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AFC West all-decade honors

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    June 26, 2009 12:00 PM

    Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

    We're wrapping up our all-decade week with our AFC West decade awards:

    Offensive player of the decade: Tony Gonzalez

    It takes a lot for a tight end to be the offensive player of the decade, but Gonzalez is a worthy selection. He was dominant for the entire timeframe. He owns every NFL receiving record for tight ends.

    He was consistent throughout the decade and was the face of the Chiefs until he was traded to Atlanta prior to the draft. Some teams don't value the tight end position, but a player like Gonzalez shows how disruptive the tight end can be.

    Defensive player of the decade: Champ Bailey

    When Denver acquired Bailey from Washington for running back Clinton Portis, many league observers thought the Broncos made a big mistake.

    Yes, Portis was a good player in Denver and he has been good for the Redskins. But Bailey has been brilliant. He was the best cornerback in the NFL this decade and has been one of the best players in the NFL overall.

    He became the face of the Denver defense as he made it one of the better units in the NFL during the middle of the decade. Bailey is not only a shutdown cornerback, but he is superb in run support and a fine tackler. Bailey is a shoo-in Hall of Famer.

    MVP of the decade: LaDainian Tomlinson

    Tomlinson has been the best player in the AFC West since he was the No. 5 overall pick in 2001. He helped transform the Chargers from bottom-feeder to a perennial Super Bowl contender. Tomlinson has been the premier running back in the NFL this decade and his consistency has been stunning. He has never rushed for less than 1,100 yards in a season.

    He has a record-breaking 2006 MVP season under his belt and he will be a first-ballot selection to the Hall of Fame.

    Team of the decade: San Diego Chargers

    The Broncos have been consistent for much of the decade, but they have fallen on tough times. The Chargers are the best team in the division now and they have been consistent in the era of general manager A.J. Smith.

    In the past six years, the Chargers have won the fourth-most regular-season games in the NFL with 58. This team has won three straight AFC West titles, made the AFC Championship Game in 2007 and advanced to the AFC divisional round last season. It hasn't been a spectacular decade for teams in the AFC West, but the talented Chargers have been the best team for the longest period.



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