Hall of Fame Debates: Julius Peppers and the Sack Pack

Carolina Panthers ER Julius Peppers
Carolina Panthers ER Julius Peppers
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Julius Peppers is a surefire Hall of Famer. I'll stop short of calling him a "first-ballot Hall of Famer," because folks who understand how Pro Football Hall of Fame balloting works rarely throw that term around. But Peppers won't have to wait long, if at all, after he becomes eligible in 2024. We're not really here to debate about him today.

Instead, let's discuss the logjam of pass-rushers queuing up behind Peppers. Jared Allen was a first-time Hall of Fame finalist on the 2021 ballot (last year's ballot, to be clear). Robert Mathis and DeMarcus Ware become eligible this year. Dwight Freeney becomes eligible on the 2023 ballot, Terrell Suggs in 2024. All of them played similar defensive roles during the same era and posted similar statistics. That will make sorting among them difficult, and it is almost certain to cause lots of "snubs" and hard feelings in the years to come.

The Sack Pack

Let's start with a quick tale of the tape to demonstrate just how similar Suggs, Ware, Allen, Freeney and Mathis are, according to the leaderboards and the stars-and-crosses test:

Peppers and Other HOF-Candidate Edge Rushers
Player Sacks Rank All-Pro Pro Bowl 10+ Sacks
Julius Peppers 159.5 4 3 9 10
Terrell Suggs 139.0 8 1 7 7
DeMarcus Ware 138.5 9 4 9 8
Jared Allen 136.0 12 4 5 8
Dwight Freeney 125.5 18 3 7 7
Robert Mathis 123.0 19 1 5 5

Sacks became an official statistic in 1982, and the sack leaderboard only recently matured to the point where the top is not loaded with active and recently retired players. The four players besides Peppers with 150-plus sacks—Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene, and Chris Doleman—are all in Canton. It's dangerous to think in terms of statistical plateaus when discussing the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but 150 sacks feels safe, especially since active sure HoFers Von Miller (106.0 sacks) and J.J. Watt (101.0) are unlikely to approach it.

Things get trickier as we move down the top 20. John Abraham (133.5 sacks), Leslie O'Neal (132.5), and Simeon Rice (122.0) have similar statistics to the sub-Peppers bunch listed above but never mounted serious Hall campaigns. So there's precedent for finishing in the top 20 or higher on the all-time sack list and not getting enshrined, (or, in Kevin Greene's case, waiting forever). That's especially true if a pass-rusher's portfolio, from a historic perspective, boils down to "lots of sacks and not much else."

That said, all the members of our Sack Pack have more to offer than just strings of double-digit sack seasons:

  • Allen led the league in fumble recoveries and tackles for a loss and recorded four career safeties, in addition to leading the league in sacks twice.
  • Freeney was named to the Hall of Fame's All-2000s team, played for a Super Bowl winner, forced 47 career fumbles (third on an all-time list that only dates to 1999) and possessed a legendary spin move that provided many of the "signature moments" some voters look for.
  • Mathis forced 54 fumbles, making him the all-time leader. He led the league in forced fumbles three times.
  • Suggs was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl the next year. He also played for a legendary defense, which could work for him or against him.
  • Ware led the NFL in tackles for a loss three times and helped the Denver Broncos win a championship, recording a pair of sacks in Super Bowl 50. (See: "signature moments.")

All of the awards and accomplishments beef up the portfolios of our Sack Pack, but no one tumbles into the "overwhelmingly qualified" category. In fact, Super Bowl rings, forced fumbles, and awards just make Allen, Freeney, Mathis, Suggs, and Ware look more similar to one another. That's a problem, because it's very likely that five solid Hall of Fame-worthy edge rushers will get stuck Three Stooges-style while trying to walk through the door to Canton at the same time and end up keeping each other from being enshrined for years.


A logjam occurs when three or more players with similar portfolios reach the finalist stage of the Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot at the same time. Such players inevitably split the ticket, resulting in none of them getting in for a year or three, followed by most of them trickling in over the course of many years once the jam is unclogged.

Offensive linemen Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson, and Kevin Mawae were stuck in a logjam recently. Faneca, Hutchinson, and Mawae in particular had similar resumes: interior linemen with long careers as Pro Bowlers for multiple teams. Based on my conversations with voters, nearly everyone agreed that all four players are worthy, but each voter prioritized them slightly differently. Mawae was enshrined in 2019, Hutchinson in 2020, and Faneca this year; Boselli is still waiting for his knock on the door.

Steve Atwater, LeRoy Butler, and John Lynch were stuck in a safety logjam for years, which was exacerbated by the fact that better-qualified safeties such as Brian Dawkins, Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, and Charles Woodson kept getting shunted in front of them. Atwater is a member of the Class of 2020, Reed 2021. Butler, like Boselli, has a very strong chance of getting enshrined in 2022.

The most infamous Hal of Fame logjam was the Tim Brown/Cris Carter/Art Monk/Andre Reed fiasco of the mid-2000s. Each year, some combination of these receivers cancelled each other out on the final ballot. Carter got trapped in finalist purgatory from 2008 through 2012, Reed from 2007 until he was finally enshrined in 2014. That logjam was complicated by attitudes among some of the older voters of that era about modern receiving statistics; there was a lot of "these flag football receivers couldn't hold a candle to Paul Warfield" sentiment. Everyone eventually got in, but the selection committee took a lot of heat for taking so long on Carter in particular. This particular logjam coincided with the rise of the modern blogosphere, which gave hometown fans and gadflies like me lots of forums to publicly vent our frustrations.

Voters have told me that they do not really conspire to clear up logjams: "I'll vote for my guy this year if you promise to help my guy next year" is rarely if ever a thing. They also cannot tell by the tone of the committee meeting how a vote will go. Faneca was singled out as a player who would get glowing reviews in the group discussion, then end up sixth or seventh in the final vote. Some voters try to prioritize players who have been waiting for years, others stick with the players they think were the best of the group, which of course just clogs things up more. The committee meeting vote narrows the finalist list from 15 to 10 before whittling the list down to the five inductees, creating another instance where the voting method impacts the results. Sometimes, only one of the logjammed players cracks the top 10 and sails into the Hall of Fame. Other times, three of four of them clonk heads and fail to reach the top 10.

Logjams always result in local fans howling about "snubs." That's almost certainly what will happen when our Sack Pack starts to queue up. Someone with 125-plus sacks and lots of other accomplishments is going to wait many years before reaching the Hall of Fame. And one or two of them might not make it at all.

Take a Number

Here's my breakdown of how the Sack Pack will queue up:

DeMarcus Ware has the best portfolio of the group and may have the clearest path to enshrinement. Dallas voters don't have anyone better to focus upon right now, and Denver voters should be happy to pile on. Allen and Mathis are Ware's primary obstacles before others reach the ballot. Mathis will probably stall at the semifinalist stage this year, allowing the voters to either wave Ware or Allen (or both) through.

When I spoke to voters about the 2021 ballot in January, most simply said "not this year" when Jared Allen's name came up. With Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, and Charles Woodson on the docket, there were only two available slots and lots of John Lynch types who had been waiting forever, so it was easy to pass on Allen. This year, the committee will have to take his case more seriously. I think Ware was a better player with a better case.

Dwight Freeney's peak was not as high as Ware's or Allen's, but he played on more memorable teams. "Innovator of the spin move" could actually be a big deal to many voters, both because it marks him as someone who redefined his position and because it captures the imagination.

Freeney could get in on his first ballot, though that ballot will be stacked with Joe Thomas and Darrelle Revis, as well as potentially teammate Mathis, Allen, and/or Ware and lots of others. If Freeney gets held up, he's likely to get blocked by Peppers in 2024 and could end up the No. 6 guy on the final ballot for a few years, resulting in lots of "what the hell were they thinking?" takes.

Robert Mathis is the Reggie Wayne of edge rushers: overshadowed by a teammate at the same position, hampered by the fact that most of his signature seasons occurred after his team's peak. (I call players such as Wayne, Mathis, and Torry Holt "Sammy Hagar" candidates). He could be on the Kevin Greene plan of having to wait over a decade. It's possible that he never makes the cut.

Terrell Suggs reminds me of Simeon Rice in many ways as a candidate. By the time voters get around to him, the rest of the Sack Pack will be on the docket (or will have just cleared through), and voters may decide that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed tell the story of the great Ravens defenses without the need of a third voice.

It's worth mentioning that Mario Williams is on the ballot this year and James Harrison will be among the 2023 class. Williams is not a serious candidate. Harrison, on the other hand, has two Super Bowl rings, a Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008, and both a supersized tough-guy reputation and a signature Super Bowl moment. He wasn't included among the Sack Pack because his career shape is different: high peak, relatively low career sack total. Harrison is at least likely to end up among the finalists a few times and could squeak past Mathis and Suggs in the minds of voters, who have a soft spot for larger-than-life characters (who were also awesome for several years). At any rate, Harrison will keep the logjam well jammed for the next decade or so.

The impending bottleneck of edge rushers illustrates just how high the Pro Football Hall of Fame bar is, and how the voting rules and practices inevitably force qualified candidates to wait years longer than they should. The order in which Allen, Freeney, Harrison, Mathis, Suggs, and Ware enter Canton (if all of them enter) will have less to do with their accomplishments, or even what year they retired in, than with who they share the ballot with and the vagaries of a voting procedure that's almost purposely designed to create split tickets.


183 comments, Last at 10 Jul 2021, 1:31pm

#125 by Will Allen // Jun 24, 2021 - 9:41am

Such a swap is an interesting thought experiment, almost as intriguing as tradind Bradshaw's and Archie Manning's teams. It may have resulted in a substantial boost to Aikman's and Irvin's yardage, as defenses loaded the box from the Cowboys first to last possession.

Points: 0

#135 by Joey-Harringto… // Jun 24, 2021 - 11:46am

When I re-watched the 1991 NFC Championship game recently, I found it striking that the Lions were trotting out 3 or 4 wide receivers on every snap, yet the Redskins were so worried about Sanders (and unimpressed with the Lions passing offense), that they played in their base defense for the vast majority of the game.

Points: 0

#126 by CHIP72 // Jun 24, 2021 - 9:43am

...the Lions didn't have many other skill players that were any good, or that the Lions offensive line was poor.  I suspect guys like Herman Moore and Lomas Brown would like to have a word with you.

I personally believe that if Barry Sanders was on the Cowboys, Dallas would have probably been more of a passing team than they were because they wouldn't have been as effective as a ball control running team.  Sanders would have still been great but I'm not as sure the Cowboys as a team would have been as great as they actually were.  They still would have been a top team, but I suspect they would have won fewer than three Super Bowls in their 1991 to 1996 heyday.

Interestingly considering the site where we are posting our comments, Emmitt Smith actually has more impressive DVOA and DYAR totals than Barry Sanders during both players' prime years.  More specifically (or accurately), when Smith was at his peak, the Cowboys were a great team and when he wasn't, the Cowboys weren't as good, while Sanders' totals don't correlate as well with the Lions' success.  Here's each player's DVOA and DYAR totals from 1990 to 1998 when their careers overlapped (ranks among qualifying players in parentheses:

1990: DVOA - Smith: 4.3% (19), Sanders: 21.7% (3); DYAR - Smith: 131 (16), Sanders: 330 (1) (Cowboys 7-9, Lions 6-10)

1991: DVOA - Smith: 8.9% (13), Sanders: 8.7% (15); DYAR - Smith: 266 (2), Sanders: 254 (5) (Cowboys 11-5, Lions 12-4)

1992: DVOA - Smith: 15.5% (6), Sanders: 0.3% (23); DYAR - Smith: 416 (1), Sanders: 93 (19) (Cowboys 13-3, Lions 5-11)

1993: DVOA - Smith: 22.0% (2), Sanders: 0.7% (20); DYAR - Smith: 377 (1), Sanders: 70 (22) (Cowboys 12-4, Lions 10-6)

1994: DVOA - Smith: 19.4% (1), Sanders: 18.5% (2); DYAR - Smith: 461 (1), Sanders: 348 (2) (Cowboys 12-4, Lions 9-7)

1995: DVOA - Smith: 21.5% (2), Sanders: 6.8% (12); DYAR - Smith: 505 (1), Sanders: 200 (7) (Cowboys 12-4, Lions 10-6)

1996: DVOA - Smith: 0.9% (23), Sanders: 22.7% (2); DYAR - Smith: 142 (14), Sanders: 380 (2) (Cowboys 10-6, Lions 5-11)

1997: DVOA - Smith: -0.6% (18), Sanders: 25.3% (2); DYAR - Smith: 84 (17), Sanders: 447 (2) (Cowboys 6-10, Lions 9-7)

1998: DVOA - Smith: 9.9% (5), Sanders: -6.4% (28); DYAR - Smith: 257 (4), Sanders: 16 (28) (Cowboys 10-6, Lions 5-11)

Many people (correctly) point out the Lions improved after Sanders joined the team; they went 3-9 with the regular players in 1987 and 4-12 in 1988 before Sanders came to Detroit, then improved to 7-9 in 1989 and 6-10 in 1990 in Sanders' first two seasons before becoming a regular playoff contender the rest of Sanders' career.  But the Cowboys also improved, even more dramatically, after Smith joined the team.  Dallas went 3-13 in 1988 and 1-15 in 1989 before Smith came to the Metroplex, and then improved to 7-9 in 1990 and started their excellent six season run in 1991, Smith's second season.  Some of that improvement was due to the Cowboys' other then-young players maturing, but some it was likely due to Smith joining the team too.

There are a couple other items related to Barry Sanders worth pointing out that are semi-negative marks against him.

1) While Sanders didn't play on as good of teams or in offenses that were as good as the offenses Smith played with in Dallas, there WAS one year of Sanders' career when he was surrounded by a very explosive offense and standout quarterback - 1995.  That team had four Pro Bowl players on offense - Sanders, WR Herman Moore, LT Lomas Brown, and C Kevin Glover; Moore and Brown joined Sanders as 1st Team All-Pro selections.  The team also had Scott Mitchell, who had a genuinely excellent career year, throwing for 4338 yards and 32 touchdowns, big numbers for the era.  (By FO measures, Mitchell also stood out; he finished 4th in the NFL in DVOA and 2nd in DYAR.)  Somewhat amazingly, the 1995 Lions scored more points in a single season (436 points) than the Cowboys did in ANY season between 1991 and 1998.  (The Cowboys' highest total was 435 points, 1 point fewer than the Lions, in the same 1995 season.)  With an explosive offense around him to pick up the slack, one would have figured Barry Sanders would have had one of his best seasons.  Sanders had a good season but not a great season; it was actually his poorest season between 1994 and 1997.

As I noted above, Sanders' personal statistics only correlate marginally well with the Lions' overall success.  He had great seasons when the Lions were not good (such as 1990 and 1996) and decent but unspectacular seasons when the Lions were a stronger team (such as 1993 and to a lesser degree 1991 and 1995).

2) Contrary to what a lot of people believe, the Lions did NOT fall off immediately after Sanders retired before the 1999 season.  They maintained their same, general level of 1990s quality for two more seasons after Sanders' retirement, finishing 8-8 in 1999 (and sneaking into the playoffs) and 9-7 in 2000 (while missing the playoffs).  If Barry Sanders genuinely carried or was the only real standout player on the Lions near the end of his career, the Lions wouldn't have been as successful immediately after he retired.

Points: 0

#127 by Will Allen // Jun 24, 2021 - 10:03am

It defies reality to put the Lions' blocking anywhere close to the Cowboys', on the basis of one lineman, Lomas Brown. The Cowboys o-line, nearly entirely comprised of HoF or Pro Bowl caliber blockers, would simply dominate games. Hell, Larry Allen, would break from the huddle, and as he trotted up to the line, give his opponent the old-style semitruck horn tugging motion and sound, and say "Balls comin' right through you!", and 5 seconds later it would. This is before we get to a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of having Troy Aikman run your huddle and line of scrimmage, vs. Scott Mitchell. 

Points: 0

#131 by CHIP72 // Jun 24, 2021 - 11:08am

...based on the statistics I provided that the Cowboys' team success DIDN'T track pretty closely with Emmitt Smith's personal success, while that wasn't as true with Barry Sanders and the Lions.  Yes, Smith had great players around him that made his job easier.  But I think most people who remember watching the early to mid-1990s Cowboys would agree that he was the #1 focal point of the offense, and was the most important player on a team that won three Super Bowls in four years.  He had massive value to his team, and his team won in part BECAUSE he was so good in his peak years.

All of what I said in my previous comments isn't meant to imply Barry Sanders isn't a Hall of Famer, isn't an inner tier Hall of Famer, or that he wasn't one of the greatest running backs of all-time.  You won't get any argument from me on any of those things; he was/is an inner tier Hall of Famer and one of the greatest running backs of all-time.  But that doesn't mean truly great players, even all-time great players like Sanders, can't also be overrated at the same time.  Regardless of the team around him, shouldn't Sanders' personal success track better with the Lions' team success during his career?  The goal in football and all other team sports isn't for players to put up huge stats; it is for teams to win games and ultimately championships.  Sanders DID make his teams better but in my opinion he didn't make his teams better to the degree Emmitt Smith made his teams better.  I don't hold it against Sanders that never won or even appeared in a Super Bowl; many, many great NFL players in the Super Bowl era never played in a Super Bowl.  The Lions teams around Sanders weren't good enough to make the Super Bowl, and Barry Sanders had no control over which other players the Lions had on the team.  But I do hold it against Sanders that he didn't have big games in most of the playoff games in his career, and that there were seasons where the Lions were very good independent of Sanders but could have been even better, possibly even legitimate Super Bowl contenders, if Sanders had one of his great seasons rather than average or merely good seasons.

One final thought - had Barry Sanders rather than Emmitt Smith played for the 1990s Cowboys, I think the Cowboys play more of a West Coast Offense style that would have suited Sanders' skill set better.  It is possible Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones hire different offensive coordinators besides Norv Turner and Ernie Zampese to run the offense.  The Cowboys almost definitely use the I formation less and single back or H-back sets more.  Their offense would have played differently.

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#134 by Will Allen // Jun 24, 2021 - 11:27am

In a game with 44 starters, not including special teams (which contribute 15-20% of team success), in a game where coaching plays a larger role in the outcome compared to any other major team sport, any assertion/question which begins with the phrase "Regardless of the team around him, shouldn't...." ought to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

We agree that only an idiot would run the Cowboys exactly the same with Barry Sanders as with Emmitt Smith, and Jimmy Johnson was no idiot, but instead a HoF coach.

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#147 by RaiderCat // Jun 24, 2021 - 6:45pm

This is what I'm trying to say about Peppers most of you are missing blinded by his padded stats on the worst of the worst. Peppers worried about his stats, not winning playoff games or getting to another SB. He was lazy and self centered, not a team player in a team sport. "But I do hold it against Sanders that he didn't have big games in most of his playoff games" Peppers in a nutshell...when it mattered, he laid down and let rbs trip over him ... 

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#128 by Joey-Harringto… // Jun 24, 2021 - 11:03am

Correlating individual success with team success starts to get into the difficulty of entanglement and interdependence, which is fraught enough for quarterbacks, but for running backs?  Forget about it.  I know rushing in the '90s was more important than it is now, but not that much more important.

I'm not surprised that DVOA likes Smith better, because, as you pointed out, Sanders was pretty boom or bust, which DVOA has a dim view of.  Would he have been less so behind the Cowboys line?  Probably IMO.  At the very least we would have seen far fewer highlights of him having to juke a defender 3 yards behind the LOS

Points: 0

#132 by Will Allen // Jun 24, 2021 - 11:14am

In some respects I dislike these debates, because it inevitably results in somebody imagining that I'm minimizing how great Emmitt Smith was, despite the fact that I think Smith was tremendous. It's just that even people who are really smart about football tend to lose sight of the fact that there are 44 starters in a game, not including special teams, and that coaching plays a larger role in the outcome than in any other team sport.

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#133 by CHIP72 // Jun 24, 2021 - 11:21am

...would have still created a relatively high number of negative running plays even if he played with the 1990s Cowboys rather than the 1990s Lions.  He was always looking for something when there was nothing, and when Sanders and players like him do that, sometimes they do end up with something and sometimes they end up with less than nothing.  Running backs like Sanders are in some ways not unlike quarterbacks who frequently scramble to keep plays alive.  Sometimes those scrambles result in big passing plays and sometimes they result in more sacks and bigger yardage loss sacks.

The 1990s were the last time in NFL history when a running back could be the focal point offensively for a Super Bowl champion-caliber team; Terrell Davis was the last such player.

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#156 by JimZipCode // Jun 24, 2021 - 8:55pm

Jim brown was never tackled for a loss, wrap your brain around that

Is that true?!?  That can't be true.  Can it?

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#162 by RaiderCat // Jun 24, 2021 - 10:04pm

Lol, it's not my memory, it's the Hall of Fames. I'm old, but not that old. I did have the honor of meeting Jim, but only watched film of his domination. First Rbs I remember watching show out was Sayers (vaguely) and OJ, then Sweetness. Y'all also ignore Dorsett ran for 1000 every year in HS, every year in college, and every nfl season except the strike year, when he still got over 800 yards. (Until the end)

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#164 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jun 24, 2021 - 10:19pm

Again with the faulty memory! Tony Dorsett had 745 yards (aka closer to 700) despite leading the league in rushes. 

Wait, why are you rambling incorrectly about Dorsett now? Either way anyone that believes Brown never had -1 yards or worse on a carry on 2359 regular season and 66 playoff carries...I have a bridge to sell ya! 

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#161 by RaiderCat // Jun 24, 2021 - 9:51pm

It's on his Hof resume, never tackled for a loss, never ran out of bounds, 105 yards per game, 1.1 tds a game, over 5 yards a carry, and threw 3 TD passes. My "faulty memory" has Sweetness at 88 yards a game and Barry at 99. I love Barry and Sweetness, but they were no Jim Brown. 

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#181 by SandyRiver // Jun 29, 2021 - 11:33am

In the run-up top the NYG-Colts "Greatest Game" the Giants had to beat Cleveland in the regular season's final week to force a playoff.   The 1st play from scrimmage was Brown's 65-yard dash to the end zone.  After that the Browns managed only a FG and Summerall's late 49-yarder in the snow decided the 13-10 game.  The next week the Giants won 10-0 and IIRC, Brown was held to 12 yards on 10 carries.  Maybe no losses but a whole lot of no gains?  (And I still hold that he's easily the GOAT of RBs.)

Points: 0

#182 by SandyRiver // Jun 29, 2021 - 11:46am

Checked PFR about that 10-0 game.  The giants had 211 yards rushing to 24 by the Browns. Jim Brown is listed as having 7 carries for 8 yards, with a long gain of 20 yards (which looks to me like a typo - 2 yards would be more sensible.)   Whether 2 or 20, it's hard to amass that 7 for 8 without being tackled for a loss at least once.  I thought maybe he might have recovered an errant QB backward toss on a sweep and lost big yards running down the ball, not his fault.  However, the box score lists zero fumbles. 

Points: 0

#140 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jun 24, 2021 - 1:31pm

But, like my reply to Joey above, it wasn't really comparable. Think we have different definitions of value too.

You're thinking here seems to rely on "ball control" which is around about way of saying running the clock out with less efficient down to down plays. Which I'm just not down with. Just pick up yards and score. Deion Sanders (GOAT CB, agree or disagree?) can handle a few extra snaps a game. If Sanders makes them more of a passing team, even back then, that's not a bad thing when you have future HOF QB Aikman (some debate on him but nonetheless still solid) throwing to HOF WR Michael Irvin (less debate). Think they'd be fine. Especially on the notion they're throwing more because Sanders provides more of a threat aka more in the box. Completely fine with that. I'm sure HOF HC Jimmy J would've figured it out. I just can't seem them doing worse with what you already admitted was a more talented RB. Same absolutely and probably slightly better too. 

All those are stats are with Barry on a worse team. You don't see how that could influence it to the degree where they're flipped if they flipped teams? Smith was more important because...the Lions went .500 without Sanders in 99?? I'm not seeing your explanation for why he was more impactful outside of...making the Cowboys...not pass as much? 

Let's look at the time they were in the league together to keep rules, etc. the same; 1990 (Smiths first year) to 1998 (Sanders last year): 

Sanders 5 ypc vs Smith 4.3 ypc. Pretty significant. But maybe it's a sample size issue. 

Sanders 13,799 yards vs Smith 12,566. Seems close enough. But maybe it's the attempts.

Sanders 2,782 vs Smith 2,914. Oh...so 1,233 more yards on 132...less carries. Yeah that's significant. And he's doing it behind a worse line (right?)? Wow. Maybe Sanders averages like 5.5 ypc in Dallas behind that line with Irvin and Aikman taking pressure off him. You really see Smith averaging even 4.5, let alone 5, behind that Detroit OL? I don't see how Dallas skips a beat with Sanders instead of Smith. 

Points: 0

#80 by SandyRiver // Jun 22, 2021 - 4:00pm

I recall reading shortly after SB38 about how Belichick and his OC (Weis?) outcoached Carolina with a scheme that neutralized Peppers.

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#85 by RaiderCat // Jun 22, 2021 - 5:45pm

I watched that sb 25 times. The Peppers scheme was put Light on him. Dan Morgan got 25 tackles, Mike Minter 19 with broken ribs. Peppers played his normal "game when it matters" of nothingness. 

Points: 0

#88 by SandyRiver // Jun 22, 2021 - 6:14pm

Vrabel?  The guy who had 6 tackles and 2 sacks, one a strip sack that led to the game's 1st score?  (And caught a 1-yard pass for a 4th quarter TD.)  Maybe you meant Matt Light?

Points: 0

#92 by RaiderCat // Jun 22, 2021 - 7:12pm

You are correct, I'm still awake and groggy counting sacks from game logs, Vrabel should have been MVP. I changed it, ty for correcting my errors. Looks like Pep only had 25-30 multi sack games in 17 seasons. I'm going to sleep, hit me up if you find more no sleep 20 years ago memory errors. 😃👍. Best part of all of this is all y'all can find me wrong on is a team name and a player name. My numbers are on point. I'm still trying to figure out why he's credited with two tackles in the Cards playoff game when he only got one. 


Points: 0

#101 by theslothook // Jun 22, 2021 - 8:39pm

I am going to be honest. Your anecdotal evidence(even with the authority you are using here) is going to be met with a ton of skepticism unless you do a careful film study and provide some evidence that his performances are all worth dismissing.

As I wrote above, I didn't watch a lot of Julius Peppers, but the few times I did I was amazed by him. I also can accept that he didnt play well in the superbowl or in some playoff game or maybe did worse against a particular opponent. Even if that is true, that's not good enough of to dismiss him. 

Charles Woodson got light up by Arizona in 09.  I saw Revis get burned by Randy Moss after calling him a slouch. I saw Urlacher get juked by Tom freaking Brady of all people. And I saw Ogden look downright foolish against Freeney.

And yet I think all of those players are easily hall of famers. 

Points: 0

#106 by mehllageman56 // Jun 23, 2021 - 12:57am

When did Randy Moss torch Revis after Revis called him a slouch?  Moss had 5 catches for 34 yards and 1 TD in the 2009 rematch; Welker is the one that destroyed the Jets that day.  Moss beat Revis for a long touchdown the next year, but then Revis pulled a hamstring and Moss proceeded to get shut down by Cromartie in a Jets victory.  The Pats cut Moss a couple of games after that.  The 45-3 game was all Gronk and Hernandez.

Points: 0

#151 by RaiderCat // Jun 24, 2021 - 7:18pm

Go look at all the top ten wrs upcoming on the schedule when Revis suddenly "pulled a hammy" 🤣

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#171 by Raiderjoe // Jun 25, 2021 - 7:37am

Revis did miss the two games rihgt after that Pates game. He missed bvs Miami and Buff. would have faced Brandon Marshall and Stevie Johnson. for your arugment to hold any water,t hen D. Revis had to have come up wityh fake injuries to avoid facing those temas later in seaodn. He did not fake inuries. He faced Marshall. Look at Marshall's targets, catches, yds, sttats vs Jets in 2010 in game with no Revis and in game with revis.


Johnson was a guy who fared better vs Revis than maybe anyone else for whatever reaosn (I did liek him at Kentucky and was sujrpriosed he did not get drafted several rounds earlier than he did). He had 12 targets vs Jets and caught 5 passses althoguh there as a touchdown. Revis on coverage for all 12? nto sure. 


but again fo yoru argument to holfd up, Revis needed to coem up with crack in butt or turf toe or hangnail or whatever and then sit vs Miami roudn 2 and Buff round 2


Also, Jets defense miuddle of pack in 2008. Ty Law came to Jets late in season due to other C B being stinky.


as for Jim Brown take, did see him go out ofbounds . know i have seee n it on film. i dont' just ahve highlights. i have full gaames on dvd even coaches film from brown's era . do nto have particular year, game,quaretr when Brown did tihs, but i have seen it


Racist Drew Brees?- not evidence engouh for someone to go there.     

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#107 by SandyRiver // Jun 23, 2021 - 7:37am

I think Brady still chuckles at the ridiculousness of that move.

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#149 by RaiderCat // Jun 24, 2021 - 7:04pm

Revis got burned by everyone. His best season the jets had to pick up Ty Law and the d still finished 28th. Espn tends to hype players that scream they are the greatest (Richard Sherman anyone?). It helps the NFL sell jerseys to people that don't understand lots of ints means the QB isn't afraid of him. They don't post the stat "Tds allowed" or Revis, Law, or Sanders wouldn't be Hof. Joke Delhomme burned Law for three tds in the SB, but I'll bet most of you don't believe that until you go back and watch again, because espn was too busy telling you Brady choking on the last drive (where was Peppers?) and Vini winning him another ring somehow made him MVP. Brady = 85 qb rate, 3 tds Delhomme = 112 qb rating, 3 tds. Who was the MVP again? 🤔

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#165 by RaiderCat // Jun 24, 2021 - 11:00pm

Yes, you saw those hall of famers suck a couple of games. I saw Peppers suck over 100 games. One of my fave games I attended was the Panthers d getting seven sacks on the Rams, Pep got zero but stood on the sidelines with that goofy grin while everybody else did the work. 

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#83 by Eddo // Jun 22, 2021 - 4:53pm

"and his first Bears playoff game, he laid on the ground watching the Aints rb that just trucked him gallop for the game winner"

While Peppers was on the Bears, they never played the Saints in the playoffs.  If you're going to make a "trust my memory" case, it's best to remember things correctly.

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#86 by RaiderCat // Jun 22, 2021 - 5:54pm

My bad, I wrote this at 4 am, that would be the Packers 2 tackle game, not the Aints, I had them on my brain from an earlier conversation about racist Drew Brees. One other thing, someone added a tackle to that cards game, he only got one, not two. 

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#150 by RaiderCat // Jun 24, 2021 - 7:15pm

The best part is you don't deny Peppers was laying on the ground watching the winning TD score after getting trucked, your problem is the wrong team was listed. That's why overhyped players get in the hof. You only pay attention to what espn tells you to believe, instead of bothering to find out where those numbers really came from. 

Points: 0

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