2000 would be a year that would change the NFL forever. Bill Belichick was hired to be the head coach of the New England Patriots and the team would draft Tom Brady in the sixth round. Those two would dominate the NFL for the next 20 years, but before that happened, a few teams were looking to be the next big dynasty.
The Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams (now Los Angeles Rams) were looking to get back to the Super Bowl after reaching the big game in 1999. However, the Baltimore Ravens would take the crown as NFL champions thanks to a very stingy defense. In fact, the defense was so strong, it set an NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game regular season.
There were also a few players to set NFL records. Running back Corey Dillon broke the record for most rushing yards in a single game with 278. Wide receiver Terrell Ownes broke the NFL record for receptions in a game with 20. And kicker Gary Anderson set the record for most points in a career, which has now been broken twice. Here's a look at where the top players of 2000 are now.
RB Marshall Faulk - NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year
Marshall Faulk was arguably the best player in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the 2000 season, Faulk rushed for 1,359 yards and 18 touchdowns, and he also caught 81 passes for 830 yards and eight touchdowns. The Hall of Famer was a longtime analyst for the NFL Network after he retired but was fired in 2017 after he was accused of sexual harassment.prevnext
LB Ray Lewis - Defensive Player of the Year, Super Bowl Champion
There wasn't a more dominant defensive player than Ray Lewis during the 2000s. Lewis came into his own in 2000, posting 138 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions. He released an autobiography in 2015 titled I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game, and Glory and has recently appeared on multiple shows including Dancing With the Stars.prevnext
RB Mike Anderson - Offensive Rookie of the Year
Mike Anderson had a huge rookie season, rushing for 1,487 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played in the NFL for another seven seasons before being released by the Baltimore Ravens in 2008. The video above is from 2018, and Anderson talks about his career with the Utah Utes.prevnext
LB Brian Urlacher - Defensive Rookie of the Year
Brian Urlacher started his career with a bang posting 125 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions in his rookie season for the Chicago Bears. He went on to have a Hall of Fame career and has kept himself busy with different projects. He now has hair, which wasn't the case when he was playing.prevnext
DE Joe Johnson - Comeback Player of the Year
Joe Johnson won Comeback Player of the Year in 2000 after posting 12 sacks. He missed the entire 1999 season with a knee injury, and his production in 2000 was one of the many reasons the Saints reached the playoffs. He was recently honored as a member of the Saints Hall of Fame.prevnext
QB Rich Gannon - Bert Bell Award (Player of the Year)
Rich Gannon was 35 years old in 2000 but was playing like a 25-year old. He made the All-Pro First Team after throwing for 3,430 yards 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He went on to be named MVP in 2002, and since retiring from the league in 2005, Gannon has been calling NFL games for CBS Sports.prevnext
Peyton Manning - Passing Yards and Touchdowns Leader
Peyton Manning was still in the young stages of his career and was set to be a superstar. In 2000, the future Hall of Famer threw for 4,413 and 33 touchdowns. After retiring in 2016, Manning has been involved in multiple projects including his own show on ESPN+ called Peyton's Places.prev