The defensive and special teams selections for the Atlanta Falcons 2010-19 All-Decade Team presented by American Family Insurance were announced this week, and two of the players included were unanimously picked by the voters.
Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and kicker Matt Bryant were the two unanimous selections by the group of voters, which includes former Falcons players, members of the organization and both local and national media. Jarrett and Bryant have been two of the most consistent players in the NFL during their time with the Falcons, coming through in the clutch time and again.
Let's take a look at each player's contributions to the Falcons during the last decade, which made Jarrett and Bryant the only unanimous selections for the all-decade defense and special teams.
|Games played||Tackles||Tackles for a loss||Sacks||QB hits||Forced fumbles|
Since the Falcons selected Jarrett out of Clemson with a fifth-round pick (No. 137 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft, he's done nothing but improve with each successive season. A breakout performance in Super Bowl LI, during which Jarrett sacked Tom Brady three times, put Jarrett on the map, nationally. Jarrett's 2019 season – 69 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 12 tackles for a loss – earned him his first Pro Bowl nod, a testament to how respected he's become. Despite playing on the interior of the line, Jarrett has become the Falcons' most consistent pass rusher and up-front playmaker. Atlanta signed Jarrett to a four-year deal prior to the 2019 season, keeping him with the Falcons through the 2022 season. Given his track record and dedication to improving, it's possible the best is yet to come for Jarrett.
|Games played||Field goal attempts||Field goals made||Field goal percentage||Longest field goal||Extra point attempts||Extra points made||Extra point percentage|
The man they nicknamed "Money" came through in the biggest moments throughout the decade for Atlanta. Bryant joined the Falcons in 2009 and played through the first half of the 2019 season. He became the franchise's all-time leading scorer during the decade-plus run with Atlanta, and helped the Falcons finish off plenty of last-minute comebacks. Most memorably, Bryant drilled a 49-yard field goal to help Atlanta beat Seattle in the divisional round of the 2012 playoffs, giving Matt Ryan the first playoff win of his career. Bryant was incredibly reliable, especially during the postseason. In eight playoff games with the Falcons, Bryant made all 12 of his field goal attempts and was 25-of-26 on extra point attempts.
A true fan favorite, Bryant was among the most important Falcons of the last decade. In his 11 seasons in Atlanta, Bryant accounted for a franchise-record 1,163 points. No. 2 on that list is Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen with 806 points.