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08 Jun 2011

Broken Tackles 2010

by Aaron Schatz

Time to continue our series presenting various 2010 stats from the multitude of Football Outsiders spreadsheets. Today, let's look at broken tackles. Broken tackles are a stat from game charting, not from the standard play-by-play. We defined a "broken tackle" as one of two events: either the ballcarrier escapes from the grasp of the defender, or the defender is in good position for a tackle but the ballcarrier jukes him out of his shoes. If the ballcarrier sped by a slow defender who dived and missed, that didn't count as a broken tackle. We only measured broken tackles for standard plays; volunteers didn't have the time to track them for all special teams plays.

The resulting numbers are subjective, obviously, but there were over two dozen charters involved, so no team's numbers could be overly slanted because of the bias of a single specific charter. We know that there are other groups on the Web who track broken tackles, and because of the subjectivity, their numbers won't be exactly the same as ours. Given the mistakes that are easy to make when marking players off of television tape, a difference of one or two broken tackles isn't a big deal. But looking at the players with the most and fewest broken tackles does a good job of showing us which defenders were able to wrap up and which ones got run over.

We can also look at broken tackle rate. For each defender we compared broken tackles to the total of broken tackles and solo tackles. We decided not to include assists, because a missed assist is not usually something we would mark as a missed tackle opportunity -- after all, another defender is getting a successful tackle at the exact same time. However, we did remove special teams tackles so we were only looking at defensive plays.

Here are all the players that our game charters recorded with 10 or more broken tackles in 2010:

Player Defense Brk Tkl Tackles Rate x Player Defense Brk Tkl Tackles Rate
33-M.Griffin TEN 17 88 16.2% x 57-D.Hawthorne SEA 11 75 12.8%
24-A.Wilson ARI 16 79 16.8% x 29-G.Quin HOU 11 73 13.1%
92-W.Witherspoon TEN 15 62 19.5% x 25-W.Moore ATL 11 61 15.3%
51-P.Lenon ARI 14 100 12.3% x 58-S.Shanle NO 11 54 16.9%
20-R.Barber TB 14 66 17.5% x 36-S.Spencer SF 11 39 22.0%
55-S.Tulloch TEN 13 115 10.2% x 57-D.Jones CIN 10 99 9.2%
31-B.Pollard HOU 13 87 13.0% x 50-C.Lofton ATL 10 96 9.4%
27-Q.Mikell PHI 12 79 13.2% x 24-T.Thomas NYG 10 87 10.3%
51-L.Tatupu SEA 12 64 15.8% x 29-E.Berry KC 10 76 11.6%
55-K.Rivers CIN 12 58 17.1% x 54-D.Levy DET 10 64 13.5%
55-L.Briggs CHI 11 81 12.0% x 23-S.Martin CAR 10 57 14.9%
52-R.McIntosh WAS 11 78 12.4% x 27-M.Jenkins NO 10 56 15.2%
25-K.Rhodes ARI 11 77 12.5% x 29-D.Rodgers-Cromartie ARI 10 43 18.9%
31-R.Marshall CAR 11 77 12.5% x 27-A.Smith DET 10 35 22.2%

There are a couple of surprise names near the top of this list. We only recorded Adrian Wilson with two broken tackles in 2009, so to see him near the top of the list for 2010 is a shock. Michael Griffin was also much lower in 2009, with only five broken tackles. Less of a surprise is Ronde Barber. For all the run tackles that Barber makes, he also misses quite a few. He had 15 broken tackles in 2009, which was second that year behind Sabby Piscitelli.

Now let's look at the highest and lowest broken tackle rates. First, here are the best and worst rates for linebackers, with a minimum of 50 tackles:

Player Defense Brk Tkl Tackles Rate x Player Defense Brk Tkl Tackles Rate
92-W.Witherspoon TEN 15 62 19.5% x 52-C.Matthews GB 0 53 0.0%
55-K.Rivers CIN 12 58 17.1% x 51-J.Mayo NE 1 118 0.8%
58-S.Shanle NO 11 54 16.9% x 59-M.Boley NYG 1 61 1.6%
51-L.Tatupu SEA 12 64 15.8% x 51-T.Spikes SF 2 92 2.1%
58-G.Brackett IND 9 51 15.0% x 51-K.Brooking DAL 2 79 2.5%
54-D.Levy DET 10 64 13.5% x 51-P.Posluszny BUF 3 114 2.6%
51-C.Gocong CLE 8 52 13.3% x 92-J.Harrison PIT 2 75 2.6%
98-J.Peterson DET 9 60 13.0% x 57-B.Scott NYJ 2 62 3.1%
57-D.Hawthorne SEA 11 75 12.8% x 94-D.Ware DAL 2 56 3.4%
52-R.McIntosh WAS 11 78 12.4% x 55-T.Suggs BAL 2 55 3.5%

Don't make too much out of the fact that our game charters did not record Clay Matthews with a single broken tackle. There's a good chance we missed one at some point. What's important is that he had very few broken tackles, possibly zero.

I find Paul Posluszny's appearance on this list to be interesting, especially in conjunction with the poor run Stop Rate we reported last week. Posluszny was making his tackles farther away from the line of scrimmage than is usual for a linebacker, but at least he wasn't missing them. This is the second straight year that Posluszny had only three broken tackles. Most of these linebackers who were low in broken tackles last year were also low in broken tackles the year before. Takeo Spikes and Jerod Mayo had only four apiece in 2009, Clay Matthews had three, and Keith Brooking had two.

Now, let's look at the highest and lowest broken tackle rates for defensive backs, with a minimum of 40 tackles:

Player Defense Brk Tkl Tackles Rate x Player Defense Brk Tkl Tackles Rate
29-D.Rodgers-Cromartie ARI 10 43 18.9% x 32-B.Fletcher STL 1 64 1.5%
43-A.Francisco IND 9 42 17.6% x 24-B.Flowers KC 1 57 1.7%
20-R.Barber TB 14 66 17.5% x 27-R.Mathis JAC 1 48 2.0%
21-V.Davis MIA 9 44 17.0% x 25-C.Carr BAL 2 56 3.4%
24-A.Wilson ARI 16 79 16.8% x 41-A.Bethea IND 3 80 3.6%
26-E.Wilson HOU 8 41 16.3% x 20-D.Whitner BUF 4 105 3.7%
33-M.Griffin TEN 17 88 16.2% x 20-B.McFadden PIT 3 75 3.8%
34-D.Grant NYG 9 47 16.1% x 33-N.Jones DEN 2 46 4.2%
25-W.Moore ATL 11 61 15.3% x 26-A.Elam CLE 3 66 4.3%
27-M.Jenkins NO 10 56 15.2% x 38-D.Manning CHI 3 62 4.6%
            32-D.McCourty NE 3 62 4.6%

One big surprise that doesn't quite make our list: Cincinnati's Reggie Nelson, often thought to be an awful tackler when he was with Jacksonville, had zero broken tackles with 37 solo tackles last year. Oddly enough, Sabby Piscitelli, our broken tackle champion from 2009, also wasn't recorded with a single broken tackle in 2010. Of course, he didn't play very much, but it's still surprising. Perhaps broken tackle numbers are inherently less consistent for defensive backs than they are for linebackers. For example, Antoine Bethea had eight broken tackles in 2009, only three last year. Brandon Flowers had seven in 2009. On the other hand, Bradley Fletcher had just one broken tackle in both seasons, and Ronde Barber was very high both seasons. We'll need a couple more years of data before we can say for sure whether broken tackles are more meaningful for linebackers than for defensive backs.

Defensive linemen don't make anywhere near as many plays as linebackers and defensive backs, so there aren't a lot of linemen with more than two or three broken tackles. Only two defensive linemen had six broken tackles: Chris Long of St. Louis and Lamarr Houston of Oakland. Justin Smith of San Francisco had zero broken tackles with 62 tackles, and four other linemen had zero broken tackles with more than 40 tackles: Jared Allen, Antonio Garay, Sione Pouha, and Vince Wilfork.

Full broken tackle numbers will be found in Football Outsiders Almanac 2011. They aren't available yet on the player pages, but we'll work on getting that done.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 08 Jun 2011

51 comments, Last at 14 Jun 2011, 8:37pm by JimmyOz

Comments

1
by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 12:21pm

Won't be no jivin
Won't be no jokin
Everything is broken

35
by Randy Matthes (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 9:29am

That is a wonderful reference.

Happy 70th, Bob.

2
by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 12:38pm

Curious if you can say who Long's missed tackles are on? From my eyes, he seemed to have a tough time actually getting sacks once he was in position to get the QB. Were many of his charted missed tackles on QBs?

Bradley Fletcher only played a handful of games the year before last due to injury, but this just seems to be further evidence to the many Rams fans who think he could be *really* good.

10
by Vince Verhei :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:41pm

The spreadsheet I have is not quite complete, but of the five missed tackles by Long I do have data for, only two were against quarterbacks. Both were against Troy Smith in Week 10. One resulted in an incomplete pass to Vernon Davis, the other a scramble for five yards.

13
by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:14pm

OK, cheers for that.

3
by Dean :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 12:58pm

I'm just going to copy this so that people see it a second time...

"Don't make too much out of the fact that our game charters did not record Clay Matthews with a single broken tackle. There's a good chance we missed one at some point. What's important is that he had very few broken tackles, possibly zero."

Sadly, that won't prevent someone from ignoring it twice.

4
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:01pm

If anyone could have a broken tackle while not even on the field, it has to be Sabby Piscitelli.

5
by Theo :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:02pm

3 Tennessee players at the top, including Michael Griffin, a safety.
That's unforgivable for a safety.
Sure you can get run over, but not to the rate of once a game.

6
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:17pm

Shawntae Spencer dodges a bullet by not attempting one more tackle, which would have given him 40 with a missed tackle rate of over 20%. This matches closely with his dire play last season, especially towards the end. The only other guy on the list over 20% was Alphonso Smith, who managed to miss about four tackles on one play against New England.

7
by Theo :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:23pm

the funny thing is, I watch football a LOT, and I download games to watch them outside of the normal broadcasts.
But I had to google who S. Spencer is. He's the other side corner of Nate Clements.
And when you google the guy, the first video, is him being hit by Eagles fullback Owen Schmitt.

8
by tuluse :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:29pm

Kind of funny to see Danieal Manning up there, never thought he was anything special at tackling--or anything really.

19
by Jimmy :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:51pm

I thought Manning was very good last year. It seems to me that strong safety is by far his best position as it lets him use his top notch athleticism to impact the game without having to read the whole field as the single high safety in man-free (cover 1). He was rarely out of position last year and consequently made few mistakes. He played like a poor man's Bob Sanders but one that doesn't miss much time. I will be dissapointed to see him leave if he goes elsewhere in free agency.

26
by MJK :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 5:12pm

He played like a poor man's Bob Sanders

So he only missed half the season due to injury?

(rimshot)

9
by Theo :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 1:29pm

This should count for 100:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7Ka2iDGAWA

12
by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:14pm

Hurdling a defender is my favourite play in football. Spectacular.

14
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:22pm
11
by Alabama ManDance (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:02pm

Curious how many broken tackles were charted during Marshawn Lynch's crazy run in the playoffs, I remember thinking "that poor FO game charter"

15
by Theo :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:23pm
17
by Drunkmonkey :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:38pm

I wonder if there is any way to tell if the numbers of broken tackles from one year to the next can be associated to certain players. Like if teams with high numbers of broken tackles one year played teams like the Steelers, Vikings, Panthers, Jets, or Texans (these are just teams that consider to have pretty strong running games) and then the next have lower numbers due to playing a relatively weaker run schedule. It would make sense for the players whose numbers vary quite a bit.

I guess what I'm getting at is that the numbers of broken tackles could have to do squarely with who these players are facing. Clay Matthews very low (but probably not zero) broken tackle number could be a case of him not really facing any good rushing teams, other then the Vikings, who could have been running away from him this year, making him look really good.

20
by ammek :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:11pm

GB also played the Jets and a few other capable rushing teams (Pats, Fins, Giants, Falcons, Eagles).

24
by Flounder :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 4:03pm

Yeah, I really doubt the opposition has much to do with it. It has to do with three primary things, I would say.

1.) Totally trashing the blocker and/or shooting the gap and creaming the RB before they even had much of a chance
2.) Effort plays to bring down the runner from the back-side - most rbs aren't to good at breaking tackles from behind.
3.) Getting hooked and having zero opportunity for the tackle as the rb gets the corner. This last one definitely happens a decent amount, and I'm not going to see Clay is a spectacular run defender, but not anywhere close to "horrible" as I think a couple posters were arguing in a thread from a couple months back (as I recall, someone was actually making the argument Banta-Cain was, for New England's system, preferable to Clay Matthews). I'd argue that given the defensive system, which is far more geared to stopping the pass than the run, Matthews plays the run pretty well, and I'm guessing could be an excellent run stopper in a different system.

25
by Stewart (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 4:48pm

Regarding the Banta-Cain argument:

I think the poster was arguing that in New England's system, Matthews would play the same role as Banta-Cain, that of a nickel rusher. I would think he would probably do that job a little better, but the argument was also that a player like Banta-Cain comes a heck of a lot cheaper than a Clay Matthews, and given the minor role, the cheaper player is probably preferable. He wasn't arguing that TBC was better, simply that, even in hindsight, New England still probably would not take Clay Matthews instead of trading back in '09.

This article doesn't do much to change that argument, because while Matthews shows good abilities as a tackler, in the Patriots' system OLBs are asked to hold up the edge and fight off blockers so as to give other players a chance to make the tackles. Until I see a stat refuting the observation that Matthews gets washed out by blockers easily, I'll maintain that he isn't a first rounder for New England.

28
by Flounder :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 7:17pm

1) There's not going to be a stat, because that is not often his primary responsibility on any given play. That was my point before. I think he's one of the rare players that can be a star in virtually any system.

2) Good coaches adjust their systems to suit the talents of their most talented players. Do you really thinking Bellicheck wouldn't adjust his system to maximize Matthews talents? He'd be a first rounder for NE, and I don't think it's even close to debatable.

32
by RC (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 9:03am

"Good coaches adjust their systems to suit the talents of their most talented players. Do you really thinking Bellicheck wouldn't adjust his system to maximize Matthews talents? He'd be a first rounder for NE, and I don't think it's even close to debatable."

They'd have to adjust their system to the point where either they'd be discarding thier lineman, or discarding Mayo. He's not worth it.

38
by Flounder :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 10:10am

Really? You seriously think they'd have to adjust their system that much for Matthews to fit in? Wow, you must think Bellicheck is one shitty coach, and you must think Matthews is a one-note player, and you must think all those other players also must have no particular flexibility either. I don't think any of those things are true.

40
by RickD :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 12:22pm

There's little doubt in my mind that BB would have taken Matthews, if he knew just how much better he is than the expectations were. You can argue with Mike Reiss about this point, if you wish. Reiss knows the Pats better than any other reporter I can think of. They wouldn't have to adjust their system much, if at all. And if they did, it would certainly be worth it.

46
by Jimmy :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 2:39pm

I was one of the posters in the original thread who questioned Matthews' ability to hold the edge and I have had a thought about it. Is part of the reason why Matthews gets hooked that the Pack don't line up with 5-techniques? Other OLBs in a 3-4 (ie Woodley, Harrison, Ware, Banta-Cain etc) have a big, tall, 2-gapper heads up on the OT; their job being to stick two hands in his chest and control your gaps. Capers (from memory, I don't have access to any Packers games right now) tends to line his linemen up inside and control the middle of the line, leaving an OT free(er) to lock onto Matthews. It may be that he is too agressive for his own good but there may be a desire from Capers to emphasise the pass rush to the possible detriment of gap discipline in the run game. If it is the former then I would expect a guy with Matthews' work ethic and football intelligence to make the adjustments needed. If it is the latter I am not sure Dom Capers gives a toss whilst he is busy polishing his Superbowl ring.

Obviously you watch more Packers games than I do so I would appreciate your thoughts.

18
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 2:42pm

Too bad lynch grab wee wee when in end zonr. NFL nad nfl films not going to be albe to show that whole play yhrough the gouchdown

21
by Tom Gower :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:12pm

As the primary TEN game charter, I'm comfortable with the three guys near the top. Griffin played much more close-in run support than he did in 2009. Witherspoon was very good at getting to the ball, not so good at bringing the guy down once he got there. Tulloch I didn't think was that bad, but had so many chances to blow a tackle his raw total ended up high.

I think broken tackles on Lynch run was an Audibles/twitter topic. I'd probably say 4, 58-Shanle, 92-Ellis, 33-Greer, 22-Porter. Diving at a guy's legs doesn't count.

47
by JimmyOz (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 11:01pm

FO stats are complete horseshit if you're a game charter and you can only see four broken tackles in Lynch's run

48
by Shattenjager :: Fri, 06/10/2011 - 11:59am

I don't see where you can count more than four. There are three instances of players diving at his legs, but, as Tom just said, that doesn't count.

49
by Temo :: Sun, 06/12/2011 - 5:45pm

I'd agree with four. All broken tackles are missed tackles, but not all missed tackles are broken tackles. Perhaps if you counted missed tackles, there's 8.

50
by JimmyOz (not verified) :: Tue, 06/14/2011 - 12:01am

Click my name and you can see where Aaron said, "Charters are told not to mark a broken tackle for just incidental contact. There is a lot of subjectivity here, but in general we're trying to mark broken tackles for what you think of as a broken tackle. We're not trying to just add up numbers for the sake of adding numbers."

1. I think of a broken tackle as somewhere between a whiff and tackle, where contact is made and a valid attempt is made to make the tackle. Yes, the "valid" gets a bit arbitrary, but its needed to distinguish between missed tackles and blocked defenders making a weak attempt.

2. Saints players that dove at legs and made contact and would've been awarded with the tackle had Lynch fallen over should be counted because otherwise we're ignoring defenders' poor pursuit technique that results in inefficient tackling attempts or "diving at legs" as Gower calls it.

3. We want to know who cannot tackle, not who gets brushed aside or stiff armed as one missed tackle is the same as the other.

51
by JimmyOz (not verified) :: Tue, 06/14/2011 - 8:37pm

91-Smith, 42-Sharper, and 96-Brown didn't get missed tackles marked against them

Tom, you say that 58-Shanle and 92-Ayodele count, but 91-Smith & 42-Sharper don't... 58-Shanle knocks 91-Smith off his tackle attempt & 42-Sharper knocks 92-Ayodele off his tackle attempt. Because its the same scenario, either all 4 count or none count.

Lynch sees 96-Brown and to avoid Brown's tackle attempt, Lynch goose-steps and fends off Brown with his hand - its a juke, and maybe not it wasn't a very good juke, but Brown is a D-lineman 30 yards down field. A RB usually doesn't have to make a really good juke move to make a DE miss when they're 30 yards downfield at top speed.

It seems Football Outsiders is a statistics website that can't keep statistics.

22
by smyers5155 (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 3:46pm

Obviously this is not a useless metric, but I really do not think it tells as much of a story as people think.

First of all, "missing" a tackle does not mean someone is being run over, and taken out of cotext, fails to demonstrate anything else relating to a player's overall quality. Lamarr Houston and Chris Long missed a lot of tackles for their respective positions, but they are also credited as being extremely active, dogged pursuers. Playing recklessly can lead to big plays, but it can also lead to missed tackles. Furthermore, a player who misses a tackle can still be making a play; that is, when blowing up a play, making the tackle is secondary to disrupting the flow and timing of the play itself, and slowing down the ball-carrier often results in a gang-tackle.

The numbers are also situation specific: was the tackle (or attempt) in space or in traffic? Was the tackle made head up or from the side or behind? Were other players involved in slowing down, redirecting, or otherwise limiting the ball carrier's path?

I think these things will probably never be measured effectively, and as such, determining how many tackles a player missed will always be a bit misleading, owing as it does to opportunity and positioning - just as total tackle numbers fail to tell the whole story.

Linebackers are more consistent in their numbers for several reasons: they are generally bigger and stronger than defensive backs, allowing them to match up more effectively against running backs; Tackling is what they are paid to do (you can't play linebacker in the NFL for very long if you can't tackle); they are generally tackling a player in a more enclosed space, wherein a ball-carrier lacks the same amount of "wiggle room" and maneuverability is necessarily limited; and their natural angles of attack are often predetermined by gap and the run is their primary responsibility - DBs, especially corners and free safeties react to the run later a result of limited vision and responsibilities in the passing game and are frequently in a more compromised position and/or forced to make the tackle in space. The latter point is particularly critical in today's NFL where almost every back is over 210 pounds and moves like Mercury Morris.

Additionally, defensive backs like Adrian Wilson will see their numbers fluctuate with the quality of the defense in front of them; Wilson almost certainly saw more tailbacks running free to him than he did last season, when the Cardinals defense was much more effective upfront at redirecting and stretching plays out, thus enabling Wilson to knife up-field and dictate the angle of his attack. When the front seven fail - linemen are either neutralized or unblocked on the backside and linebackers are out of position or locked up by free OLs, etc. - defensive backs are in a much more tenuous position and are at the mercy of a runner's talents and the wider space of the open field.

There is also the question of who is being tackled - Maurice Jones-Drew or Matt Cassel.

I am sure some players are just poor or inconsistent tacklers (Michael Griffin), and some are simply powerful technicians, but situation is so central to a discussion of tackling that these measurements, though not obsolete, are not all that telling either.

23
by dork matter (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 4:00pm

After the linebacker BT rate table, Posluszny is referred to as a running back.

27
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 6:22pm

"You can't play linebacker in the NFL for very long if you can't tackle."

Apparently, Larry Coyer disagrees with you.

29
by Phil :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 8:36pm

There they are again. Harrison and Ware seem to appear near the top of every one of these recent defensive lists. They're pretty good.

30
by Kent (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 8:57pm

Any notes on Greg Toler? He looked to be the only guy in our secondary who could tackle last season. It is one of the major reasons our defense struggled.

Tackling on the backend.

Look at the Packers and Steelers defenses, neither one of them has a "bad" tackler charted here, coincidence that they were two of the best defenses in 2010?

The difference between allowing 13 PPG and 20 PPG could be two missed tackles as a unit per game.

31
by IPO savant (not verified) :: Wed, 06/08/2011 - 9:42pm

Mathews is regarded as one of the best defensive players in the league

I wager BB would find a way to get him on the field

And the Packers ascent was helped by better tackling. Fat Mike is a bit of a doof on some things but the team is way better than the average Sherman team.

Woodson as an example is also a plus. That guy just throws himself around. It's incredible

33
by Ranccor (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 9:03am

Any chance of flipping the numbers and telling us the ball carrier that was doing the breaking?

39
by Aaron Schatz :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 11:51am

Next week.

42
by Bobman :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:53pm

Excellent!

34
by Eric (not verified) :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 9:24am

Give us the 2011 Almanac! I'm ready for some quality reading (and hopefully some football soon)

36
by Sophandros :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 9:29am

What does Malcolm Jenkins's number look like if you include the Marshawn Lynch run?

-------------
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

37
by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 10:07am

Jenkins missed that game with an injury; in week 17 he tried to tackle a full-speed LeGarrette Blount by trying to stand him up and he got utterly destroyed and wound up injured. I recall thinking it was karma for Jenkins' diving at Josh Freeman's knees out of bounds in the first Saints game in Tampa in week six . . .

44
by Bobman :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:55pm

I think that run was really a whole team affair for the D.

41
by Bobman :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:52pm

Colts fans are collectively shocked, SHOCKED! to see Aaron Francisco near the top of the stinker list and Antoine Bethea near the top of the good list. Shocked! I say! Francisco was (going from memory) either cut, on PS, or maybe 3rd string until injuries forced him into the lineup, which is kind of a triple whammy, since he is not grade-A nor was he surrounded by grade-A talent because of injuries elsewhere in the secondary. His highest and best use is as a spot backup and ST player, not a full-time player. Or maybe a HS gym teacher.

Bethea is well loved in Indy and it's clear it's not just having Sanders next to him that makes him so good.

43
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:54pm

No, it's having Freeney and Mathis in front of him that makes him (look) so good.

45
by Bobman :: Thu, 06/09/2011 - 1:57pm

in coverage, sure, but not sure how they affect his tackle rate (unless their backside pursuit has guys running looking back over their shoulders....) Few things are more fun than seeing a D lineman take down a runner from behind.