Saturday, June 15, 2019

Players of the Decade—1995-05

By John Turney
This is the sixteenth 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, 1985-95, the 1990s and now we choose the 1995-05 top players.

Here are the picks:

1995-05 Player of the Decade
Brett Favre
Favre was a three-time NFL MVP and was an NFC Player of the Year one additional time and from 1995-04 he averaged 3932 yards passing and 31 touchdown passes per season (he led the NFL passing touchdowns four times: 1995–1997, 2003)

1995-05 Defensive Player of the Decade
Ray Lewis
Lewis was twice the Defensive Player of the Year (2000 and 2003) and had seasons that were just as good (1998, 1999, and 2001) and others close to that level. Even with off-field issue that was well publicized he kept it together on the field and was the best player on the best defense of the era.

1995-05 Player of the Decade Runner-Up 
Marshall Faulk and Larry Allen

Faulk's "decade" is 1994-03 and in that time he was special. As we've posted it did it all—ran between the tackles and also in the open field (drawing comparisons to Barry Sanders) and also was a great short yardage and goal line runner (drawing a comparison to Earl Campbell). He also was the best receiving back ever and also was a smart player and a fine, fine pass blocker. He was a three-time Offensive Player of the Year, two MVPs (one consensus), and a Super Bowl ring.

Allen was simply amazing. He was a primarily a guard, but if needed he could move to tackle and play All-Pro ball there as well. He'd be on the Mt. Rushmore of guards along with Jim Parker, John Hannah and Bruce Matthews in our view.

Our only honorable mention is Marvin Harrison.

1995-05  Defensive Player of the Decade Runner-Up
Michael Strahan
Strahan began his dominance in 1997 and kept it going through 1995, making his mid-decade 1996-05. In that time he won an NFL Defensive Player Year of the Award and also an NFC Defensive Player of the Year Awards. He was a good strong-side defensive end who would play the run and twice led the NFL in sacks.

Strahan beat out honorable mentions Derrick Brooks and Brian Dawkins who were both stellar in the 1995-05 time frame as well.

next up: the 2000s


  1. do you think Bryant Young was tracking to be in consideration for this list before his knee injury?

    1. Yes, I will be putting his has the 2nd best DL from 1995-05 category eventually

  2. Young seemed to be a beloved teammate and highly respected opponent. I think he was called one of the most fundamentally sound lineman in the game.