So in a year in which a handful of truly exciting teams gave the fans a reason to stay tuned, which players rose to the top? Where are the individuals that made ’09 so memorable? They’re right here; it’s the top 5 players of the 2009 NFL season.
5 Wes Welker – New England Patriots (WR)
If we can take anything from Wes Welker’s 2009 season, it’s that if you’re a 5’9” white guy and you aren’t an exceptional NFL wide receiver, you have only your own crappy attitude to blame. Despite his stature, Welker put up unbelievable numbers in ’09, averaging nearly 100 yards per game, leading the league in yards after catch, and grabbing 123 receptions – good enough to tie him for second on the all-time list for most receptions in a single season. Oh, and also, he married this chick. So yeah, you’ve done nothing with your life. Way to go.
4 Brett Favre – Minnesota Vikings (QB)
It’s hard to praise a guy who retired and un-retired what seemed like a dozen times, then eventually signed with his original team’s hated division rival, but in 2009 Brett Favre earned that praise. At age 40, the scruffy gunslinger was still throwing strong and still selling denim like nobody’s business. Favre finished with the second highest total in touchdown passes, and shockingly threw only 7 interceptions in the ‘09 regular season. The postseason didn’t go quite as well however, as a late game pick saw the Vikings fall just short of the Super Bowl, and news broke that Favre had been harassing a former colleague with breathy voicemails and wang pics. Though, let’s be honest, if your coworkers looked like that you’d be willing to get a little weird too.
3 Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans (RB)
Becoming just the sixth member of the 2,000-yard club and posting the 5th highest rushing total in league history is a pretty okay year, right? So then Chris Johnson probably deserves a spot on this list. Leading the league with a whopping 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns, Johnson averaged a ridiculous 125.4 yards per game in 2009. Not to mention the fact that in 358 carries he only fumbled 3 times. So not surprisingly, Johnson took home the Offensive Player of the Year award, and ran away with the hearts of fantasy owners everywhere (some pun intended).
2 Charles Woodson – Green Bay Packers (CB)
It’s not often you see a cornerback have the type of year you can call absolutely dominant. And the last guy who did it is now playing a fairy on DirecTV commercials, so evidently it doesn’t get you very far. In any case, Charles Woodson was absolutely dominant in 2009. He deservedly won the Defensive Player of the Year award after posting 9 interceptions (tied for league best), 4 forced fumbles, 2 sacks and 74 total tackles. So if history is any indicator, expect to see Charles Woodson dressed as a butterfly in some weird future ad campaign.
1 Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints (QB)
Despite his league best in touchdown passes and QB rating, and the Saints running away with the NFC South, Brees fell short of the MVP award, which once again went to Peyton Manning. But make no mistake, 2009 was the year of Drew Brees. After leading his team to a 13-3 record, he was flawless in the playoffs, throwing for a league-best 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He led the Saints to their first Super Bowl, where they faced off with Peyton Manning and the Colts. Brees took home the Super Bowl MVP, the Saints took home the Lombardi trophy, and for the first time in his life, this man walked back to the swamp with his head held high.