Was Tom Brady The Best NFL Player Of 2010s? PFF ‘Top 101’ List Revealed


May 14, 2020

Pro Football Focus just confirmed what most New England Patriots fans already knew: Tom Brady was the best player in the NFL over the course of 2010s.

PFF, which revealed its All-Decade Team earlier this offseason, took things a step further Thursday by releasing a “Top 101” list featuring the 101 best players from the entire decade. Brady earned the No. 1 spot, edging out Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Here’s what PFF wrote about Brady:

Arguably the greatest player the game has ever seen is also the best player of the 2010s. Brady owns the highest single-season grade PFF has ever given to a quarterback for his 2016 season, and his four-year stretch of play from 2015-18 was the greatest four-year run of play we have seen at the position. Brady defines clutch — in the fourth quarter and overtime, he still has the highest PFF grade of the decade. Brady?s ability to come up big and make huge plays in key moments has been incredible, but doing it all without making many mistakes is what truly makes him special. For the entire decade, he had just 124 turnover-worthy plays on 6,151 regular-season pass attempts, and his regular-season turnover-worthy play rate of 2.0% comfortably ranks first among the 79 quarterbacks who threw at least 500 passes from 2010-19.

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PFF’s list is based on “production, efficiency and performance” — rather than talent — and factors in playing time and postseason performance, both of which swing the pendulum in Brady’s favor. While Donald has been absolutely dominant since entering the NFL in 2014, he played four fewer seasons than Brady in the 2010s and still is searching for his first Super Bowl ring. Brady won three Super Bowl titles in the past decade, bringing his career total to six.

It’s worth noting PFF’s list was assembled with an ?all positions created equal? mentality, so it’s not like the deck was stacked in Brady’s favor by virtue of him playing arguably the most important position in sports. Drew Brees is the next-highest ranked quarterback on the list, checking in at No. 3. Aaron Rodgers comes in at No. 6.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who recently unretired to reunite with Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a trade from the Patriots, landed at No. 5, just ahead of cornerback Richard Sherman at No. 4.

Von Miller, Julio Jones, J.J. Watt and Luke Kuechly round out the top 10, in that order, behind Rodgers.

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Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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