Ray Lewis and Top 20 Players with the Most Tackles in NFL History

Ray Lewis, One of the Three Greatest Linebackers to Play the Game

Ray Lewis, One of the Three Greatest Linebackers to Play the Game

Ray Lewis has announced his retirement following the postseason. The Ravens’  linebacker missed much of 2012 after receiving surgery on his triceps.

Lewis is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and easily one of the three greatest linebackers of all time, along with Dick Butkus and Lawrence Taylor.

Ray Lewis did not put up gaudy numbers – he made 31 interceptions, forced 19 fumbles, scored just three touchdowns, had one safety…and oh yeah…one Super Bowl ring (update: make that two – 2000, 2012).

But Lewis was a dominant player that forced the offense to play around him, which was difficult to do since he was everywhere on the field. He was a fearsome and outspoken (and loudly spoken) leader: a guy you want in the trenches with you.

One career stat does stand out for Lewis that does show how omnipresent the LB was.

He’s got the second-most tackles since the stat has been recorded (late 1970′s).

LIST UPDATED: Through Week 15 of 2013. London Fletcher is still active, but has announced he is “99 percent certain” he will retire at the end of the year. Thanks to this reddit thread on the Fletcher news for all the hits. Check it out.

PLAYER POS. TACKLES TEAMS FIRST YR LAST YR
1. Jessie Tuggle LB 1,640 Falcons 1987 2000
2. Ray Lewis LB 1,573 Ravens 1996 2012
3. Clay Matthews LB 1,561 Browns, Falcons 1978 1996
4. Junior Seau LB 1,524 Chargers, Dolphins, Patriots 1990 2009
5. Kyle Clifton LB 1,468 Jets 1984 1996
6. London Fletcher* LB 1,378 St. Louis Rams, Bills, Redskins 1998 present
7. Derrick Brooks LB 1,301 Buccaneers 1995 2008
8. Hardy Nickerson LB 1,271 Steelers, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Packers 1987 2002
9. Eugene Robinson DB 1,250 Seahawks, Packers, Falcons, Panthers 1985 2000
10. Darryl Talley LB 1,190 Bills, Falcons, Vikings 1983 1996
11. Chris Spielman LB 1,181 Lions, Bills 1988 1997
12. Rickey Jackson LB-DE 1,173 Saints, 49ers 1981 1995
13. Darrell Green DB 1,159 Redskins 1983 2002
14. Dennis Smith DB 1,152 Broncos 1981 1994
15. Mike Johnson LB 1,146 Browns, Lions 1986 1995
16. Sam Mills LB 1,142 Saints, Panthers 1986 1997
17. Donnie Edwards LB 1,133 Chiefs, Chargers 1996 2008
18. Ken Norton LB 1,130 Cowboys, 49ers 1988 2000
19. Ronnie Lott DB 1,113 49ers, L.A. Raiders, Jets 1981 1994
20. Zach Thomas LB 1,106 Dolphins, Cowboys 1996 2008

Thanks to pro-football-reference.com, where I posted this query to the play index.

Photo: russellstreetreport.com

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Posted on January 2, 2013, in NFL Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. zach thomas 1,723 tackles where is his name at

    • Thanks for the comment. Thomas has over 1,700 combined tackles. He’s got 1,106 solo ones, per my source pro-football-reference.com. He’s 20th on the list above, which runs down solo tackle stats.

  2. Uhmm Randy Gradishar had over 2000 career tackles so your list is very wrong

  3. Ray Lewis has 2,050 tackles not 1, 753

    • Thanks for the comment. Lewis does have about 2,050 combined tackles (either solo or shared with another player) depending on the source. “Tackles” is a funny stat – you can often find different numbers whether looking at nfl.com, espn.com or my source pro-football-reference.com. Anyway, this list here is all about solo tackles alone, and Ray Lewis has 1,573 of them, second all time, based on pro-football-reference.com’s numbers.

  4. Ray Lewis did not put up goddy numbers? He is the only linebacker in NFL history with 40 sacks and 30 ints. He is the only linebacker to every do that…. AHAHAHAHAHAH

  5. The list is not correct,,,,Zach Thomas has over 1700 for starters…….

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