The top 10 athletes of the 2000’s….No. 6December 16, 2009
With the decade coming to a close, this quarterback has thrown for over 40,000 yards, over 300 TD’s, and has led his team to 114 wins, not including the playoffs. Furthermore, he holds the third-highest career passer rating among active quarterbacks, and his 95.1 rating puts him fourth all-time behind only Steve Young, Phillip Rivers, and Tony Romo. The number 6 athlete is immersed in day-to-day disputes over not only being the best QB of this generation, but gets his share of votes for being the best of all time.
The number 6 athlete after the jump!
Few can match the personal success that Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts achieved during this past decade. Manning is currently on pace to break the career records in every major statistical category for a quarterback, including most career passing touchdowns, most career completions, and most career passing yards. Moreover, few players mean more to their respective team than Peyton Manning means to the Colts. Peyton reinvented the “no-huddle” offense in 2001, and since then has eaten opposing defenses for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Despite a poor team record, Manning finished the 2001 season with 4,131 passing yards and 26 passing touchdowns, the beginning of his domination. Peyton appeared in eight Pro-Bowls in the 2000’s, was a six-time All-Pro selection, all while winning three MVP awards. His best season came in 2004 when the living legend threw for nearly 4,600 yards and recorded 49 touchdowns. In 2006, he completed his legacy as Manning led the Colts to a 29–17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted the Super Bowl MVP.
Manning also holds various NFL individual records that puts him amongst the games greats. His 121.1 passer rating in 2004 was the best of all-time. In addition, he has the most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards (9), the most consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards (6), and the most consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes (12). Manning also has four career perfect passer ratings, the most all-time, and is tied with Dan Marino for the most 400 yard passing games in the playoffs.
It is tough to realize sometimes when you are watching a legendary player. I certainly remember the Jets beating Peyton and the Colts 41-0 in a playoff game back in 2002. Furthermore, Manning has been criticized for his lack of playoff domination, and that may have cost him a spot or two on this list. Nonetheless, Peyton Manning has been one of the most dominant athletes of my generation, and is somebody I will tell my grandchildren that I had the pleasure of watching.
Few readers will probably know today’s honorable mention, but Nicklas Lidstrom has been a superstar in the NHL for most of the past decade. In the 2000’s, Lidstrom racked up two Stanley Cup trophy’s with the Red Wings, seven All-Star Game appearances, six Norris Trophy’s, awarded to the NHL’s best defenseman, and one Conn Smythe Award, which is the NHL’s equivalent of the MVP. What ultimately hurt Lidstrom with this list is his lack of flare and offensive stats, but his value and accomplishments cannot be overlooked.