ATLANTA, July 20, 2013 — As the 2013 NFL season remains an agonizing couple months away, Summer is a time to create fun lists to debate while at the bar. Here is a list of the greatest 16 NFL names in AFC history.
Rather than limit it to players, there is one representative from each team that symbolizes the heart and soul of the team. let the debate begin.
Miami Dolphins: Don Shula—The winningest NFL coach of all time remains the only coach to see his team finish a perfect season.
Buffalo Bills: Jim Kelly—While he did not win the Super Bowl, four straight AFC Championship game victories still make him one of the great quarterbacks of all time, and certainly one of the toughest.
New York Jets: Joe Namath—This franchise has had plenty of heartache, but Broadway Joe guaranteed victory in Super Bowl III and then went out and won it. Even more impressive was that the losing coach was Don Shula.
New England Patriots: Tom Brady— They were the Patsies until Brady won them three Super Bowls, reached two more, and nearly reached several more.Honorable mention: Bill Bellichick
Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts: Johnny Unitas—He is on every short list of the greatest quarterbacks ever, and handed the ball to Ameche to win the Greatest Game Ever Played. Honorable mention: Peyton Manning
Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans: Earl Campbell—He was one of theotughest running backs to ever play, barreling over people in brutal collisions that knocked out would-be tacklers. Honorable mention: Steve McNair
Houston Texans: Andre Johnson—This relatively new franchise has a wide receiver who will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Fred Taylor—The “old reliable” running back would have been noticed more had he not played in the NFL’s smallest market. He got the tough yards.
Baltimore Ravens: Ray Lewis—One of the greatest middle linebackers in NFL history was also one of its greatest dancers and motivators. Any dogs in the house!?!
Pittsburgh Steelers: Mean Joe Greene—The Steel Curtain was the greatest defense ever, and he was the leader who brought four Super Bowls to the fans waving their terrible towels.
Cleveland Browns: Jim Brown—This bruising running back was the greatest player in NFL history at any position. The franchise never recovered when he retired. Honorable mention: Otto Graham
Cincinnati Bengals: Paul Brown—This coaching legend was one of the greatest offensive innovators of all time. He mentored Bill Walsh, who would revolutionize football with the West Coast Offense.
San Diego Chargers: Sid Gillman—He may have been the greatest offensive mind of all time. He established the passing attack and loved the deep ball.Honorable mentions: Don “Air” Coryell, Dan Fouts
Denver Broncos: John Elway— His right arm guided the Broncos to three Super Bowls, and finally he would cap off his career with consecutive wins on the biggest stage. Now the team president, he holds the record for most fourth quarter comebacks.
Kansas City Chiefs: Lamar Hunt—He founded the American Football League and coined the term Super Bowl. Honorable mentions: Hank Stram, Derrick Thomas
Oakland Raiders: Al Davis—The former AFL Commissioner forced the NFL into the merger that created the modern NFL. Every aspect of the Silver and Black emanated from his “Just win baby” philosophy. Honorable mentions: John Madden, Jim Otto
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog. Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter
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