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NFL Player of the Decade?

Ray Lewis
Ray Lewis

Brad Gagnon of has written a story of the who would make the list of candidates to be named the Player of the Decade. In his story, he breaks it down to a couple of positions, then deletes names that don't meet the criteria to be a finalist. He compares positions and also debates offense versus defense. Finally he narrows the list down to four finalists and comes up with two guys to top the list, thus starting the final debate.

Defensively, you guessed it. Our man of all men from your Baltimore Ravens, the greatest MLB in all of the free (?) world, Ray Lewis gets the nod from Brad as the top defensive player of the decade, narrowly beating out the all time sack leader and recently retired New York Giant, Michael Strahan.

Offensively, it came down to the two All Pro QB's, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. While Brady has the rings, Manning has the stats that separates them. Therefore, it comes down to Peyton Manning vs. Ray Lewis for the Player of the Decade.

We all know where the Beatdown's readers are going to stand, but it should be more than just us against them. Peyton Manning is arguably the best QB in the game and by the time he retires, he could very well be up there as one of the NFL's best. However, right now he is not in that group, that includes Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Steve Young, among others (?). That, to me, is where the difference lies. Right now, Ray Lewis is already mentioned as one of, if not the best linebacker to ever play the game. He is definitely among the top five that could include Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Jack Lambert and Ray Nitschke.

While all of these names are debateable, that point of where they stand now is not, to me at least. At the same time, we are debating who is the Player of the DECADE, and that give credibility to Manning being a very viable argument as such, based on what he's been able to accomplish in the past ten years. It's just that here on the Beatdown, we will give you every argument as to why Ray is the answer to that question.

Clcik here for the entire story.