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The NFL is a feast or famine league. Every season, certain teams and players become the talk of the league, but these players can fall out of the picture just as quick as they come in. Every season, some players step up in expected fashion or completely out of nowhere. Players like Peyton Manning were expected to improve upon his rookie season, but we have to give props. There were also some players who became stars randomly like Antonio Gates or Donald Driver. These are the Cleats Behind the Best Season to Season Improvements in NFL History

Rafael Canton is a freelance writer from Queens, NY and contributor to Sneaker Report. Anytime there is a conversation about the NBA, music, or nutella, he can be found in the thick of the discussion. He can be found on Twitter @RafelitoC7.

RELATED: The Cleats Worn for the 25 Most Defining NFL Moments of the Past 5 Years
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Air Jordan XII
Image via Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel

No. 15 - Air Jordan XII

Athlete: Ahman Green for the Green Bay Packers
Season: 2003
Stats during prior season: 286 rushing attempts, 1240 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 355 rushing attempts, 1883 rushing yards, 15 rushing touchdowns

Ahman Green was already a Pro Bowl level running back while pairing up with Brett Favre in the Packers elite level offense. Green's production reached even higher levels as he rushed for 1883 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. This rushing season by Green is currently tied for ninth in single-season rushing yards. After 2003, Green wasn't able to reproduce the same success that he had during 2003 making this the ultimate season for him where everything went right.

Nike Alpha Speed TD
Image via Getty Images/Scott Cunningham

No. 14 - Nike Alpha Speed TD

Athlete: Jared Allen for the Minnesota Vikings
Season: 2011
Stats during prior season: 45 tackles, 11 sacks
Stats during breakout season: 46 tackles, 22 sacks

Make sure that you remember to feel the mullet. Jared Allen might have some random hair choices, Allen is an elite pass-rusher. The Minnesota Vikings defensive end reached his best point when he doubled his sacks from 2010-2011 from 11 sacks to 22 sacks. In the past year and a half, Allen has never been able to re-create the magic from the 2011 season.

Nike Football Cleats
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No. 13 - Nike Football Cleats

Athlete: Torry Holt for the St. Louis Rams
Season: 2000
Stats during prior season: 52 receptions, 788 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 82 receptions, 1635 yards, 6 receiving touchdowns

Isaac Bruce always seemed to be the Rams' number one option, but slowly, Torry Holt emerged onto the scene as the Rams #1 option for a long time. After a solid rookie season in 1999, Holt emerged in his second season having 1635 yards receiving which was the start of a great run as a top wideout in the NFL for a solid amount of time with the Rams. That run included eight straight seasons of at least 1000-plus receiving yards.

Nike Alpha Project
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No. 12 - Nike Alpha Project

Athlete: Jason Taylor for the Miami Dolphins
Season: 2002
Stats during prior season: 49 tackles, 8.5 sacks
Stats during breakout season: 46 tackles, 18.5 sacks

Sacks are never a guarantee in the NFL. Usually when a player become known as a pass-rusher, offenses gameplan and strategically prevent certain defenders from getting to the quarterback. Jason Taylor beat that strategy when he doubled his sacks from the 2001-02 season when he led the NFL in 2002 with 18.5 sacks for the Dolphins. Taylor also forced seven fumbles while the Dolphins finished out of the playoffs, but were a respectable 9-7.

Nike Super Speed D
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No. 11 - Nike Super Speed D

Athlete: Larry Johnson for the Kansas City Chiefs
Season: 2005
Stats during prior season: 120 rushing attempts, 581 rushing yards, 9 rushing touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 336 rushing attempts, 1750 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns

When the Chiefs lost Priest Holmes due to injury, many people were unsure of whether Larry Johnson could come in and sustain the Chiefs running game. Johnson did more than that when he made the Pro Bowl, ran for 1750 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. Johnson was able to produce practically the same numbers during 2006, but after '06, Johnson absolutely fell off the face of the earth. He was out of the league by 2011.

Nike Football Cleats
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No. 10 - Nike Football Cleats

Athlete: Donald Driver for the Green Bay Packers
Season: 2002
Stats during prior season: 13 receptions, 167 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Stats during breakout season: 70 receptions, 1064 receiving yards, 9 receiving touchdowns

Donald Driver was nothing more than a bit wide receiver for his first three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Driver accumulated just 520 receiving yards and three touchdowns in those first three seasons. In his fourth season, Driver had 1064 yards receiving and 9 touchdown catches as one of Brett Favre's top targets. Driver made the Pro Bowl that season and the Packers finished 12-4 that season as Driver stepped up.

Nike Super Speed D
Image via Getty Images/Scott Cunningham

No. 9 - Nike Super Speed D

Athlete: Drew Brees for the San Diego Chargers
Season: 2004
Stats during prior season: 67.5 quarterback rating, 2105 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 104.8 quarterback rating, 3159 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns

Drew Brees struggled for quite some time as a starting quarterback in the NFL before getting it together. Brees went just 10-17 with a 73.1 quarterback rating in 27 games started. Brees erupted in 2004 with 27 passing touchdowns versus just 7 interceptions all while leading the San Diego Chargers to a 12-4 record improving on the struggles he faced his first two full years in the NFL.

Nike Super Speed D
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No. 8 - Nike Super Speed D

Athlete: Antonio Gates for the San Diego Chargers
Season: 2004
Stats during prior season: 24 receptions, 389 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 81 receptions, 964 receiving yards, 13 receiving touchdowns

Antonio Gates had a solid rookie season, but didn't receive too many snaps on the field. When he got the chance, he became Drew Brees' number one target on the field for the San Diego Chargers. The former basketball player was able to put up some solid numbers while leading the Chargers in receiving with 1101 yards during the 2004 season.

adidas Cleats
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No. 7 - adidas Cleats

Athlete: Jerry Rice for the San Francisco 49ers
Season: 1986
Stats during prior season: 49 receptions, 927 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 86 receptions, 1570 receiving yards, 15 receiving touchdowns

Even legend need some time to develop and hone their skills. Jerry Rice improved vastly in his second season with the San Francisco 49ers. He broke the 1000-yard receiving mark and also caught 12 more touchdown passes than he did during his rookie season. From 1986-96, Rice had at least 1,200 receiving yards while helping the 49ers win three Super Bowls.

Nike Football Cleats
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No. 6 - Nike Football Cleats

Athlete: Darren Sharper for the Green Bay Packers
Season: 2000
Stats during prior season: 84 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions
Stats during breakout season: 72 tackles, 1 sack, 9 interceptions

Sharper became a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball. He was a ballhawk with 9 interceptions during the 2000 season with the Green Bay Packers. Sharper's 9 interceptions and 72 tackles helped him make his first Pro Bowl team in his NFL career and the Packers finished 9-7 that season.

Nike Super Speed D 3/4
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No. 5 - Nike Super Speed D 3/4

Athlete: Wes Welker for the New England Patriots
Season: 2007
Stats during prior season: 67 receptions, 687 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown
Stats during breakout season: 112 receptions, 1175 yards, 8 receiving touchdowns

We call this the Tom Brady touch. Brady and the Patriots high-powered offense was boosted by Wes Welker's arrival. Welker was an unheralded free agent signing by the Patriots, but blossomed in his role as the slot receiver. Welker led the NFL in receptions in his first season with the Pats and also set career highs in receiving yardage and touchdowns all while helping the Pats to an undefeated regular season and a Super Bowl appearance.

Air Jordan XVII
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No. 4 - Air Jordan XVII

Athlete: Michael Vick for the Atlanta Falcons
Season: 2002
Stats during prior season: 62.7 quarterback rating, 785 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 81.6 quarterback rating, 2936 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns

Mike Vick didn't get too much playing time in his rookie season, but he was able to win the starting job in his second season and produced results for the Falcons. Vick threw for 16 touchdowns and rushed for 8 touchdowns on his way to his first Pro Bowl selection all while leading the Atlanta Falcons to a 9-6-1 record and a playoff appearance.

Nike Football Cleats
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No. 3 - Nike Football Cleats

Athlete: Michael Irvin for the Dallas Cowboys
Season: 1991
Stats during prior season: 20 receptions, 413 receiving yards, 5 receiving touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 93 receptions, 1523 receiving yards, 8 receiving touchdowns

The Dallas Cowboys were America's struggle team during Michael Irvin's first season with the team. The Cowboys were 7-9 while Irvin was a rookie producing solid, but average results. In Irvin's second team, he had his first 1000-plus yard receiving season as the Cowboys went to 11-5 and made the playoffs for the first time since 1985.

Nike Zoom Air Blade D
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No. 2 - Nike Zoom Air Blade D

Athlete: Michael Strahan for the New York Giants
Season: 2004
Stats during prior season: 50 tackles, 9.5 sacks
Stats during breakout season: 62 tackles, 22.5 sacks

Sacks have proven to become a thing that is hard to come by as far as statistics go in the NFL. Michael Strahan has had some great All-Pro seasons during his Hall of Fame career, but he reached historic heights when he had 22.5 sacks during the 2004 NFL season. Strahan broke the NFL sack record of 22 originally held by Mark Gastineau. It's the perfect addition to Strahan's collection of NFL moments despite the rumors and controversy surrounding whether Brett favre actually gave up the sack on purpose to his friend Strahan.

adidas Turf Shoes
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No. 1 - adidas Turf Shoes

Athlete: Peyton Manning for the Indianapolis Colts
Season: 1999
Stats during prior season: 71.2 quarterback rating, 3739 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns
Stats during breakout season: 90.7 quarterback rating, 4135 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns

Rookie quarterbacks have always had a tough road to success, especially when they come in fresh and ready to start during their rookie years. Peyton Manning was not the exception as the Colts struggled to 3-13 while Manning struggled as well when he threw a league-high 28 interceptions his rookie season. In his second season, Manning cut his interceptions down to 15 and he led the Colts to one of the biggest turnarounds in NFL history as the Colts finished 10 games better than last year at 13-3.

Rafael Canton is a freelance writer from Queens, NY and contributor to Sneaker Report. Anytime there is a conversation about the NBA, music, or nutella, he can be found in the thick of the discussion. He can be found on Twitter @RafelitoC7.

RELATED: The Cleats Worn for the 25 Most Defining NFL Moments of the Past 5 Years
RELATED: The Most Popular Cleats of the 2013 NFL Pre-Season

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