A Look at Players, Teams, and Coaches Who Won in 2015
|Date & Time||Tuesday February 9, 2016, 12:00 PM (EST)|
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Football is all about competition. At the end of the day, all that matters is who wins and who loses, am I right? For the next couple of days, we’re going to take a look at the top ten winners and losers from the 2015 NFL season. Winners first. Obviously.
1. The Denver Broncos
This one should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. The Broncos are truly the biggest winners of the 2015 season, taking the Lombardi Trophy home to the Mile High City. Peyton Manning, Von Miller, and Gary Kubiak were all major winners in their own right this year too. You can retire in peace now, Peyton.
2. J.J. Watt
Watt, as per usual, won defensive player of the year in 2015. #99 led the league with 17.5 sacks and proved, once again, that he’s about as classy as they come in this league. Even though Watt and Co. couldn’t manage a playoff win, he still added another great season to his already illustrious resume.
3. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper
As some of you probably recall, I’ve been on the Carr bandwagon since his Combine appearance, but without a really solid receiver downfield in 2014, he didn’t put-up the numbers he’s capable of. Enter Cooper. The dynamic duo combined for 72 receptions and six touchdowns on the year.
4. The Carolina Panthers
Even though they lost the big one, the Panthers had a massive year, getting beat only once in the regular season. You might’ve figured out by now that I’m no Panthers fan, but the team and their fans were still huge winners this year. Plus, Charlotte’s a pretty nice town, even if my boys did get beat and my legs got dyed black from my jeans and the rain…
5. Eric Berry
This year’s comeback player of the year, Berry beat lymphoma to return to the field for the Kansas City Chiefs. His inspirational story helped to motivate his team, who quietly found their way into the playoffs (we’ll just not bring up that little loss in Foxboro). Berry finished the regular season with two interceptions and 61 combined tackles.
6. Marshawn Lynch
Everyone knows I love me some #24 and, I must admit, I’m incredibly sad to see him hang-up his cleats for good. However, Lynch clearly knows its time to go (unlike some people…ahem, Brett Favre) and that makes him a winner in my book this season. Over the course of his nine-year career, Lynch clocked 9,112 rushing yards, 1,979 receiving yards, and 33 touchdowns. Beast Mode, indeed.
7. The Los Angeles Rams
I’m still getting used to typing that. No judging if anything this offseason gets published with “St. Louis Rams” written in it. Anyway, after years of wanting to leave the Show Me State, the Rams are finally returning to the City of Angels. I, for one, can’t wait to see the facility that’s built for them. It’s sure to be a far cry from Edward Jones Arena. And, hey, St. Louis fans, Indy is just a few hours away…
8. Chuck Pagano
Jim Irsay might say that fan and player pressure didn’t impact his decision to #KeepCoachP, but I call a bluff. Twitter, Facebook, and every other social media platform exploded on the day the two met to discuss Pagano's future in Indianapolis. In the end, justice prevailed, and Coach will live to see another season wearing the horseshoe. It’s win not only for him, but for everyone in Colts Nation.
9. Adrian Peterson
After a rough legal situation in 2014, A.D. returned to fighting form this year, leading the league with 1,485 rushing yards. If the Minnesota Vikings could manage to get any kind of passing game going, they might actually find themselves in a spot to make a deep playoff run as long as Peterson manages to stick around. You listening, Bridgewater?
10. The Cincinnati Bengals
Hear me out. I know they returned to their usual downward spiral in the postseason, but overall, the Bengals had one of the best seasons they’ve ever had. It gave the city of Cincinnati some hope it desperately needed after baseball season and, I believe, it proved to the players that they have a shot if they play as well as they’re capable of. Plus, let’s be honest, losing Andy Dalton didn’t help anything. In the realm of things I never thought I’d type…