After seeing all these posts about this upcoming season relating to best and worst teams, sophomore slumps, up and comers, and the list goes on and on. I decided to take to the chalk board and do some research and come up with an All Star team of players older than 30. No hate on offensive linemen because we know without them, nobody else would be good however they are not on this list. It’s split it up into two pieces and this first one will be offensive players only.
1) Aaron Rodgers, 31, Green Bay Packers
If there was ever a tough choice this was it. Quarterbacks these days usually don’t drop right into your hands especially ones that will land in Canton someday. “Highest-rated passer of all time” The NFL adopted the QB rating system in 1973 and at the time the top rater was Len Dawson and since that day only 9 players have been at the top of this list and back in 2010 Rodgers took over as number 1 with a rating of 104.9. Yes 104.9 which is more than 8 points higher than second which is Hall of Famer Steve Young. Since 2008 Rodgers has averaged 8.13 yards per pass attempt which is good enough for first, behind him is Philip Rivers at a close second with 8.11 YPA. The list goes on and on for #12 and there are so many reasons to think he’s not slowing down anytime soon. So Lions, Bears, and Viking fans just sit back and hope your defenses find a way to slow him down because there’s no stopping him.
2) Tom Brady, 37, New England Patriots
There won’t be a list out there with Quarterbacks that doesn’t have Brady on it, unless your looking at one for negative stats. For over a decade Brady has torched NFL defenses for stunning numbers and picking up 3 Lombardi Trophies and 2 league MVP awards and 10 Pro Bowls on the way. Not to mention more division titles than any other quarterback of all time. In 2007 we all saw the greatest offense of all time take the field and win week in and week out led by this man. Brady has over and over shown us that he doesn’t need the big name receivers or flashy running backs to succeed, just as long as the football is inflated correctly!
Honorable Mention: P. Manning, D. Brees, B. Roethlisberger, P. Rivers
1) Adrian Peterson, 30, Minnesota Vikings
Six fastest player to reach 8,000 yards and thats saying something in todays NFL. Even With only 21 carries for 75 yards and no touchdowns and that whole circus of a year he’s had off the field, he’s still the best in the game. Why do you think no matter how much he complains publicly and says he wants out the Vikings say he won’t be going anywhere this year, because he’s the best in the game. This year AP has hit that “golden age” where running backs go to die and thats 30 years old. If Bridgewater and Co. want to succeed this year they need to hand the ball of to him 20 plus times and have a conservative pass game similar to what you’ll see in Orchard Park this season. I believe we will see the old Peterson because this for all intended purposes is a try out for him, because we know next year he will be somewhere else and if he wants one last deal he’s going to need to have a great year.
2) Reggie Bush, 30, San Francisco 49ers
This was a tough choice as well seeing as there are not many running backs still in the game over 30. However Bush has one thing that the rest of them really don’t and that is hope. He’s in the perfect situation for this upcoming season. On his fourth team Bush seems ready to prove that he was worth a top 2 pick in the draft 10 years ago. Statistically we most likely won’t see a 1,000 yard rusher again, and even that only happened twice (2011,2013) but he’s a great back out of the back field worthy of 40-50 catches and 500 yards with the ability to return kicks. He’s been set in the perfect style offense to compliment his game so only time will tell if he makes the best of it.
Honorable Mention: F. Jackson, D. Sproles, D. Woodhead, S. Jackson
1) Brandon Marshall, 31, New York Jets
Talk about making the best out of your situation. Marshall has had to deal with the sleepy Jay Cutler for the larger part of his career and still managed to crack 1,000 yards and 10 plus touchdowns almost every season. Also on his fourth team Marshall hasn’t really fallen into a receivers perfect situation now having Geno Smith as his gun slinger. The Jets however have improved and seem promising with their new head coach and additions on both sides of the ball. Geno hasn’t had much talent around him to start his career and Marshall might just be what he needs to start showing his worth in this league, because one thing is for sure if he doesn’t get him the ball Marshall will let him know publicly.
2) Larry Fitzgerald, 31, Arizona Cardinals
In his 12th season Fitzgerald has never missed more than 3 games and has played 16 games in 8 of them showing that he is truly an iron man. One of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl History came when we watched Larry running down the middle of the field looking up at the huge jumbotron in the stadium to see who’s behind him. Yes his stats have been down lately especially last season but you couldn’t put Dez Bryant into that system last year and have him succeed with the quarterbacks that played after Palmer went down. Your guaranteed about 70 catches and 8-1,000 yards with great leadership and what offense doesn’t want that. It does help that everyone loves Fitz and the fact that he’s a class act and always has been.
Honorable Mention: A. Boldin, A. Johnson, R. White
1) Antonio Gates, 34, San Diego Chargers
Part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2nd team All-200s Team, 8 consecutive Pro Bowls from 2004 to 2011 and widely considered one of the best to ever play the position. Gates came out of college as a basketball player converted to tight end and the Chargers took a gamble and its paid off now for over a decade. He’s the chargers all time leading receiver along with half a dozen other records. He serves as a mentor to his teammates and players around the league. He managed to get his second highest touchdown total last year with 12 and 800 yards at 11.9 per catch running around out there with fresh legs. He has said publicly that he does want to reduce his snaps during the regular season so he’s ready to go down the stretch for a playoff run and the Chargers have high hopes this year especially with the new addition Melvin Gordon at running back. When its all over Gates will be a first ballot HOF and the game will definitely miss him.
2) Jason Witten, 33, Dallas Cowboys
You want a guy who won’t miss a single game…ever? This is your man, Witten has played in 191 total games in his career and hasn’t missed one since 2003 his rookie season. Four 1,000 yard seasons and only five fumbles in his entire career. Another class act who lets his play do his talking and is just a flat out hard worker. Another player who someday could be in Canton and it will be a tough day for all Cowboy fans when he decides to hang up the laces. Both Witten and Gates both seem to have a connection with their respectful quarterbacks and seem to know what each other are thinking and its fun to watch.
Honorable Mention: V. Davis, H. Miller
All these player here can just flat out play the game of football and of course there are dozens more that lead teams and are very successful. Stay tuned for all defensive positions and thanks for reading.
*Stats are provided by NFL.com & NBCSports*