As Linus from Charlie Brown says, “Nothing goes on forever, all good things must come to an end.” and my goodness what a ride it has been.
The 256th and final regular season game of 2020 concluded on Sunday night as scheduled, and that in and of itself should be looked at as a small victory for not only the NFL but the entire country.
Between games being postponed weeks in advance, COVID running rampant in NFL buildings and locker rooms, and even the classic Wednesday afternoon barnburner it is safe to say that the 2020 NFL season was a microcosm of the year it was played in.
In a season like no other, some players showed us some of the best football we’ve seen in a while. You had Davante Adams scoring a touchdown seemingly every time he caught the ball, Derrick Henry joining the esteemed 2K club, and first-year players like Justin Herbert and Justin Jefferson breaking rookie records set only by players currently in the Hall of Fame, as well as many others.
This time of year triggers the beginning of award season for everything, but as I’m sure you know if you have read any of my preceding articles; we’re here to talk about football.
I clearly don’t have a ballot to cast for the AP All-pro teams laying in a twin-sized bed in a Harry Potter sized room of my rented college house, but if I did here is who I deem worthy of being a first team all-pro on offense.
*HM = Honorable Mention
Quarterback – Aaron Rodgers (GB)
HM – Patrick Mahomes (KC), Josh Allen (BUF)
Aaron Rodgers was clearly playing with a chip on his shoulder all season long after the Packers’ brass decided to draft a Quarterback in the first round of last years draft instead of giving Rodgers another receiving threat to make another run at the Super Bowl. Well, Rodgers essentially said, “fine, I’ll do it myself” and went on to have one of the best seasons of his storied career throwing for 48 TDs and only 5 INTs (3 of which were tipped by his own receivers). Just incredibly insane efficiency for a guy who everyone said was “declining” after a lack-luster 2019 campaign. He also led the league in passer rating (by a wide margin), QB rating, completion percentage, TD percentage and interception percentage.
Aside from Davante Adams, he really was surrounded by mediocre talent at best, so to put up those numbers without playing in an offense like the Chiefs who have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins just speaks to Rodgers’ greatness. He’s been my MVP for the past month or so for what it’s worth, but the last three games just cemented that notion. Best QB in the NFL this year, shouldn’t be in question.
Running Back – Derrick Henry (TEN)
HM – Dalvin Cook (MIN)
Up until week 17, my pick for RB1 would’ve been Alvin Kamara but after going absolutely bananas against the Texans in a last-second thriller I don’t really have a choice. Henry became the 8th player in NFL history to rush for 2,000+ yards in a season this year with a 250 yard game in week 17. He added 17 rushing touchdowns on the ground, both of which led the league.
He carried the ball 378 times this season, which was 66 more than the next closest guy (Dalvin Cook) and he still played all 16 games. Henry is the definition of a workhorse and that Tennessee offense would not be what it is right now if there wasn’t the threat of Henry bulldozing the entire front-seven every snap.
People will point to his pass-catching prowess, or lack there of, to try and knock him down but I think it’s even more impressive that he racked up 2000 on the ground without teams having to respect him as a receiving threat. Will go down as one of the most dominating RB seasons of all time, and you simply can’t leave him off the first team as a result.
Wide Receiver 1 – Davante Adams (GB)
HM – Tyreek Hill (KC), Calvin Ridley (ATL)
Adams was another guy who just had an insanely historic season. He only played in 14 games and left another one in the first quarter and STILL led the league in touchdowns (18), was second in receptions (115), and fifth in receiving yards (1374). At that rate if he had played in all 16 games this year, he would’ve had 131 receptions (1st in NFL), 1570 receiving yards (led the NFL), and 21 receiving TDs which would’ve tied Randy Moss’ single-season record.
The guy could not be covered all season long by anyone, and even when you would put two defenders on him he would still beat you. His connection with Rodgers was the best in the league this year and both of them put up flat out maniacal numbers.
Wide Receiver 2 – Stefon Diggs (BUF)
HM – DeAndre Hopkins (ARI), D.K. Metcalf (SEA)
Diggs was traded to the Bills in the offseason and it was the best thing that has ever happened to him, setting career bests in almost every category.
Josh Allen had a lot to do with his own development as a passer, but Diggs most certainly aided in that process in a big way.
He led the NFL in targets, receptions and receiving yards and helped the Buffalo Bills get into the playoffs for the second time in as many years. Much like Davante Adams, Diggs could not be locked down against anyone, posting above six receptions in every game besides one where he had four. Definition of consistency at the wide receiver position and behind Josh Allen is the biggest reason the Bills look unstoppable right now.
Tight End 1 – Travis Kelce (KC)
HM – Darren Waller (OAK), Robert Tonyan (GB)
This should come as the least surprising pick of them all as Kelce was far and away the best tight end in the league. George Kittle might have given him a run for his money if he stayed healthy, but no one was even in Kelce’s stratosphere in 2020.
He had the second most receiving yards in the entire NFL with 1416, breaking the all-time TE record for receiving yards in a single season. Kelce was also fifth in receptions (105) and fifth in touchdowns (11). Let me remind you that these stats are in comparison to pass-catchers around the league, not just tight ends.
Simply an incredible season for Kelce proving that he is still one of the most dominant forces in the league.
FLEX – Alvin Kamara (NO)
HM – Justin Jefferson (MIN)
We all remember Kamara’s Christmas Eve six-touchdown performance, but that isn’t even why he is deserving of being on the first team. Kamara IS the offense in New Orleans, leading the team in all-purpose yards, rush yards, receiving yards, carries, targets, receptions and touchdowns this year. It’s obvious to see Drew Brees’ decline but even with that, the Saints were able to finish 12-4 and secure the #2 seed in the NFC. With stud wideout Michael Thomas on the shelf for a majority of the year, Kamara shouldered basically the entire offensive load.
He finished the year third in all-purpose yards, first in total touchdowns, and did so while having the seventh most touches in the league. Incredibly efficient and incredibly dangerous. He is my pick for best running back/weapon in the NFL this year (Christian McCaffrey was hurt).
Now I could go deep into each one of these guys and why they deserve an all-pro nod, but there really aren’t any stats to back up offensive line performance as sacks can be a result of the QB holding on to the ball, the rules of the offensive line when facing pressure, etc. So, I will just put the names up for each position and won’t go in depth but just trust me – these guys are the best of the best.
Left Tackle – David Bakhtiari (GB)
HM – Terron Armstead (NO)
Left Guard – Ali Marpet (TB)
HM – Quenton Nelson (IND), Elgton Jenkins (GB)
Center – Ryan Jensen (TB)
HM – Corey Linsley (GB)
Right Guard – Wyatt Teller (CLE)
HM – Zack Martin (DAL)
Right Tackle – Ryan Ramczyk (NO)
HM – Tristan Wirfs (TB)