Don’t Look Back in Anger: the top 5 NFL teams of 2010
But looking back, it turns out things actually happened on the field too. Yeah, it’s easy to forget in retrospect, but the 2010 NFL season was an eventful one. So let’s forget about that disturbing text you got from some unknown number in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and take a look back at the top 5 teams of the 2010 season.
5 Seattle Seahawks
The 2010 Seattle Seahawks were a historic club to say the least, though not exactly in the way you’d like them to be. After winning the remarkably inept NFC West with a record of 7-9, the Seahawks became known as quite possibly the worst team in league history to ever make the playoffs. But hey, who’s to say that having the league’s 23rd ranked offense and 25th ranked defense should prevent you from competing in the postseason? And how they managed to get there didn’t matter to the Seahawks, as they proceeded to upset the reigning champion Saints in the first round before being bounced by the Bears. Say what you will about the 2010 Seahawks, but they sure screwed up a lot of people’s “sure-fire” bets.
4 New York Jets
In the months leading up to the season, the Jets extended their deal with head coach Rex Ryan through 2014, and he promptly rewarded them by publicly guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory and putting his team squarely in everyone else’s crosshairs. To their credit though, the Jets managed an 11-5 regular season record and made a serious run through the playoffs besting both Peyton Manning’s Colts and Tom Brady’s Patriots, before they were derailed by the Steelers, falling just short of the Super Bowl. Though by that point it didn’t matter much, since everyone was so weirded out by Rex’s foot fetish video they had pretty much forgotten about the whole guarantee thing.
3 Chicago Bears
The Bears had missed the playoffs for three straight seasons and were once again projected to fall short in 2010. However, the off-season addition of terrifying man-beast Julius Peppers to an already dominant defense, combined with the serviceable mediocrity of the always-excited Jay Cutler on offense, led the Bears to an 11-5 record and their first division crown since ’06. They eventually met the rival Packers in the NFC Championship, but their season came to an unexpected end on an interception that assured Bears fans will forever be haunted by the nimble athleticism and subtle rump-shaking of 338-lb. B.J. Raji.
2 Pittsburgh Steelers
2010 started off pretty rough for the Steel-town faithful. After missing the playoffs in ’09, the off-season marked the trade of their number one receiver, and the suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for two separate incidents that involved him being a bit overly aggressive with his wiener in public (though all charges, much like Big Ben’s pants, were eventually dropped). In the face of adversity though, Troy Polamalu’s hair anchored the Steelers’ league-leading defense, guiding them to a 3-1 record without Roethlisberger and an eventual division crown and AFC Championship.
1 Green Bay Packers
Sure they went just 10-6 in the regular season, but after earning a Wild Card berth into the playoffs the Pack decided that January was time to maybe turn it on. It’s hard to say if he was playing possum or if it legitimately took until January for Aaron Rodgers to finally and truly believe Brett Favre wouldn’t somehow come back and take his job, but once he hit his stride Rodgers was an absolute machine. He threw for the most yards and touchdowns of any quarterback in the playoffs, on his way to a Super Bowl victory, Super Bowl MVP, and official induction into the exclusive club of athletes Wisconsin men would “totally go gay for.”
There it is folks, 2010 wrapped up in a nice little package. Put a bow on it. Should the 14-2 Patriots have been included? No. Why? Because screw the Patriots. That’s why. Besides, there’s virtually no denying that a team falling ass backwards into a playoff win is infinitely more entertaining than anything any expectedly-successful team has done in years.