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The 99th season of the NFL concluded with a bang at the Super Bowl LIII with the defeat of the Los Angeles Rams to the New England Patriots. Ending the game at 13-3, it was the Patriots' sixth Super Bowl championship (their third in the last five seasons) — and a historical moment in NFL history, with a new record set for the fewest total points scored in a Super Bowl.
The regular season had a flurry of its own highs and lows, too.
Take the Miami Miracle - the Miami Dolphins needed a one-in-a-million game-winning play to beat the Patriots, which was expertly executed by DeVante Parker and Kenyan Drake.
Or the game-clinching touchdown by Michael Thomas for the New Orleans Saints against the LA Rams. Followed by the celebration — where in a homage to legendary wide receiver Joe Horn, Thomas grabbed a cellphone from underneath the padding on the field goal post and made a phone call.
Another highlight? That magical touchdown by Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry. A sensational 99-yard touchdown run, Henry gave the team that extra push they needed to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-9.
There were many more exciting moments throughout the 2018 season, from a variety of key players. The real standouts were the players that maintained their consistency, while producing some amazing moments.
Here are five of the headline-grabbing NFL players from 2018:
Jamal Adams, New York Jets
Texas-born strong safety Jamal Adams showed impressive growth as well as a lot of versatility during 2018, his second season with New York Jets. He amassed the most disruptions (24) and offensive-success stops (46) amongst safeties. These figures proved him invaluable during the 2018 season.
At 23, he is already a captain; he's become one of the most exciting and dynamic players on the team and definitely one to watch for the upcoming 2019 season.
"He's making a ton of plays. He's playing hard, he's playing physical. He brings so much energy to the game, to the team. I think he's doing a hell of a job," said defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson.
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys
A trade from the Oakland Raiders in October led to a big win for the Dallas Cowboys, in the form of wide receiver Amari Cooper. After his first game with the Cowboys, he was already leading the team with five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown.
A boost to both the pass and ground games, Cooper's contribution had the Cowboys ranking fifth in the NFL in passing yards from Week 9 through to Week 14, as well as forth in total offense. Simultaneously, Cooper was averaging 107 yards and a touchdown per game as well as 8.8 targets and 6.7 catches per game.
Fans of the Dallas Cowboys will be keeping an eye on him for his second season to see if he can push the team to an even better result in 2019.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
It was an incredible year for Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes. 2018 marked his first year as an NFL starter, and Mahomes made it one of his best, setting record after record throughout the season. He is now the seventh player in NFL history to throw for at least 5,000 yards in a season, and posted the best passer rating, at 113.8.0 and the most passing yards per game under pressure (when defenders were in five feet of him) at an average of 88.1.
He was an asset for NFL fantasy football players, scoring an impressive 461 points. He won both the NFL Offensive Player of the Year and NFL MVP for his awe-inspiring performances.
During 2019, he's set himself a tough standard to beat; but at the age of 23, he'll feel as though he's got plenty more to show and with such an exciting year ahead as an NFL starter, we can expect more records to be broken next season.
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
December was a tough month for Rams fans, with the news that star running back Todd Gurley would not be playing the final two games of the season due to a knee injury. But it doesn't take away from his all-round incredible performance for 2018. Over the course of 14 games, the 24-year old accomplished 256 carries for 1,251 yards and 17 rushing TDs.
Coach Sean McVay described the decision to keep Gurley off the field as a precautionary move. "Based on just the information that I'm getting and just talking to Todd, I wouldn't say that I'm concerned," he said. "I think that we want to be really smart about that."
With a 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year award by the Associated Press (after gaining 19 offensive touchdowns in the regular season) Gurley will be one to watch when he's fully healed from the injury and back in his element.
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
Running back and return specialist Christian McCaffrey started Week 2 of the 2018 season with an all-time best, recording a career-high 14 receptions for 102 receiving yards to go along with 37 rushing yards in the game against the Atlanta Falcons.
By the end of his second season with the Panthers, McCaffrey became their franchise record holder of all-purpose yards in a season, finishing the year with 1,098 rushing yards, 107 receptions, 867 receiving yards and seven rushing touchdowns.
He's becoming known as a force to be reckoned with and will be confident of beating his own personal bests during 2019.
2018-19's NFL stars: Can they produce again?
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