ers at Seahawks

The 49ers remain without. DE Dee Ford (quadricep, hamstring). DT Jullian Taylor (elbow, knee) won’t play after tearing his ACL in Thursday’s practice. S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) returned to practice, but is unlikely to play after being listed as doubtful. G Mike Person (neck) is listed as questionable.

The Seahawks ruled out T Duane Brown (knee, biceps) and WR Malik Turner (concussion). S Quandre Diggs (ankle) and C Ethan Pocic (core) are listed as questionable.

Top 10 running backs of the decade

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As the decade comes to a close, we’re creating some Top 10 lists for 2010 to 2019. Up next, our Top 10 running backs.

1. Adrian Peterson: Only one running back won MVP honors in the decade and that was Peterson in 2012 when he rushed for 2,097 yards and had 2,314 yards from scrimmage. Peterson played one game in 2014 because of suspension and three games in 2016 because of a knee injury. He also won offensive player of the year honors in 2012. DeMarco Murray and Todd Gurley are the only other running backs to win that award this decade. He averaged more yards per game than any other running back this decade (82.5), rushing for 9,654 yards in 117 games. He went to four Pro Bowls and twice was voted All-Pro this decade.

2. LeSean McCoy: No running back gained more yards this decade than McCoy. He rushed for 10,434 yards and had 13,923 yards from scrimmage in 144 games. McCoy, who played for the Eagles, Bills and Chiefs, made six Pro Bowls and twice was voted first-team All-Pro.

3. Frank Gore: Five times in the decade Gore topped the 1,000-yard mark and two other seasons he had at least 961 yards. His 9,760 rushing yards is second in the decade behind McCoy, and he had 11,809 yards from scrimmage and 58 touchdowns this decade. He has missed only seven games. Gore didn’t have as many honors as McCoy, Peterson or some other running backs this decade, with three Pro Bowls and no All-Pro honors, but he was consistently good.

4. Marshawn Lynch: Lynch is back with the Seahawks just in time to close out the decade in style. He has 7,778 rushing yards and 67 rushing touchdowns this decade and another 1,551 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 194 receptions. Lynch was at his best in the postseason, too, with 937 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games this decade. He earned four Pro Bowl berths and was voted All-Pro in 2012 when he rushed for a career-best 1,590 yards.

5. DeMarco Murray: Murray had three really good seasons in the decade, but the rest were just sort of so-so. He retired after the 2017 season. In 2014 with the Cowboys, Murray earned offensive player of the year honors and first-team All-Pro by leading the league in carries (392), yards (1,845), rushing touchdowns (13), touches (449) and yards from scrimmage (2,261). He earned Pro Bowl honors that season, in 2015 when he rushed for 1,121 yards for the Cowboys and in 2016 when he ran for 1,287 for the Titans before being injured. His 7,174 rushing yards are sixth-most in the decade, and he did that in 99 games.

6. Matt Forte: His 7,629 rushing yards are fifth-most in the decade. In four seasons, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards and in 2011, he gained 997. Forte gained 11,353 yards from scrimmage and scored 59 touchdowns in 114 games in the decade. He twice earned Pro Bowl honors but never was an All-Pro.

7. Jamaal Charles: He played 88 games in the decade, rushing for 6,086 yards and 37 touchdowns. His 5.29 yards per attempt led the top rushers of the decade, and he earned Pro Bowl honors four times and All-Pro twice.

8. Le'Veon Bell: He played only six seasons this decade, missing last season in a contract holdout or he likely would be even higher on the list. Bell has three 1,000-yard seasons, earning him Pro Bowl honors each of those seasons, and he was voted All-Pro in 2014 and 2017. He has 6,084 rushing yards in 76 games, with 9,169 yards from scrimmage and 46 total touchdowns.

9. Arian Foster: His 6,270 rushing yards are 10th-most among running backs in the decade, and he scored 51 rushing yards and 65 total touchdowns. He made four Pro Bowls and, in 2010, he earned All-Pro honors when he lead the league in rushing yards (1,616), rushing touchdowns (16), yards from scrimmage (2,220), touches (393) and total touchdowns (18).

10. Mark Ingram: He earned Pro Bowl honors for the third time in his career this year. He has never made All-Pro. Ingram has 15 total touchdowns this season. Ingram has 7,025 rushing yards, 60 rushing touchdowns, 8,870 yards from scrimmage and 70 total touchdowns in his career, which began in 2011 when the Saints made him a first-round pick.

Top 10 quarterbacks of the decade

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There’s been plenty of talk lately about the Top 10 quarterbacks of all time. But who are the Top 10 quarterbacks of the last 10 years? That’s the subject of the latest installment of the best players at each position from 2010 to 2019.

1. Tom Brady. The best quarterback over the past 20 years (and ever) is good enough to earn a separate Hall of Fame spot for each decade. Over the past 10 years, Brady has been phenomenal, with five Super Bowl appearances and three Super Bowl wins. Even as he seemingly limps to the finish line, he has enough left to make it six and four.

2. Aaron Rodgers. He started the decade with a Super Bowl season the hard way, taking his team from the No. 6 seed to the championship. He continued to dominate as a quarterback, even if his team has underachieved. He could still end the decade where he started it: With a Super Bowl appearance, and win.

3. Russell Wilson. A Super Bowl champion in only his second season, Wilson has become one of the most dangerous quarterbacks, with his underrated passing skills and uncanny mobility. The highest-paid player in league history, the Seahawks wisely have built the team around a guy who is destined to be one of the Top 10 quarterbacks of the next decade, too.

4. Drew Brees. Four times this decade, Brees has thrown for more than 5,000 yards. He continues to be one of the best passers of all time, and he has led the Saints back to the top of the league in recent years, after several seasons lost to the bounty scandal and its aftermath. The only knock? No Super Bowl appearances since 2009.

5. Peyton Manning. He played only five seasons this decade, but one of them included record passing yardage and passing touchdowns, marks that stand six years later. He made it to the Super Bowl twice with the Broncos, and he exited the game in a way that so many would love to do it: With a championship trophy under his arm.

6. Ben Roethlisberger. Underappreciated for much of his career, Roethlisberger helped unleash an offense with unprecedented production, culminating in m

ore than 5,100 passing yards in 2018. He took the Steelers to a Super Bowl this decade, and the team is a perennial playoff contender, with six playoff berths since 2010 and not a single losing record.

7. Cam Newton. The first pick of the 2011 draft, Newton became the league’s MVP four years later, nearly winning a Super Bowl in the process. Injuries have kept him from climbing higher on the list, and the decade ends with his career at a crossroads. But he’s still clearly one of the best to play the position in the past 10 years, given his blend of passing and running skills.

8. Matt Ryan. He’s steadily working his way up the various all-time passing lists, racking up stats for a team that has underachieved of late. In 2016, the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl, with Ryan winning the league MVP award and helping Atlanta build a 28-3 lead in the league championship — until the wheels came off. At some point in the next decade, Ryan could end up claiming the all-time passing yardage record.

9. Andrew Luck. When considering his career, it’s easy to regard Luck as a disappointment. But he played incredibly well during his time in the league, authoring in his second season one of the best playoff comebacks of all time. And, in theory, the now-retired Luck still has a chance to become one of the best quarterbacks in the new decade that begins next week.

10. Philip Rivers. As his time with the Chargers likely ends, Rivers exits as an accomplished regular-season quarterback, with an average of 4,400 passing yards per year (more than 5,000 yards more than Matthew Stafford for the decade). But he has only two trips to the postseason. Rivers started every game over the past 10 years, and he’ll make it a perfect 160-of-160 on Sunday at Kansas City. The future is murky for Rivers, but the past 10 years justify his placement on the list.

Top 10 receivers of the decade

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Some would say the decade doesn’t end until December 31, 2020. To those we say, “We don’t care what you say.” Most say it ends next Tuesday. So, like pretty much everyone else, we’re creating Top 10 lists for the last 10 years. Now, the receivers.

1. Julio Jones. He entered the league with high expectations when the Falcons made a huge jump in round one nearly nine years ago to get him. He has delivered, with more receiving yards than anyone else in the decade (12,047), and a level of ability that constantly commands extra attention from defenses. He’s a two-time All-Pro who has led the league in receiving twice, and who has made it to seven Pro Bowls. Eventually, he’ll have a bronze bust in Canton.

2. Antonio Brown. Dominant for most of the decade, Brown’s reputation took a major hit this year with his endless off-field shenanigans. The ensuing lost season perhaps kept him from the No. 1 spot. He still outperformed every receiver in the decade from a receptions standpoint, with 841. Like Jones, Brown led the league in receiving yardage twice and made it to seven Pro Bowl rosters. Unlike Jones, Brown was a first-team All-Pro four times, helping flip a Pittsburgh franchise from being known for defense to being dominant on offense. He’ll be remembered for reasons other than his skills and abilities, unfortunately.

3. Larry Fitzgerald. Steady, consistent, and effective, Fitzgerald in the past decade has gone from great player to sure-fire Hall of Famer to one of the finest players of all-time, at any position. A consummate professional who has endured without complaint or agenda a revolving door of mediocrity at quarterback, Fitzgerald has shown up for work, done his job, and done it very well, with 751 catches for 9,051 yards and 61 touchdowns during the past 10 seasons for the Cardinals.

4. Calvin Johnson. The single-season receiving yardage leader with 1,964 in 2012, Johnson would be even higher on the list if he’d played deeper into the decade. But he surprisingly retired after the 2015 season, with numbers in six seasons that are still more than enough to get him on the list. Dominance characterized his run in the NFL, and a two-year run starting in 2011 generated more than 3,600 receiving yards. His eventual Hall of Fame case is an intriguing one; he burned very bright for a relatively short period of time — without a single postseason win to show for his tenure in Detroit.

5. DeAndre Hopkins. A great player who at times hasn’t gotten the opportunities that would have allowed him to be even greater from a performance standpoint, Hopkins has been the most consistent and potent threat in Houston’s offense throughout the seven years since he entered the league. With five 1,000-yard seasons and a pair of first-team All-Pro designations, Hopkins had more catches and receiving yards in the past decade than Johnson, in one additional season.

6. A.J. Green. Arriving like Julio Jones in 2011, Green started his career with five straight 1,000-yard seasons and seven straight Pro Bowls for the Bengals. Injuries began to take a toll in 2016, and he missed all of 2019 due to an injury suffered during training camp. He still has more than 8,900 receiving yards and 600 catches. It will be interesting to see what he does in a new decade, possibly with a new team.

7. Demaryius Thomas. A pass-catching machine during the Peyton Manning heyday in Denver, Thomas had two so-so seasons with bad quarterbacks until Peyton arrived, sparking a three-year run of 1,434, 1,430, and 1,619 receiving yards and 35 total touchdown receptions. Thomas’ production tailed off significantly post-Peyton, but the first-round pick from the first year of the decade deserves a spot among the best players at the position of the decade, with 724 catches, 9,763 yards, and 63 touchdowns.

8. T.Y. Hilton. An instant success from the moment he arrived in 2012, Hilton has quietly racked up big numbers (549 catches, 8,526 yards, 45 touchdowns) as the clear-cut No. 1 option in the Colts’ passing game, both with and without Andrew Luck. Injuries have made this a down season for Hilton. He’s still among the very best of the past decade.

9. DeSean Jackson. A speed burner who can singlehandedly transform an offense, Jackson has been a factor since arriving in 2008. From Philly to Washington to Tampa back to Philly (albeit for only one game this season), Jackson still strikes Randy Moss-style fear in defenses, given Jackson’s ability to take the top off a defense — and in turn to open up everything else underneath. His numbers for the decade are more than solid (474 catches, 8,352 yards, 44 touchdowns, 17.6 yards per catch), but it’s the constant threat of what he might do that helped make every offense for which he played better than it would have been without him.

10. Dez Bryant. The only receiver who spawned a catch phrase this decade, Dez caught it plenty of times during his career in Dallas that stretched from 2010 through 2017. An Achilles’ tendon tear derailed his in-season effort to help the Saints last year, and he hasn’t played since leaving Dallas. He did more than enough in those eight seasons, with 531 catches, 7,459 yards, and 73 scores — all coming from one spot (the X position) in a meat and potatoes offense that did little to help him get open. If he’d played for a team that did more than rely on him to use his size and speed to kill what he ate, his numbers would have been even better.

Earning consideration but missing the cut: Mike Evans (it was basically a coin flip between him and Bryant), Emmanuel Sanders (generally underrated but ultimately not potent enough), Jordy Nelson (7,900 receiving yards and 68 touchdowns got him close to the top 10), Brandon Marshall (if he’d started his career in 2010 instead of 2006 he’d be close to the top), Odell Beckham Jr. (unfulfilled potential), Andre Johnson (not enough great years this decade), Michael Thomas (arrived too late in the decade), Jarvis Landry (very solid, but not enough of a consistent game-changer), Doug Baldwin (numbers weren’t strong enough), and Julian Edelman (the only Super Bowl MVP of the bunch, but not enough production in the regular season).

PFT’s Week 17 picks

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The last week of the regular season is here. MDS clinched our competition a while ago.

But at least I can say I won Week 16, with a 10-6 mark against his 9-7.

For the year, he’s at 158-82. I’m at 146-94. Which means that, yes, he’s 12 games ahead of me.

The good news, if there is any, is that I can narrow the gap to 10, based on two disagreements for the coming week. For the full slate of picks, keep scrolling.

Falcons at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: Both of these teams are playing hard despite being long since eliminated from playoff contention. I see the Bucs pulling out a victory in what should be an entertaining if meaningless game.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 30.

Florio’s take: Jameis Winston needs two interceptions to become the NFL’s first 30 touchdown/30 pick player. And that’s really the only reason to pay attention to this one.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Buccaneers 24.

Dolphins at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Patriots just need to win this game to get a bye week, and they’ll cruise to an easy win.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 27, Dolphins 7.

Florio’s take: The Patriots have every reason to not stumble toward the regular-season finish line, since a loss could relegate them to the wild-card round.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Dolphins 13.

Bears at Vikings

MDS’s take: It’s a meaningless game for both teams, but I think the Vikings will be eager to turn in a good performance heading into the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Bears 10.

Florio’s take: The Bears packed it in last week. The Vikings have no reason to try to win this one. Flip a coin, and walk away before it lands.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 24, Bears 21.

Chargers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chargers are limping toward the finish of a disappointing season, while the Chiefs are trying to peak at the right time.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 30, Chargers 20.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs still have an outside shot at the No. 2 seed; more importantly, they could still slide to No. 3 and face a very good Bills team in the wild-card round. That’s reason enough to not falter at home to a hopeless Chargers team.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Chargers 17.

Packers at Lions

MDS’s take: There’s a part of me that thinks the Lions may just be primed to pull an upset here, but a bigger part of me that says they’re just too beaten up to win.

MDS’s pick: Packers 21, Lions 20.

Florio’s take: The Packers have a bye week, and possibly the No. 1 seed, in sight. The Lions don’t have much to put in their way.

Florio’s pick: Packers 24, Lions 10.

Browns at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Bengals have already clinched the first pick in the draft, but they’ll now clinch the worst season in franchise history.

MDS’s pick: Browns 28, Bengals 21.

Florio’s take: It’s a final exam for Freddie Kitchens, even if he already has failed the course.

Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Bengals 17.

Saints at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Panthers don’t have anything for the Saints, who will cruise in a game that they hope can help them earn a bye week.

MDS’s pick: Saints 34, Panthers 10.

Florio’s take: Will Grier is starting again, which means that the Panthers are (gladly) losing again, enhancing their draft status by finishing the full-blown plunge from 5-3 to 5-11.

Florio’s pick: Saints 31, Panthers 13.

Jets at Bills

MDS’s take: The Bills have nothing to play for, and the Jets have played hard over the second half of the season.

MDS’s pick: Jets 21, Bills 14.

Florio’s take: Adam Gase and company have whipped up an intriguing batch of chicken salad, and they’re motivated to finish the season at 7-9. The Bills have nothing to gain, and could mothball some of their key players for all or part of this one.

Florio’s pick: Jets 16, Bills 10.

Cardinals at Rams

MDS’s take: With a disappointing season coming to an end in Los Angeles, I think the Cardinals are going to make a statement that they plan a changing of the guard in the NFC West next year.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 28, Rams 21.

Florio’s take: The Rams close out their latest run at the Coliseum with a meaningless game against an improving team. Pride will fuel the home team’s desire to avoid a three-game losing streak to end the season, and coach Sean McVay surely will be paying close attention to which Rams will, and won’t, step up when the stake are low.

Florio’s pick: Rams 27, Cardinals 20.

Raiders at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Raiders are still clinging to playoff contention, and they’ll take care of business against the Broncos.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 28, Broncos 17.

Florio’s take: The Oakland Raiders lost their last game in Oakland. If they win their last regular-season game as the Oakland Raiders, they may get to play for one more week.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 20, Broncos 17.

Eagles at Giants

MDS’s take: I think this is going to be a closer contest than expected, but the Eagles won’t choke away the division.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 21, Giants 20.

Florio’s take: The last time these two teams met, a switch flipped for the Eagles at halftime. With a division title hinging on a victory, the switch won’t be flipped back.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 23, Giants 17.

Colts at Jaguars

MDS’s take: It’s been a disappointing season for both teams, but the Colts look to me like they’re playing harder down the stretch.

MDS’s pick: Colts 24, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take: Two teams who had plenty of promise end the season by playing a game that has meaning only for the Raiders, possibly.

Florio’s pick: Colts 27, Jaguars 16.

Titans at Texans

MDS’s take: Bill O’Brien says the Texans are playing to win, but I’m picking the team that has the playoffs to play for over the team that knows it’s hosting a playoff game next week regardless.

MDS’s pick: Titans 28, Texans 21.

Florio’s take: By the time this one starts, the Texans will know whether they can improve from the No. 4 seed to No. 3, avoiding the Bills in the wild-card round. Chances are the Patriots and Chiefs will win, keeping the Texans in their current spot on the AFC playoff tree.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Texans 14.

Washington at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Jason Garrett will win and then get fired in the locker room five minutes after the game is over.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Washington 10.

Florio’s take: Jason Garrett goes out with a win.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 30, Washington 17.

Steelers at Ravens

MDS’s take: If the Ravens were playing to win, they’d win. But they’re resting their starters, so I like the Steelers.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Ravens 14.

Florio’s take: The Ravens may regret not knocking the Steelers out when the Ravens had the chance to do it.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 20, Ravens 14.

49ers at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The regular-season game of the year will determine the NFC West champion, and I like the 49ers to go to Seattle and earn a hard-fought win. The road to the Super Bowl in the NFC will go through San Francisco.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Seahawks 24.

Florio’s take: The NFL has saved the best for last, with a division title, the top seed in the NFC for the 49ers, and a bye (possibly) for the Seahawks riding on the outcome.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 27, Seahawks 24.

Top 10 linebackers of the decade

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As the decade comes to a close, we’re creating some Top 10 lists for 2010 to 2019. Up next, our Top 10 linebackers.

1. Luke Kuechly: There aren’t convenient counting stats to appreciate how good he is at his job. Linebackers with large numbers of tackles sometimes play on defenses which can’t get off the field, giving them more opportunities to pile up stats which may or may not mean anything. But Kuechly defines the middle linebacker position in the modern game, with his combination of athleticism, preparation, and instincts. He has the ability to cover tight ends (like Rob Gronkowski), and play in the box. The 2013 defensive player of the year has been to seven Pro Bowls over the last decade.

2. Von Miller: Paired with DeMarcus Ware to lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl title, one of the truly special tandems the game has seen. His 105.0 sacks this decade are more than any player in the league over that span. He has just 7.0 this year heading into Week 17, and unless he gets three more against the Raiders, it would be just his second single-digit sack season. He also has 26 forced fumbles in his career, and remains one of the players opponents have to account for on every snap.

3. Chandler Jones: Only Miller has more sacks over the last 10 years than the Cardinals’ pass-rusher, whose 96.0 sacks are tied with J.J. Watt at the top of the list, when you start counting in 2010. He has 19.0 sacks and eight forced fumbles (so far) this year, and it’s not like he’s never put up numbers before. He had 17.0 sacks for the Cardinals in 2017. While he was always a good player with the Patriots (and had much more team success), he has blossomed into a playmaker during his time in the desert.

4. DeMarcus Ware: Much like Julius Peppers on the lineman list, Ware gets some credit because he achieved at such a high level for two decades. He was an All-Decade player in the 2000s for the Cowboys, and had 74.0 sacks from 2010 to 2016. He helped the Broncos win a Super Bowl, with their defense dragging along the husk of Peyton Manning. He finished his career with 138.5 sacks, which is eighth on the all-time list. Everyone ahead of him other than Peppers is already in the Hall, and those two will join quickly upon being eligible.

5. Clay Matthews: Matthews could have probably put up bigger numbers for himself, but he kept doing things that benefitted the Packers. A natural outside linebacker, he was often tasked with moving inside in Green Bay, showing the kind of versatility that not many players have. He still had 81.5 sacks this decade, and could still add to that total with the Rams.

6. Bobby Wagner: He’s been paired with Kuechly since they walked into the league together in 2012, and reasonable minds could argue about their relative standings on lists like this one. Wagner’s probably played with a better grade of talent around him, and was part of a Super Bowl champion with the Seahawks.

7. Ryan Kerrigan: His inclusion above better-known players might raise some eyebrows. But the numbers alone make a strong case for the Washington pass-rusher. He has 90.0 sacks this decade, and only Miller, Jones, J.J. Watt, and Cameron Wake have more over that span. It’s a shame his talents are wasted playing for one of the league’s truly dysfunctional franchises, which has only played in two playoff games (losing both) and finished above .500 three times in a decade. His team’s a mess, but he’s very good.

8. Navorro Bowman: Was a four-time All-Pro, and part of one of the great defenses of the decade. He got caught in a regime change in San Francisco that saw him exiled to Oakland, but when he was well, he was one of the best players at his position.

9. Khalil Mack: Believe it or not, there was a team recently which decided they couldn’t use this guy. All he’s done in his career is collect 61.5 sacks and 20 forced fumbles in six seasons, and the Bears are glad to have him. He’s still adding to those numbers, and should for years as part of a Bears defense which is built around him.

10. Patrick Willis: Like his old 49ers teammate Bowman, Willis would be much higher on this list if not for injuries. He also suffered for timing, as he played just four full seasons this decade. But over the course of his career, he was a six-time All Pro seelction, who covered all the ground. He was Kuechly, maybe better, but with worse luck.

Top 10 defensive linemen of the decade

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As the decade comes to a close, we’re creating some Top 10 lists for 2010 to 2019. Up next, our Top 10 defensive linemen.

1. J.J. Watt: This week’s attempted heroics aside, Watt has been the dominant lineman in the game, with three defensive player of the year honors. The 11th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Watt also earned five All-Pro honors, and for a guy with his run of injuries lately, that’s even more impressive. Despite missing 33 games the last four seasons because of injury, his 96 sacks are tied for the most of any player this decade. Trying to come back from a torn pectoral muscle to play in the postseason would just add some polish to a resume that doesn’t need it.

2. Julius Peppers: There might have been other players more impactful by the end of the decade, but how many of them were All-Decade players in the 2000s? Peppers had 78.5 of his 159.5 career sacks this decade, a decade that started with the Bears (and included plays like this), and included a stop in Green Bay before returning home to Carolina. He could have probably played in the NBA because of his extreme athleticism for a man his size, but was simply better at football, and will be a future Hall of Famer.

3. Aaron Donald: The Rams defensive tackle has changed the way people look at the game, becoming an impact pass-rusher from the inside. That shortest-distance-between-two-points-is-a-straight-line style has allowed him to post 72.0 sacks in six seasons, including his 20.5 in 2018. He’s earned a pair of defensive player of the year awards, and has redefined the position, as everyone now wants to find undersized interior pass-rushers.

4. Calais Campbell: Campbell has played for a couple of almost-good teams in Arizona and Jacksonville, but has done most of his good work for bad organizations. Through it all, he’s been a productive player (81.0 sacks this decade) and is known as a leader in locker rooms. He’s the kind of player who you wish could play for a regular contender, as he deserves better than some of what he’s endured (though he willingly took the Jaguars’ money).

5. Cameron Wake: One of the all-time underdog stories in NFL history, Wake entered the league as an undrafted rookie in Giants camp in 2005, and needed two years in the CFL (where he posted 39 sacks) to get the league’s attention again. He landed in Miami and made an immediate impact there. In the last decade, only Watt and Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones have more sacks than his 95.0.

6. Cameron Jordan: The Saints defensive end was not an overnight sensation, but has gradually improved to become one of the top players at his position at the age of 30. He had 29.0 sacks in his first four seasons, but has 39.5 the last three. He’s also a very good player against the run, and has accomplished something which previously seemed impossible — he has helped the Saints become good at defense.

7. Ndamukong Suh: His greatest skill might be getting paid, but he keeps getting that money for a reason. The former No. 2 overall pick by the Lions earned rookie of the year honors, before leaving to become the highest-paid defensive player in the league when he skipped to Miami. While his hired-gun routine might turn some people off, he keeps getting signed because he’s still capable of changing games.

8. Geno Atkins: If not for Donald and the fact he has labored in football obscurity in Cincinnati, Atkins would get even more recognition from the general football watching public. He deserves it. He has 75.5 sacks this decade. Unlike a lot of the players on this list, he was drafted in the fourth round, and has built himself into one of the best. And again, he’s done it for the Bengals, where .500 seems like an accomplishment, and one which is eluding them now.

9. Cam Heyward: Heyward’s position in the Steelers’ 3-4 does not lend itself to big numbers, but sacks alone can’t define his impact there (though he did have 12.0 in 2018). He’s become the foundation of a Steelers defense that has rolled a number of pass-rush options in behind him, and remains their leader.

10. Haloti Ngata: He was caught between decades (drafted in the first round in 2006), but his work as one of the best run-stuffers in football deserves recognition. Ngata was traded to the Lions in 2015, but he was the foundation of the Ravens defense, allowing the guys behind him to run free and make plays.

Top 10 offensive linemen of the decade

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As the decade comes to a close, we’re creating Top 10 lists for 2010 to 2019. This is our Top 10 offensive linemen broken down specifically by position, with two centers, four guards and four tackles listed as a first team (1-5) and a second team (6-10).

1. Joe Thomas, OT, Browns: One of the best players of the decade played for one of the worst teams of the decade. In the eight seasons Thomas played this decade, the Browns went 29-99. But Thomas made the Pro Bowl seven times and All-Pro five times before retiring after the 2017 season. His next stop is Canton.

2. Zack Martin, OG, Cowboys: Remember in 2014 when the Cowboys had a decision with the 16th overall choice: Martin or quarterback Johnny Manziel? Manziel lasted only two seasons, playing only 15 games. Martin has turned into a generational player, already one of the best guards in NFL history. Martin made his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl this season and likely will add his fourth career All-Pro honor next week. If he stays healthy, Martin should challenge the 11 Pro Bowls and six All-Pro honors Larry Allen had with the Cowboys. Martin has five holding penalties and has allowed 11.5 sacks, according to STATS, Inc., in the 93 career games he has played.

3. Tyron Smith, OT, Cowboys: The Cowboys made Smith the ninth overall choice in 2011. He has made the Pro Bowl the past seven seasons and twice has earned All-Pro. Smith is in his ninth season but only 29. He has had various injuries in recent seasons, including back issues, and it has kept him from being as dominant as he once was. But Smith, who has 32 holding penalties and 34 sacks allowed this decade, per STATS, Inc., is having a career worthy of Canton.

4. Marshal Yanda, OG, Ravens: Yanda was in his fourth season and not a full-time starter when the decade opened. He ended up starting 140 of the 159 possible games played so far in the decade (before Sunday’s season finale) and made the Pro Bowl eight times and All-Pro twice. He could earn All-Pro honors for a third time next week, though Quenton Nelson entered that honor last season at left guard. Yanda has eight holding penalties and 17.5 sacks allowed this decade, per STATS, Inc.

5. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Steelers: The Steelers made him the 18th overall choice in 2010. He has made 121 starts with 11 holding penalties and 13.25 sacks allowed, per STATS, Inc., in his career. Pouncey has eight Pro Bowls and two All-Pro honors, and he was voted second-team All-Pro three times.

Second-team offensive line

6. Jason Peters, OT, Eagles: Peters has remained among the top offensive linemen all decade. He has made the Pro Bowl six times and All-Pro twice this decade. He, Jason Kelce and right tackle Lane Johnson have formed one of the league’s dominant offensive lines since 2013 when the Eagles drafted Johnson in the first round.

7. Jason Kelce, C, Eagles: The Eagles drafted Kelce in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. He started all 16 games as a rookie. In his nine seasons this decade, Kelce has made the Pro Bowl three times and All-Pro twice. He has 26 holding penalties and 11 sacks allowed, per STATS, Inc., in his 125 games played.

8. Jahri Evans, OG, Saints, Packers: Evans was a rock at right guard for the Saints for seven seasons in the decade. He closed out his career with the Packers in 2017. In eight seasons in the decade, Evans made five Pro Bowls and three times was All-Pro.

9. Andrew Whitworth, OT, Bengals, Rams: Playing in Cincinnati the first 11 seasons of his career, Whitworth did not get his full due. It wasn’t until his seventh season — in 2012 — that Whitworth made his first Pro Bowl. He ended up making the Pro Bowl four times and All-Pro twice in 10 seasons in the decade. He has 35 holding penalties and 33.5 sacks allowed this decade, per STATS, Inc.

10. Mike Iupati, OG, 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks: The 49ers made Iupati a first-round choice in 2010. He started all 16 games as a rookie and played 129 games this decade for three teams. Iupati earned Pro Bowl honors four times and All-Pro in 2012. He has 18 holding penalties and 28.5 sacks allowed, per STATS, Inc.

Top 10 safeties of the decade

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As the decade comes to a close, we’re creating some Top 10 lists for 2010 to 2019. Up next, our Top 10 safeties.

1. Earl Thomas: Thomas anchored the best secondary of the decade during his time in Seattle and has a Super Bowl ring to show for their efforts. Thomas was named a first-team All-Pro three times during his run in Seattle and made an impact across the board, but especially in the passing game. He ranks third among all players in interceptions since 2010 and his play with the Ravens this season shows that there will be more to come.

2. Eric Weddle: Weddle has worn several uniforms over the course of the decade and has been a strong performer in all of them. He was a first- or second-team All-Pro in each of the first five seasons of the decade while with the Chargers and then spent three seasons leading the secondary in Baltimore. The end of the line is closing in, but Weddle has over 100 tackles for the Rams this season and may have a little more time left before he says goodbye.

3. Devin McCourty: McCourty came to the Patriots as a cornerback, but moving to safety lifted him to greater heights. He’s been a fixture for New England — five missed games since entering the league in 2010 — because he’s shown the ability to do whatever Bill Belichick has asked of him. He can play deep, he can cover running backs or tight ends and he’s been a sure tackler throughout a career that’s seen him win three Super Bowl rings.

4. Kam Chancellor: A neck injury helped bring Chancellor’s career to an early end, which was not a great surprise given how often Chancellor put his body at risk to lay out an opponent. He provided muscle alongside Thomas in Seattle’s Legion of Boom secondary for the first eight years of the decade and helped the team to a pair of Super Bowl appearances by making sure that any yards came at a price.

5. Eric Berry: Berry has dealt with injuries and illness that has kept him off the field for long spells over the course of his career, but he’s excelled whenever he’s put in a full season. He was a three-time first-team All-Pro while with the Chiefs and returned five of his 14 career interceptions for touchdowns. Berry didn’t play in 2019 and has only played three games since 2016, so he may be done with a career that’s remarkable for both what he did and what he might have done with better health.

6. Harrison Smith: Smith was installed in the Vikings starting lineup after being picked in the first round of the 2012 draft and scored two touchdowns on interceptions during his rookie season. He’s remained a playmaker at the back end for Minnesota, as evidenced by 25 career interceptions, and has also shown an ability to wreak havoc as a blitzer by picking up 13.5 sacks in his eight NFL seasons.

7. Malcolm Jenkins: Whether in New Orleans or Philadelphia, Jenkins has supplied his teams with plays all over the field. He’s posted 16 interceptions, forced 15 fumbles, recorded 10 sacks, recovered 10 fumbles and scored seven touchdowns over the course of the decade. He reached a pinnacle as a leader of the defense for the Eagles’ Super Bowl LII champions and will close out the season by trying to secure one more postseason appearance for Philly this year.

8. Troy Polamalu: It’s been a while since Polamalu was on the field, but he opened the decade as the best safety in the league. He became the last defensive back to be named defensive player of the year in 2010 and was a first-team All-Pro in the first two years of the decade. The previous decade set the stage for his eventual enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but this decade provided the finishing touches that made it a no-brainer.

9. Reggie Nelson: Nelson didn’t play for anyone in 2019, but he still has more interceptions than any player other than Richard Sherman this decade. Those 31 interceptions came while playing in Cincinnati and Oakland for teams that didn’t find success in the postseason, which didn’t do much to help his profile compared to others on this list but Nelson provided big plays for both of his teams on regular basis.

10. Charles Woodson: Woodson wasn’t a safety for all of the six seasons he played this decade, but his ability to play safety and cover receivers as a cornerback made him the kind of hybrid defensive back that we’ve seen teams prize in recent seasons. He kicked off the decade by helping the Packers win a Super Bowl, was a first-team All-Pro in 2011 and played at a high enough level that he was a second-team All-Pro in his final season with the Raiders as a 39-year-old.

NFL playoff scenarios for Week 17

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The NFL released the following playoff scenarios for the final week of the season.



Baltimore Ravens – AFC North division and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs

Houston Texans – AFC South division

Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division

New England Patriots – AFC East division

Buffalo Bills – playoff berth

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-4) (vs. L.A. Chargers (5-10), 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Kansas City clinches a first-round bye with:

KC win + NE loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3) (vs. Miami (4-11); 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

NE win or tie OR
KC loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS (7-8) (at Denver (6-9); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:

OAK win + PIT loss + TEN loss + IND win + OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT*

*OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over PIT if ONE of the following teams win or tie:


PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7) (at Baltimore (13-2); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

PIT win + TEN loss or tie OR
PIT tie + TEN loss OR
TEN loss + IND win + OAK loss or tie OR
TEN loss + IND win + PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker*

*PIT ties OAK in strength-of-victory tiebreaker if ALL of the following teams win:


TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7) (at Houston (10-5); 4:25 PM ET, CBS)

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

TEN win OR
TEN tie + PIT loss or tie OR
PIT loss + IND loss or tie



Green Bay – NFC North division

New Orleans – NFC South division

Minnesota — playoff berth

San Francisco — playoff berth

Seattle — playoff berth

DALLAS COWBOYS (7-8) (vs. Washington (3-12); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:

DAL win + PHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) (at Detroit (3-11-1); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Green Bay clinches a first-round bye with:

GB win OR
NO loss OR
GB tie + SF loss OR
GB tie + NO tie

Green Bay clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

GB win + SF loss or tie OR
GB tie + SF loss + NO loss or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-3) (at Carolina (5-10); 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

NO win + GB loss or tie OR
NO win + SF loss or tie OR
NO tie + GB loss OR
NO tie + SF loss OR
SF loss + GB win or tie

New Orleans clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

NO win + GB loss or tie + SF loss or tie OR
NO tie + GB loss + SF loss

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (8-7) (at N.Y. Giants (4-11); 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:

PHI win or tie OR
DAL loss or tie

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-3) (at Seattle (11-4); 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

San Francisco clinches NFC West division title with:

SF win or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:

SF win OR
SF tie + GB loss or tie OR
SF tie + NO loss or tie

San Francisco clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

SF win OR
SF tie + GB loss or tie + NO loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-4) (vs. San Francisco (12-3); 8:20 ET, NBC)

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:

SEA win

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

SEA win + GB loss

Seattle clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

SEA win + GB loss + NO loss