Take a second and think back to all of the greatest single-season performances in NFL history—what are some that come to mind? Is it Dan Marino's remarkable 1984 season? Is it Tom Brady's near-perfect 2007 season? Or is it Jerry Rice's 1987 season?
What do you think is the greatest single-season performance in NFL history?
Over the course of the NFL, there has been quite the handful of incredible single-season performances turned in by quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and defensive players—these single season performances come all across the board.
In that spirit, allow me to give you a ranking of the top 50 performances in NFL history.
Jake Delhomme was simply a gamer in 2003 for the Carolina Panthers.
The Carolina Panther quarterback not only led the team to its first ever Super Bowl appearance, but he also set an NFL record for eight game-winning drives in a season—how incredible is that?
If it weren't for Delhomme, then the Panthers would have went 3-13 instead of 11-5.
2009 was an extremely good season for Peyton Manning, besides losing the Super Bowl to the New Orleans Saints.
Manning posted a 99.9 quarterback rating with 33 touchdowns thrown and a 68.8 completion percentage.
However, the most impressive thing out of Manning's '09 season is that he set the NFL record for most comebacks in a single season, standing at seven.
By no means is Steve Walsh an all-time great, in fact I bet none of you have heard of him, but in 1990, he was better known as the comeback kid.
Walsh set an NFL record for most game-winning drives in a single season at eight. That's remarkable and all, but Walsh happened to do it with two separate teams—four with the Dallas Cowboys and four with the New Orleans Saints.
How amazing is that?
Kurt Warner and the NFL's "Greatest Show on Turf" absolutely destroyed defenses in 2001.
Warner posted a 104.1 quarterback rating while completing 68.7 percent of his passes for 4,830 yards and tossing 36 touchdowns.
Don't forget that Warner was also named the league MVP this season.
Cris Carter's 1995 season with the Minnesota Vikings was just an all-around impressive showing from the all-time great wide receiver.
Carter caught 122 passes for 1,371 total receiving yards as well as scoring 17 touchdowns.
Dan Marino can thank Mark Clayton for all the remarkable catches and touchdowns he scored in the 1984 season for the Miami Dolphins.
Clayton caught 73 balls for 1,389 yards and scoring an unbelievable 18 touchdowns thrown from Marino.
Clayton averaged nearly 93 yards receiving per game as well as an average greater than a touchdown per game.
Isaac Bruce is one of the most underrated wide receivers in NFL history—I'm not too sure if everyone is aware of how dominant he really was with the St. Louis Rams.
In 1995, Bruce was just a beast as he recorded 1,781 total receiving yards, which is the second most of all time, as well as catching 119 passes for 13 touchdowns.
Kurt Warner started 1999 as the St. Louis Ram's backup quarterback but finished the season as a Super Bowl champion, NFL MVP and Super Bowl.
Warner was completely dominant in '99 for the Rams as he tossed 41 touchdowns, completed 65.1 percent of his passes while racking up 4,353 total passing yards.
Derrick Thomas' 1990 season with the Kansas Chiefs is just legendary.
Thomas recorded 20 total sacks on the season, good enough for fifth best in the history of the NFL, as well as forcing six fumbles and recording 63 tackles.
Daunte Culpepper had one hell of season in 2004 for the Minnesota Vikings as he recorded a 110.9 quarterback rating, which is listed as sixth best in NFL history.
Culpepper passed for 4,717 yards and 39 touchdowns as well as running for 406 yards and two touchdowns. He was simply a threat at everything he did that season for the Vikings.
I am almost positive that no one could stop Chris Johnson in 2009—and I mean no one.
CJ2K ran for the fifth-highest total yards in an NFL season standing at 2,006 for the Tennessee Titans.
Johnson finished '09 with 2,509 total offensive yards—that is just absurd.
Devin Hester was one of the most dangerous players in the NFL in 2007 for the Chicago Bears.
Hester set an NFL record for most punts returned for a touchdown with a total of four as well as adding two kick returns for a touchdown to his season total.
MarTay Jenkins returned kicks and punts like it was no one's business in 2000 as he racked up the yardage—and when I say racked up the yardage, I mean it. Jenkins accumulated an NFL-record 2,186 total yards in kick returns that season for the Arizona Cardinals.
Could it be that Jenkins was simply amazing or the Cardinals were just a very bad football team? Either way, 2000 was one hell of a performance for Mr. Jenkins.
Darren Sharper was an offensive nightmare for the New Orleans Saints in 2009.
Sharper managed to pick off nine passes for an NFL record 376 yards and three touchdowns. Sharper was almost like another offensive weapon for the high-scoring Saints' as he accumulated so many return yards.
There is no question in my mind that the Saints could not have won the Super Bowl without Sharper this season.
Quarterback Joe Montana definitely did his share in the 1989 Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers' title run. No. 16 completed a remarkable 70.2 percent of his passes as well as posting the fifth-highest passer rating of all-time at 112.4.
Montana was simply at his best in '89—and when he's at his best, no one can beat him.
Wes Welker was virtually uncoverable in 2009 for the New England Patriots.
Welker caught 123 passes, which is second most in NFL history, as well as accumulating 1,348 receiving yards and catching four touchdowns.
In just 14 games in 2000, Marshall Faulk found a way to score 26 total touchdowns.
Along with Faulk's astronomical amount of touchdown scores, No. 28 ran for 1,359 yards as well as reeling in 81 balls for 830 total receiving yards.
Running back Terrell Davis may have had a short NFL career, but in 1998, he certainly had one of the greatest seasons in NFL history.
No. 30 ran for 2,008 yards for the Denver Broncos, which is listed as fourth best of all-time, as he was a major contributor in Denver's Super Bowl victory.
O.J. Simpson was a man on a mission in 1973 as he ran for an unbelievable 2,003 total rushing yards.
The Buffalo Bills running back averaged 143.1 yards per game as well as scoring 12 touchdowns playing in all 14 games that season.
No one could stop Jim Brown in 1963.
The Cleveland Browns running back averaged a phenomenal 133.1 yards per game as he ran for a total of 1,863 yards on the season as well as scoring 12 touchdowns on the ground and reeling in three touchdown passes.
In 1994, Steve Young posted the fourth-highest quarterback rating of all time, standing in at 112.8.
Young threw for 3,969 yards while tossing 35 touchdowns and running in seven touchdowns on the ground.
In my opinion, this was Steve Young's greatest seasons and one of the greatest seasons to ever be played by a quarterback.
Priest Holmes had an unforgettable season in 2003 for the Kansas Chiefs.
Holmes scored 27 total rushing touchdowns, which is the third best of all time, as well as accumulating 1,420 yards on the ground for the Chiefs.
All in all, Holmes was literally the entire scoring attack for KC that season.
2005 literally came out of no where for running back Shaun Alexander—I mean he was always a solid running back, but he really had one of the greatest seasons in NFL history with the Seattle Seahawks back in '05.
Alexander ran for 1,880 total yards as well as scoring an incredible 27 touchdowns and averaged 117.5 yards per game.
In 1989, Chris Doleman was an absolute sack machine—he was on a mission to get the opposing team's quarterback.
Doleman tallied up 21 total sacks that season for the Minnesota Vikings, which currently stands as third best in the history of the NFL.
Lawrence Taylor was literally an animal for the New York Giants in 1986.
The NFL's greatest defensive player managed to rack up 20.5 total sacks as well as being an integral part in the New York Giants' Super Bowl victory.
It's truly a disappointment that 1987 was only a 12-game season due to the NFL strike because Jerry Rice ultimately shredded opposing team's defenses.
No. 80 managed to accumulate 1,078 total receiving yards as well as setting the NFL season record at 22 touchdown receptions—remember, that was only in 12 games!
Reggie White was simply at his best in 1987, despite playing in only 12 games.
In those 12 games, White still found a way to be a dominant force as he tallied up 21 total sacks as well as four forced fumbles—one fumble recovery which he happened to return for a 70-yard touchdown.
Now only imagine if White played that entire season and how amazing his stats could have been.
Devin Hester jumped onto the scene in 2006 as one of the league's top returners as just a rookie.
Hester managed to return six touchdowns in this season for the Chicago Bears and was an integral part to Chicago's stellar run to the Super Bowl.
I will admit that I absolutely admire Mark Gastineau's mullet—and I also admire his ability to get to the quarterback.
In 1984, Gastineau was ultimately unstoppable for the New York Jets. No. 99 recorded 22 total sacks, which is good enough for the second highest in NFL history.
How in the world does a kicker win the NFL's MVP award? Somehow, someway Mark Moseley won the award in 1982.
Moseley is the only kicker to ever be named the league's MVP as he drilled 20 out of his 21 field goals during that season for the Washington Redskins.
It's kind of hard to pick the greatest season that Barry Sanders played, but 1997 is definitely the right choice.
Sanders ran for 2,053 yards on the season, which is the third highest in NFL history as well as averaging an unbelievable 6.1 yards per carry and scoring 14 total touchdowns for the Detroit Lions that season—however, the Lions only finished with a 9-7 record.
Most of you probably have no idea who Beattie Feathers is—but you should.
Feathers holds the oldest single-season NFL record of the highest average of yards per carry, standing in at 8.44—how ridiculous is that? I bet none of you knew that!
Feathers achieved this phenomenal record in the good ole fashioned single-wing offense—the offense that never dies.
Jamal Lewis' 2003 season with the Baltimore Ravens is certainly one for the ages.
Lewis ran for 2,066 yards, which is second-highest all time behind Eric Dickerson. Lewis also ran in 14 touchdowns and was simply the juice that made Baltimore's offense work in '03.
Drew Brees fell just short of an NFL record in 2008 as he passed for 5,069 yards, only 15 yards short of Dan Marino's single season record.
Brees also posted a 96.2 quarterback rating while throwing 34 touchdowns and completing 65 percent of his passes.
How dominant was Ed Reed in 2004? Well for starters, the Baltimore Ravens safety was named defensive player of the year.
Reed managed to intercept nine passes as well as accumulating an unbelievable 358 return yards. No. 20 also added 64 tackles, three forced fumbles and two sacks.
This was by far Reed's most impressive season in the league.
Dan Marino was arguably the lone bright spot on the 8-8 1986 Miami Dolphins.
No. 13 tossed 44 touchdowns, which stood as an NFL record while posting a 92.5 quarterback rating and accumulating 4,746 yards.
Jerry Rice was simply at his best in 1995 for the San Francisco 49ers.
The greatest wide receiver of all time caught 122 passes as well as racking up an NFL record, 1,848 total receiving yards.
Rice was simply dominant in '95, I mean he averaged 115.5 yards per-game—that's incredible.
Future Hall of Fame wide receive Marvin Harrison had a remarkable 2002 season for the Indianapolis Colts.
Harrison set the NFL record for most receptions in a season at 143—which is an incredible 20 better than the next closest person on the list.
Harrison also reeled in 11 touchdown passes as well as racking up 1,772 yards.
Gale Sayers could not have had a better a rookie season.
In 1965, Sayers scored a total of 14 touchdowns as well as running for 867 yards and averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Sayers wasn't just a threat on the ground as he was able to average an incredible 17.5 yards per reception as well as catching six touchdown passes.
Not only does Dick "Night Train" Lane have the greatest nickname of all time, but he set the NFL record for most interceptions in a season standing at 14.
Night Train did this as a rookie while playing no college football—can you believe that?
Michael Strahan was an absolute sack machine in 2001.
Strahan broke the NFL record of most sacks in a single season, standing at 22.5, and that record still stands today.
2003 was a very good year for running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
The San Diego Charger became the first player in NFL history to run for over 1,000 yards as well reeling 100 receptions—I don't know if we'll ever see that again.
L.T. accumulated 2,370 total yards that season.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Don Huston caught 74 passes for 17 touchdowns in just 11 games in 1942—how remarkable is that?
Hutson finished 1942 averaging an incredible 110.1 receiving yards per-game.
This season was simply unheard of.
LaDainian Tomlinson was an NFL record-setting machine in 2006.
L.T. scored an NFL all-time high of 31 touchdowns as well as running for 1,815 yards and reeling in 56 passes for 508 yards.
Some of his 11 records that season were 14 touchdowns scored in just a four-game span, 16 touchdowns in just a five-game span, scored three touchdowns in four straight games all while becoming the fastest player to score 100 career touchdowns.
Oh and by the way, Tomlinson was also the league's MVP this season.
Back in 2007, there was no one more dangerous than Tom Brady and Randy Moss—the New England Patriots duo was simply unstoppable.
Moss set the NFL single-season record for 23 touchdowns as well as snagging 98 passes for 1,493 yards and averaging an incredible 15.2 yards per-reception.
Playing only as a 23-year-old kid, Dan Marino was flawless in his 1984 season for the Miami Dolphins.
No. 13 threw 48 touchdowns, which stood as an NFL record until 2004, as well as racking up an NFL record 5,084 total passing yards—a record that still stands today.
It's too bad that Marino and the Dolphins could not win the Super Bowl in '84.
How good was Eric Dickerson in 1984? Well, he set the single-season record for total rushing yards in a season at 2,105 which still stands today.
Dickerson averaged 5.6 yards per-carry as well as scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.
Dickerson's single-season rushing record may live on for quite sometime as the NFL is such a passing league, and it will be almost impossible for a running back to break it.
Many of you probably have no clue how incredible Tom Brady's 2010 season was, but let me just kick it off this way: Brady became the first-ever unanimously chosen player to be named the NFL's Most Valuable Player.
On top of that, Brady set an NFL record for the number of passes thrown without throwing an interception in a season at 335—and that record continued into 2011.
Brady completed 65.9 percent of his passes with a pair of rookie tight ends as well as tossing 36 touchdowns and only four interceptions while posting a stellar 111.0 quarterback rating.
You cannot get much better than this.
2004 was when Peyton Manning was at his finest—and it will be forever remembered as one of the greatest seasons played by a quarterback.
Manning set the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a season when he tossed 49, breaking Dan Marino's mark set at 48 touchdown passes.
No. 18 recorded a 121.1 passer rating while racking up 4,557 yards and only being picked off 10 times.
Not only did Tom Brady have the greatest single season played by a quarterback in NFL history—but it was the greatest single-season performance of all time.
Brady led the 2007 New England Patriots to an improbable 16-0 record as he tossed a record 50 touchdown passes.
Along with Brady's 50 scores, he completed 68.9 percent of his passes while accumulating 4,806 yards and recording an incredible 117.2 quarterback rating.
In 2007, Tom Brady was the greatest NFL player alive.