Friday, June 14, 2019

Player of the Decade—1985-95

By John Turney
This is the fifteenth in a series of picking players of the decades. We began with 1915-25, the 1920s, the 1925-35 period, the 1930s1935-45, the 1940s1945-55 the 1950s, 1955-65, the 1960s, 1965-75, the 1970s, 1975-85, the 1980s, and now the period of 1985-95

Here are the picks for the decade for the span of 1985-95—

1985-95 Player of the Decade
Jerry Rice
An easy choice. Won MVP in 1987, all the Super Bowl rings, the stats. As we said, there was no one else.

1985-95 Defensive Player of the Decade
Reggie White
Also easy, but he even excelled beyond 1995, winning the Defensive Player of the Year in 1998. He won it in 1987 as well. White was also the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1987, 1991, and 1995.

White was the NFC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995 (and you can throw in 1998 though it's outside the time frame). Then you can add in the NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year Awards that he won in 1987-89, 91, 95.

1985-95 Player of the Decade Runner-Up 
John Elway
Elway's exploits pre-1997 and 1998 (when he won titles) was good enough to be the runner-up to Rice. Without Elway, the Broncos had no shot at even getting to the Super Bowl in 1986, 87 and 89.

We also are going with Dan Marino (1984-93 'decade') as an honorable mention.

1985-95 Defensive Player of the Decade Runner-Up
Bruce Smith
Edged out by Reggie again. Such is Bruce Smith's lot in life. He had many of the same awards as White, just not quite as many.

No honorable mentions—White and Smith really stood out.

Next up: the 1990s

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