Following up on the NFL’s announcement of their 2010’s All-Decade Team, Pro Football Focus released their own version they’re calling the “Team of the Decade.”
There is unsurprisingly a lot of overlap between the two teams, and that’s the case here with linebacker Patrick Willis and cornerback Richard Sherman also being named to the First-Team squad for PFF.
Willis played for the Niners from 2007 to 2014, but the years used for his selection were from 2010 until he retired following the ‘14 season. Willis started the decade with three-straight selections as a First-Team All-Pro and four-straight trips to the Pro Bowl. In 2010, Willis totaled 128 tackles with nine tackles-for-loss, six sacks, and five pass breakups. His 90.4 overall defensive grade was the third-highest grade of his career, and the last time he graded as “elite” (90.0+). In 2011, Willis played in 13 games and managed 97 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss, a pair of sacks, an interception, 12 pass breakups, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a PFF grade of 87.0.
Today the NFL named Patrick Willis to its 2010s All-Decade Team.— KNBR (@KNBR) April 6, 2020
To celebrate, here’s a bunch of highlights of 52 wrecking things pic.twitter.com/ACsVrmUFK3
That final All-Pro season saw Willis start all 16 games and finish with 120 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, two picks, nine pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. He wound-up grading favorably with a near-elite 89.6. His final NFL season was cut short to injury as Willis only played in six total games. He still graded-out at 84.3 before calling it quits.
Sherman had only been with the Niners the final two seasons of the decade but posted his third-best PFF grade in 2019. In 15 games, Sherman posted 61 tackles, three interceptions, one for a touchdown, and 11 pass breakups. His 90.3 overall grade in 2019 was the third-highest of his entire career. In 2018, Sherman struggled with his new team, playing in 14 games and totaling only 37 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, a sack, and four pass breakups. His 68.9 overall grade was by far the worst of his career.
We all know Sherman made his name during his time with the Seahawks while playing a key role in creating the “Legion of Boom.” He enjoyed three-straight seasons with overall grades above 90.0 from 2011-2013, posting a career-best 92.2 in 2011.
Do you feel like Justin Smith, NaVorro Bowman, or Andy Lee should have been mentioned?