In football, a tackle occurs when a defensive player stops an offensive ball carrier’s progress by bringing him to the ground. When any portion of the ball carrier’s body, other than their hands or feet, contacts the ground due to the defense, it is called a tackle.
Nonetheless, tackling requires physical fitness. That is why linebackers have made the most tackles in NFL history.
All the top 12 and 17 of the top 20 in all-time tackles were linebackers, and the bulk of their NFL snaps was spent in the middle linebacker position. Let’s find out who they are here:
Defining A Tackle
A tackle is used to play offensive and defense in the one-platoon format. However, offensive tackle and defensive tackle are different in today’s specialized unit structure. For instance, a tackle is a position in American and Canadian football.
Let’s have a look.
Offensive Tackle (OT, T)
The offensive tackle is a left and right offensive line position. The primary job of the OT is to keep defenders away physically or to block them from the offensive player with the ball, just like any other offensive linemen.
The name “tackle” is a throwback to an age of football when the same players played offense and defense. On the offensive line, the tackle is the most powerful position. They use rapid steps and maneuverability to power their blocks.
Outside protection is mainly the responsibility of the offensive tackles only. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everybody not covered by his guard and anyone the tight end is not covering.
The team’s top-run blocker is generally the right tackle (RT). Most running plays occur on the offensive line’s strong side (the side with the tight end).
As a result, the right tackle will be pitted against the defense’s most excellent run stoppers. For the running back to locate a hole to go through, he must be able to generate traction in his blocks.
The team’s top pass blocker is generally the left tackle (LT). To offset the defensive ends ‘ pass rush, the left tackle will frequently have greater agility and footwork than the right tackle.
Because most quarterbacks are right-handed, they must stand closer to the line of scrimmage and throw while their left shoulder is facing downfield. As a result, they turn their backs on left-side defenders, creating a susceptible “blind side” that the left tackle must guard.
A defensive lineman is usually the most prominent and strongest player. One of the offensive guards usually lines up opposite the defensive tackle. A defensive lineman may be called upon to play a variety of responsibilities depending on a team’s defensive plan.
These duties might include simply maintaining the point of attack by refusing to be moved or breaking up a play in the opponent’s backfield by penetrating a specific gap between offensive linemen inside linebacker.
When a defensive lineman reads a pass play, his main goal is to pursue the quarterback or knock the ball down at the line if it’s within reach. The defensive tackle may also be responsible for seeking the screen pass.
The nose tackle is also called the middle guard or the nosed guard. It is a defensive alignment position used on the lineman. While it is the second defensive tackle in the many 4-3 defensive schemes, it is the only one in the 3-4 defensive strategy.
The strategy lines up the scrimmage line before the play and from the offense’s center in the “0-technique” position. This position is the most demanding in football in terms of physical agility and strength.
After all, the man in the position typically takes on the guards’ center and one, if not both.
Who In NFL History Has Made The Most Combined Tackles?
Here are the best defensive players, who have made more tackles than any other player in history, including solo and combined tackles.
Ray Lewis Has A Total Of 2,059 Tackles
Ray Lewis, the renowned linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, spent 17 years in the NFL and amassed 2,059 tackles. In 14 of his 17 seasons in Baltimore, Lewis would lead the club in tackles. With the Ravens, he won two Super Bowls and was known as the hard-hitting middle or inside linebacker everywhere.
The first was against the New York Giants in 2000, when he also won Super Bowl MVP after collecting three tackles, two assists, and four pass breakups.
Lewis became only the second player in NFL history to earn both the Defensive Player of the the Year award and the Super Bowl MVP awards in the same season. In his final season, the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl for the second time.
The Ravens linebacker has at least 40 career sacks (41.5) and 30 overall interceptions, making him the first player in NFL history to do so (31).
Fletcher, London – 2,039 Tackles
Fletcher led the league in combined tackles only once in his 14-year career (166). In 14 of his 16 NFL seasons, Fletcher had at least 111 total tackles and appeared in all 16 games. Fletcher’s dependability is a significant factor in his inclusion on this list.
London Fletcher, or “Iron Man,” ranks second with 2,039 total tackles in 16 NFL seasons. Fletcher was a Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Redskins member.
The linebacker never missed a game throughout his career, and he holds the record for consecutive starts at the linebacker position. He is one of just five players in NFL history to participate in over 250 straight games. In the 1999 season, he was a member of the St Louis Rams squad that won Super Bowl 34.
Junior Seau – 1,847S Tackles
Junior Seau, the late great, has the third-most combined tackles in NFL history. During his 20-year NFL career, the legendary linebacker played for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots.
Although junior Seau never led the league in total tackles, he played 20 years and covered sideline to sideline, allowing him to produce plays consistently. Seau topped 100 total tackles in eight separate seasons, and he started double-digit games in 15 of his 20 years on the field.
Longevity and dependability are significant factors in making these lists. Seau was regarded as one of the game’s most instinctive linebackers. With 1,849 career tackles, he was a sure tackler who always appeared to be in the right place at the right time.
Jessie Tuggle- 1,805 Tackles
Jessie Tuggle averaged 140.7 solo tackles a season in his first ten seasons, and he led the league in combined tackles four times. With 207 tackles in 1991 and 201 tackles in 1990, Tuggle owns two of the top three combined tackle seasons in a single game in NFL history.
Zach Thomas -1,734 Tackles
In 2002 and 2006, Zach Thomas led the league in combined tackles, and in 10 of his 13 NFL seasons, he had at least 128 combined tackles. Thomas is the finest tackler in Miami Dolphins history, with 1,042 solo tackles.
Derrick Brooks-1,713 Tackles
Derrick Brooks has 12 straight seasons with at least 100 combined tackles, with just his rookie season and his last season not reaching triple digits.
Brooks topped the league in combined tackles once and soloed tackles three times. With 1,300 solo tackles, Brooks is the all-time leader in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history.
Clay Matthews -1,595 Tackles
When Clay Matthews is mentioned, most people think of the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams linebacker, but his father was a great football player in his way.
Matthews has four times led the league in combined tackles and is the Cleveland Bitemns’ all-time leading tackler with 1,430 solo stops.
Hardy Nickerson -1,586 Tackles
Hardy Nickerson played for many awful football teams during his career, but he’s one of the top tacklers of all time, and he owned the record for most total tackles in a single season with 214 in 1993.
Nickerson and Tuggle are the only defensive players ever in NFL history to accumulate 200 or more tackles in a single season.
Donnie Edwards-1501 Tackles
Donnie Edwards had at least 100 combined tackles in 11 of his 13 seasons, failing to do so only once in his rookie season and last season. With 592 solo tackles, Edwards is fourth on the Kansas City Chiefs’ all-time tackle list.
Kyle Clifton -1,484 Tackles
In his most career tackles in his first three seasons in the league, Kyle Clifton led the league in combined tackles three times. With 1,468 solo tackles, Clifton is the all-time tackle leader for the New York Jets.
A defensive football player’s most fundamental stat is that people look for tackles. It never conveys the complete tale, but it does reveal that the player is frequently at the right place at the right time and has a keen sense of the game.
Since its establishment, the NFL has attracted a large fan base, and these outstanding players have been lauded for their delight on the field and the finest records they have.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who has the most tackles in NFL history?
The NFL record for most tackles is held by former linebacker Ray Lewis with 2,061 total tackles during his 17-year career. He was also the defensive leader of two Super Bowl winning teams, and has been named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Who has the most tackles in a football game?
The record for the most tackles in a single football game is held by Ray Lewis. The former Baltimore Ravens linebacker made an astonishing 31 tackles during a game against the Cleveland Browns in 2003. Lewis was named both the Defensive Player of the Year and the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player that same season, and he retired from the NFL as one of its all-time greatest linebackers. He was a relentless force on the field and will always be remembered for his incredible tackling ability.
Who are the National Football league career tackles leaders?
The National Football League (NFL) career tackles leaders are Ray Lewis, London Fletcher, and Junior Seau. Ray Lewis is the all-time leader with 1,562 tackles in his 17 NFL seasons.