All Manning Era Team: Defensive Backs

All Manning Era Team: We take a look at the greatest single seasons by position in the Peyton Manning Era (1998-2011).  Today, we look at the:

 Defensive Backs: 

3 of the 4 defensive back seasons on this list were pretty easy for me to choose.  The other was difficult at first, but when I looked through the stats by year, it was actually quite easy.  

In 2000, Jeff Burris was a do it all corner.  He had 77 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 4 interceptions, 11 pass deflections, and he scored a touchdown.  After I looked more closely, this was a pretty easy selection for one of the two cornerback spots on the All Manning Era team. 

The other corner on the list was a really easy choice for me.  In 2003, Nick Harper made 98 tackles (which for a cornerback is incredible), picked off 4 passes, batted down 14 passes and also scored a touchdown.  Harper was a very good corner for the Colts in his time in Indy, and his 2003 season was spectacular. 

One of the safety spots was a no brainer.  In 2007, Bob Sanders was the NFL’s defensive player of the year and was an absolute playmaker.  When he could stay healthy, he was one of the best safeties in the NFL.  In 2007, the popular Sanders made 96, 3.5 sacks, picked off 2 passes and had 6 pass deflections.  His numbers do not even come close to telling how good Sanders was in 2007, as is the case with most players on the All Manning Era team.  

The final defensive back spot on the list is filled by Antoine Bethea.  In 2009, Bethea made 95 tackles, forced 2 fumbles, intercepted 4 passes and had 5 pass deflections.  He has always been an underrated safety for the Colts, and in 2009 he anchored a defense that helped the Colts to a 14-2 record and an AFC title. 

The Colts had some tremendous players in their secondary during Peyton Manning’s tenure, and these four individual seasons are the best of them all.

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About Josh Wilson
Follow Josh on twitter @jwilsonWL, on Facebook at the Operation: Freedom page, or you can reach him by email at operation.freedom@yahoo.com.

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