The 2014 NFL season came to an astounding close at the Super Bowl XLIX, with the New England Patriots shocking defeat of the Seattle Seahawks after a last-minute interception by the defending champions.
Last season saw plenty of excitement and new records set by the players and in this retrospective article we take a look back at the action and pick the top NFL players who impressed us most in 2014. It was also a fun season for sports bettors who made the most of some ridiculous bets as well as the option to do so online.
2015 is set up to be another huge year in the world of online sports gambling!
Top NFL Players of the 2014 Season
Peyton Manning had an exceptional season in 2014, first by becoming one of only two quarterbacks to have beaten all 32 teams in the NFL after the Broncos’ victory against his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, and second by clocking an all-time record of 509 touchdown passes in October.
By the end of the regular season, Manning was selected to appear in his 14th Pro Bowl appearance, another record for the star player. However, the Broncos were eliminated in the divisional playoffs after losing, ironically, to the Colts.
J. J. Watt
J. J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans shined in last season. Fresh from signing a six-year contract extension that would bag him $100 million in total, Watt earned a place in the history books after becoming the first Texans defensive player to score a touchdown from scrimmage in September 2014.
Watt’s outstanding performance throughout the season ultimately earned him a position on the 2014 All-Pro First Team. He also went on to play in the 2015 Pro Bowl as captain on defense, and after the game he was named Defensive MVP.
The 2014 season didn’t start off in the best of ways for Brady, losing his first opening day since 2003 at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. Despite the initial setback, Tom Brady rebounded and delivered a strong performance which saw him win his 12th AFC East division title.
Brady’s time to shine really came during the postseason, when he advanced to his sixth Super Bowl and the fourth one he has won, making him one of NFL history’s starting quarterbacks with the most Super Bowl victories. He went on to be named Super Bowl MVP, a distinction he earned for the third time in his career.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers quarterback, started off the 2014 season in a shaky way with second loss to the 49ers in as many years. In an attempt to calm down the fans, Rodgers demonstrated his cool by telling the media to relax and that the team will be fine.
True to his word, Rodgers helped the Packers win four games in a row and also managed to score the second longest streak of passes without an interception in team history. In a game against the Chicago Bears, Rodgers had a memorable performance on the field by throwing six touchdown passes in the first half of the game.
Jamaal Charles, running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, was off to a rocky start after refusing to participate in training camp only to change his mind after signing a 2-year contract extension worth $18 million.
Buoyed by his status as one of the highest paid players in his position, he went on to give a creditable performance throughout 2014 season which was only dampened by an ankle injury he suffered in a game against the Denver Broncos. The injury did not prevent Charles from becoming all-time leading rusher for his team, a record that was previously held by Priest Holmes.
Calvin Johnson, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, is considered by many as the best player at his position. During the 2014 NFL season he cemented his reputation by clocking 10,000 receiving yards in the shortest time ever recorded in the league.
Johnson was also named for the fifth time to the Pro Bowl squad, the second most times by a Lions player since Barry Sanders.
Richard Sherman, cornerback for the Seahawks, had a great year last season. He appeared on the cover of Madden 15 and was nominated for the Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY award.
Sherman was instrumental in helping his team win the Thanksgiving Day game against the San Francisco 49ers, and his prowess on the field bagged him the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback, had to face the humiliation of losing last year’s first two games of the season for his team. However, he managed to push through the rocky start and went on to deliver another strong season for his team.
Brees started every game in the league for the fifth consecutive season and achieved the highest completion percentage and passing yardage of the league.
These NFL stars are our picks for players that impressed us most last season. Every one demonstrated the grit and determination that distinguish a true athlete, thrilling fans with their performances and taking the National Football League to new heights.