The 2009 NFL season has been one to remember. We've seen teams rise from years of defeat and we've seen a once great dynasty begin to collapse.
The 2009 season has been a great end to a decade and a truly great season.
We're going to take a look at this season, of course, ending at the Super Bowl. Along the way we're going to recap moments that changed the season and the NFL.
Hope you enjoy this recap.
The 2009 NFL season marked the 50th Anniversary for the AFL. Original AFL teams would wear their throwback jerseys.
During the preseason, we saw the return of two of the biggest stars in the NFL this decade. Brett Favre returned to play for the enemy in Minnesota and Michael Vick returned from jail to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The season was started off with a great game between the defending Super Bowl champions Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans. The Steelers won the game 13-10 with the highlight of the game being Troy Polamalu's incredible one handed pick and then his injury of course due to being on the cover of Madden.
Also in Week one, we saw an amazing finish in the Broncos vs. Bengals game. Kyle Orton throwing up a last second pass to Brandon Marshall was tipped by Bengals CB Leon Hall right into the hands of receiver Brandon Stokley who ran down the field for the 87 yard TD.
The highlight of Week two was the opening of the billion dollar stadium in Dallas. The New York Giants spoiled the opening party though, beating the Cowboys 33-31 and handing them their first loss in their new stadium.
Also in Week two the New York Jets upset the Patriots and beat them at home for the first time at home since 2000.
In Week three, the Detroit Lions finally got their first win against Washington ending their nightmare 19 game losing streak.
Another almost miracle play in Week three happened in Minnesota when the Vikings were playing the 49'ers. Brett Favre stepped up and threw a desperation pass to the endzone where Greg Lewis somehow caught it in traffic and tapped his feet in the back of the endzone to give the Vikings the 27-24 win.
Also in Week 3 the Bengals beat the Steelers with only 14 seconds left when Carson Palmer found Andre Caldwell to give the shocking Bengals the 23-20 win.
Not much happened in Week four besides Brett Favre playing against his old team, the Packers, for the first time. Favre beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 30-23.
The Cleveland Browns also traded star WR Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets.
There were no big moments in Week five, but we saw some big upsets. In Baltimore, the Bengals shocked another AFC North team by beating the Ravens in another last minute victory when Carson Palmer hit Andre Caldwell again.
In Denver, former Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels coached his team to victory against the Pats, and moved his Broncos to a surprising 5-0.
In Week six, there was a well anticipated match-up between the 5-0 New York Giants and the 5-0 New Orleans Saints. The Giants were blown out of the Superdome 48-27.
Also in Week six, Baltimore Ravens kicker Steve Hauschka missed a field goal that would have handed the Minnesota Vikings their first loss. Also, the Philadelphia Eagles were upset by the Oakland Raiders.
In Week seven we saw the end to the Vikings perfect season in Pittsburgh while it was still alive for the Colts, Saints, and Broncos.
Week eight was highlighted by the return of the gunslinger to Green Bay. Playing for the rival team, the Vikings beat the Packers, once again 38-26. Favre did receive applause though.
Week eight also saw another undefeated team go down, when the Baltimore Ravens beat the Denver Broncos. The New York Giants also dropped their third straight in a blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Week eight also welcomed Vince Young back to the spotlight for the 0-6 Titans and he led them to their first victory.
Week 10 would bring up a topic that would be talked about for a long time.
We knew it would be a good game when the New England Patriots traveled to Indianapolis to play the Colts, but out of it came the infamous fourth and two. Bill Belichick going for it on fourth and two and not converting, giving it to Peyton Manning on his side of the field. And of course, Peyton delivered.
In Week 11, the Colts kept their undefeated season by avoiding the upset at the hands of the Ravens on a late Gary Brackett interception.
Week 12 brought us our usual trio of Thanksgiving games. The Packers beat the Lions, Dallas beat Oakland and the Broncos beat the Giants.
On Sunday, the Colts came back from a huge deficit to beat the Texans and stay undefeated and Vince Young led the Titans to a game winning drive capped off by a TD pass to Kenny Britt.
In Week 13, the New Orleans Saints were almost knocked off by the Redskins but an amazing play by Robert Meachem to score off an INT and a missed chip shot by Shaun Suisam kept them alive as one of two undefeated teams.
The next week would bring about very sad news to the NFL universe. Cincinnati Bengals Wideout Chris Henry was killed when he fell off the back of his truck driven by his finance. He was only 26 years old.
Week 15 in the NFL saw yet another undefeated team fall, as the New Orleans Saints were beat by the Dallas Cowboys. The Colts were left as the lone undefeated team with two games left.
Also, problems arose in Minnesota between Brad Childress and Brett Favre when Childress attempted to bench Favre.
Week 16 brought controversy to benching starters with a playoff spot wrapped up, as the undefeated Colts played Curtis Painter among other backups and were beat by the Jets. The Saints also fell for the second straight week this time to the Buccaneers.
The final week of the season saw the Colts once again rest their starters and this time falling to the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals also rested starters, letting the Jets walk into the playoffs.
Now that the regular season was over it was time for a highly anticipated postseason.
In the wildcard round we saw three rematches from Week 17. For the second straight week the Jets pounded on the Bengals. Unlike the Jets game though, the Cowboys beat the Eagles and the Cardinals beat the Packers. In the only non-repeat match-up, the Ravens beat the Patriots.
In the divisional round the Colts, Saints, and Vikings all easily beat their opponents while the Jets barely squeaked by the San Diego Chargers.
When the conference championships came around the teams could see the Super Bowl only a game away. But only two teams would make it, and the other two would try again next year.
In the conference championship games the Indianapolis Colts easily handled the Jets and it took the Saints until overtime and a Brett Favre interception, but they beat the Vikings.
The two teams that were number one seeds for the playoffs and were the last two teams to be undefeated would face off. The two biggest passing offenses.
In Superbowl 44, many experts where on the side of the Colts, but the Saints and "Who Dat" nation pulled away with the win after a clutch interception from Tracy Porter off Peyton Manning.
The season was a great year and hopefully we have another one coming. But before we end this recap, here is a look back at the award winners.
MVP: Peyton Manning
Offensive Player of the Year: Chris Johnson
Defensive Player of the Year: Darren Sharper
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Percy Harvin
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Brian Cushing
Coach: Marvin Lewis
Free agency and the draft are only a little while away, and then we are back to football in September and we'll be ready for another great NFL season.
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