Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Players of the Decade—1970s

OPINION
By John Turney
This is number twelve in a series of picking the top 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, and now the 1970s

Here are the picks for the super seventies.

1970s Player of the Decade
OJ Simpson
Yeah, we know. Guilty, guilty, guilty. But for the 1970s, a dead-ball era for the passing game, the most valuable player, at least in terms of peak value is OJ. All-Pro from 1972-76 then the knee injury hit and he was not the same in 1978 and 1979. He was MVP in 1973, MVP quality in 1975. He could take it to the house at any time.

1970s Defensive Player of the Decade
Joe Greene
He was great in 1970-71 then he was in his defensive MVP mode winning two in three seasons. He anchored the defensive line for four Super Bowl titles. Had a dip for a couple of years but late in the 1970s, he was again solid.

1970s Player of the Decade Runner-Up
Roger Staubach
Again, not a lot of players in the 1970s that rise above others, there are a lot that are great but too close to separate. Guiding his team to four Super Bowls and winning two plus good stats most seasons close the deal for us for Roger being the runner-up.

Terry Bradshaw's four rings earn him an honorable mention.

1970s Defensive Player of the Decade Runner-Up
Alan Page
Page, from 1970-76 was amazing and even after he was good. But according to people we talk to the loss of weight in the late-1970s hurt him. But his peak, winning the 1971 MVP and a few others NFC Player of Defensive Lineman of the Year awards paired with is excellent sack numbers vault him ahead of the top defensive ends and linebackers for runner-up for the 1970s.

Page edges out both Jack Ham and Jack Youngblood. Ham was a six-time All-Pro, Youngblood a five-time All-Pro and seven Pro Bowls and was a two-time NFC Player of the Year and both were among the top vote-getters when the Hall of Fame committee picked the All-Decade Team of the 1970s so both get honorable mention behind Greene and Page.

Next up: the 1975-85 time period.

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