Quarterback: Tom Brady
I mean, duh. Not many quarterbacks can say they’ve rivaled Tom Brady this decade, as he has won two regular season MVPs, two Super Bowl MVPs and been a part of all three championships won in this timeframe, which is something only five others can say. Brady has also started all 22 playoff games the team has been in this decade.
In the regular season he has thrown for 42,938 yards, 310 touchdowns and just 78 interceptions in the 2010s. Truly a special decade for the best to ever do it.
Honorable Mentions: None
Running back: James White
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The New England Patriots have seen a lot of changes at this position, so James White and LeGarrette Blount are really the only two running backs worth considering. For me, White gets the nod here. White is certainly a unique case, since he’s a pass catcher primarily and doesn’t actually accumulate many rushing attempts most of the time. Regardless he has been very effective for the Patriots offense, having racked up 3,740 yards from scrimmage and and 30 total touchdowns since being drafted in 2014.
White’s biggest accomplishment no doubt is his performance in Super Bowl 51, in which he caught a Super Bowl-record 14 passes for 110 yards and a receiving touchdown, while adding 29 yards and the game winning score on the ground as well. White’s part in helping bring the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit will not soon be forgotten.
Honorable Mentions: LeGarrette Blount
Wide Receivers: Julian Edelman, Wes Welker
Julian Edelman is an obvious choice since he has been with the team for the entire decade and has been one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. Edelman always puts up decent numbers in the regular season, but where he really makes his mark is the postseason.
Edelman has appeared in 17 of the team’s playoff games in the 2010s and has 109 receptions for 1,368 yards and 3 touchdowns in those games. He was the MVP of Super Bowl 53. Edelman’s playoff success this decade has propelled him to second all-time in playoff receiving yards, trailing only Jerry Rice.
The second receiver spot is the one up in the air. This is where I’ll make an exception when it comes to longevity and playoff performance, as Wes Welker left the New England Patriots prior to the 2013 season and didn’t exactly have a glowing postseason reputation. That having been said, Welker is still one of the best receivers the Patriots have ever had and deserves recognition. From 2010-2012, Welker amassed a whopping 326 receptions for 3,771 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Tight End: Rob Gronkowski
Another easy choice. Gronk is not only the tight end of the decade for the Patriots, but he should have a spot on the All-Decade team for the entire NFL. He was the undisputed best tight end in the league for most if not all of his career, which spanned from 2010-2018. The numbers speak for themselves on this one.
Rob Gronkowski did leave a trail of what-ifs behind in his career, as his lack of ability to stay healthy consistently was a hindrance. He only played in all 16 games of the regular season twice, and those occasions were his first two years in the league. However, his durability was offset by his absolute dominance when he was on the field. No other tight end has seen a better peak.
Honorable Mentions: None