words_Brandon Richard

Before playoff football kicks off this weekend, let’s take a look back at some of the league’s top performers from the 2010 regular season. While some familiar faces like Phillip Rivers, Ed Reed and DeMarcus Ware made the cut, a couple of unexpected standouts claimed the rushing and receiving yard titles. Take a look below to see the players that topped their respective statistical categories in the NFL this season.

2010 NFL League Leaders: Passing Yards - Phillip Rivers

Passing Yards: Phillip Rivers, Quarterback, San Diego Chargers

It was a rough season for the San Diego Chargers, but quarterback Phillip Rivers turned in a MVP-worthy campaign in attempt to lift his team into the playoffs. Rivers completed 357 passes for 4,710 yards, adding 30 touchdown passes with just 13 interceptions. He also led the NFL with 8.7 yards per completion.

Best Performance: Week 9 at Houston Texans. Completed 17 of 23 passes for 295 yards and 4 touchdowns. Averaged 12.8 yards per pass in a 29-23 Chargers win.

2010 NFL League Leaders: Rushing Yards - Arian Foster

Rushing Yards: Arian Foster, Running Back, Houston Texans

Arian Foster exploded onto the NFL scene in a Week 1 match-up with the Colts and never looked back. The second-year back rushed 327 times for 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns. Foster wasn’t just a threat on the ground, also catching 66 passes for 604 yards and 2 scores. His 18 touchdowns led the league.

Best Performance: Week 1 vs. Indianapolis Colts. Carried 33 times for a franchise record 231 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. The Texans prevailed over the Colts 34-24.

2010 NFL League Leaders: Receiving Yards: Brandon Lloyd

Receiving Yards: Brandon Lloyd, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos

If Arian Foster’s breakout year was a surprise, Brandon Lloyd’s season was just mind boggling. Lloyd, an 8-year journeyman who had been pegged as a NFL bust, was the lone bright spot of the Broncos season. After just playing in 2 games a year ago, Lloyd virtually doubled his previous most productive season in the NFL. The sticky-handed receiver caught 77 balls for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 18.8 yards per catch ranked third amongst 1,000 yard receivers. Lloyd was rewarded for his stellar season with his first ever Pro Bowl selection.

Best Performance: Week 8 against the San Francisco 49ers in London. Broncos fans didn’t have much to smile about on that day, but Lloyd’s spectacular day was a sign of things to come. He reeled in 7 catches for 169 yards and a touchdown, including one reception for a season-high 71 yards.

2010 NFL League Leaders: Tackles - Jerod Mayo

Tackles: Jerod Mayo, Linebacker, New England Patriots

The pride of Kecoughtan High School! (Go Warriors!) Mayo returned from an injury-plagued sophomore year in a big way. He racked up 175 tackles on the year with 114 of them being solos. The inside linebacker also deflected 5 passes, forced a fumble, recovered 3 loose balls and recorded two sacks.

Best Performance: Week 6 vs. Baltimore Ravens. Mayo was literally in the face of Ravens running back Ray Rice the entire night. He recorded 18 tackles in the game with 11 of them being solo. More importantly, he helped contain Rice in a game where Baltimore only fell short by 3 points.

2010 NFL League Leaders: Tackles – DeMarcus Ware

Sacks: DeMarcus Ware, Linebacker, Dallas Cowboys

For the second time in three seasons, Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware founds his way to the quarterback more than anybody else in the NFL. In the 16 games Ware started, he recorded 66 tackles, 15.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. The Cowboys’ season didn’t exactly pan out how they hoped, but with these numbers, Ware will be making his fifth straight trip to Hawaii this month.

Best Performance: Week 3 at Houston Texans. Looking to avoid a 0-3 start, the Cowboys desperately needed a win and DeMarcus set the tone for a victory. Ware sacked Matt Schaub 3 times on the day, adding 6 solo tackles.

2010 NFL League Leaders: Interceptions - Ed Reed

Interceptions: Ed Reed, Safety Baltimore Ravens,

You see Ed Reed’s league-leading 8 interceptions on the season and you think to yourself “not bad.” Then you look at the ‘Games Played’ column and see the number 10. That’s right – Ed Reed led the league in interceptions despite missing 6 games due to injury this season. Reed also contributed 37 tackles and matched a career high with 16 pass deflections. When they call the man a ball hawk, they mean it.

Best Performance: Week 7 vs. Buffalo Bills. In his first game of the season, Reed showed exactly how much of an asset he is. He picked off two passes, deflected two passes and forced a fumble in a 37-34 win over the Bills.

images via Yahoo