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Aldon Smith, Bruce Smith and the Most Sacks on Monday Night Football

Keep An Eye On Aldon Smith, Especially On Monday Night Football

Keep An Eye On Aldon Smith, Especially On Monday Night Football

Leading today with Aldon Smith, the fourth-year defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers?

Well, he’s got the goods, in case you haven’t noticed.

Continuing Sports List of the Day‘s series on Monday Night Football, a 40-plus year American institution, let’s drop over to the defensive end – or defensive ends, literally, for the most part.

After running through these offensive leaders…most passing, rushing and receiving touchdowns on Monday Night Football…

…and these team marks…most points in a game and the biggest defeats and most wins on MNF…we check out the next coolest thing – though for defensive aficionados this stat comes at the top of the list.

Sacks.

Aldon Smith – less than four complete seasons in the league – already has 12 Monday Night Football sacks, just about half that of the all-time leader, his namesake (and Hall of Famer…and one of the greatest defensive players of all time), long-time Buffalo Bill, Bruce Smith.

Bruce did it all in 19 Monday night games. Aldon has only been in five, almost a quarter as many; he’s got a bound-to-come-down, astronomical 2.4 sacks per Monday nighter. But, if he continues this kind of play or at least a good percentage of it, and remains on a solid team with consistent Monday night appearances (like his Niners), he’ll threaten the record.

A. Smith already holds a serious sacks record – he was (and is) the “fastest NFL player to 30 sacks,” per NBC Sports.

Who else is on this list – a bunch of famous defensive players, for sure, and a handful of not-so or just regionally famous. Seventeen of the 21 played all or some of their careers at defensive end (DE), like both Smiths and Hall of Famers Richard Dent, Reggie White and Michael Strahan.

Five linebackers (LB) make the list, including the man with the most Super Bowl rings, Charles Haley, and the most-often acknowledged greatest defensive player of all time, New York Giant, Lawrence Taylor.

PLAYER POS. SACKS MNF GP SACKS PER MNF GAME FOR CAREER SPAN
1. Bruce Smith DE 24.5 19 1.29 Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins 1985-2003
2. Richard Dent DE 20 15 1.33 Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts 1983-1997
3. Kevin Greene LB 18 12 1.50 Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers 1985-1999
4. Chris Doleman DE 17 13 1.31 Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers 1985-1999
5. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila DE 16.5 18 0.92 Green Bay Packers 2000-2008
5. Reggie White DE 16.5 13 1.27 Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers 1985-2000
7. Charles Haley LB/DE 16 14 1.14 San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys 1986-1999
8. Lawrence Taylor LB 15.5 10 1.55 New York Giants 1981-1993
9. Greg Townsend DE 14 11 1.27 Los Angeles Raiders 1983-1997
10. John Randle DT/DE 13.5 11 1.23 Minnesota Vikings 1990-2003
11. Bryant Young DT/DE 13 17 0.76 San Francisco 49ers 1994-2007
12. Greg Ellis DE/LB 12.5 16 0.78 Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders 1998-2009
12. Simon Fletcher LB/DE 12.5 8 1.56 Denver Broncos 1985-1995
14. Dwight Freeney DE 12 14 0.86 Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers 2002-Present
14. Too Tall Jones DE 12 9 1.33 Dallas Cowboys 1974-1989
14. Aldon Smith DE 12 5 2.40 San Francisco 49ers 2011-Present
17. Shaun Phillips DE 11.5 13 0.88 San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans 2004-Present
17. Neil Smith DE 11.5 11 1.05 Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos 1988-2000
17. Henry Thomas DT 11.5 12 0.96 Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots 1987-2000
20. Michael Strahan DE 11 12 0.92 New York Giants 1993-2007
20. Dana Stubblefield DT 11 16 0.69 San Francisco 49ers 1993-2003

Photo: Doug Mills via nytimes.com

NFL: Defensive Players That Have Won MVP (And MVPs By Position)

What Do The Fearsome Lawrence Taylor, Alan Page And...uh...Mark Moseley Have in Common?

What Do The Fearsome Lawrence Taylor, Alan Page And…uh…Mark Moseley Have in Common?

Linebacker Lawrence Taylor and defensive tackle Alan Page.

Out of 59 AP MVPs awarded, only those two gridders played defense.

And guess what, even one kicker (!) won the award. Mark Moseley of the (strike-shortened) 1982 Super Bowl champion 8-1 Washington Redskins.

Everybody else – all 56 – are quarterbacks and running backs. QBs make up 64.4 percent of the winners (38/59), RBs make up 30.5 percent (18/59) and that leaves those three guys mentioned above holding on to the last five percent or so.

You know what might be crazier than just two defensive players winning MVP (or that even a kicker has won one), though? Not one wide receiver has won the MVP, including the oft-recognized and NFL-recognized greatest player of all time, Jerry Rice.

No tight ends, either.

But can you say Rob Gronkowski? Rumblings from the masses and media are demanding his consideration for 2014. Has he been as much a key to the New England Patriots‘ surging success as Tom Brady?

Then there’s J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans‘ defensive end. He is in the running, officially.

Still, though, as usual, it’s Brady and Aaron Rodgers and even Andrew Luck and (of course) the reigning MVP, Peyton Manning, at the top of most rankings.

“OTHER” MVPs

POS. SEASON PLAYER TEAM
1. LB 1986 Lawrence Taylor New York Giants
2. K 1982 Mark Moseley Washington Redskins
3. DT 1971 Alan Page Minnesota Vikings

*

QUARTERBACK MVPs

POS. SEASON PLAYER TEAM
1. QB 2013 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos
2. QB 2011 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
3. QB 2010 Tom Brady New England Patriots
4. QB 2009 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts
5. QB 2008 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts
6. QB 2007 Tom Brady New England Patriots
7. QB 2004 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts
8. QB 2003 Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts
9. QB 2003 Steve McNair Tennessee Titans
10. QB 2002 Rich Gannon Oakland Raiders
11. QB 2001 Kurt Warner St. Louis Rams
12. QB 1999 Kurt Warner St. Louis Rams
13. QB 1997 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers
14. QB 1996 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers
15. QB 1995 Brett Favre Green Bay Packers
16. QB 1994 Steve Young San Francisco 49ers
17. QB 1992 Steve Young San Francisco 49ers
18. QB 1990 Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers
19. QB 1989 Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers
20. QB 1988 Boomer Esiason Cincinnati Bengals
21. QB 1987 John Elway Denver Broncos
22. QB 1984 Dan Marino Miami Dolphins
23. QB 1983 Joe Theismann Washington Redskins
24. QB 1981 Ken Anderson Cincinnati Bengals
25. QB 1980 Brian Sipe Cleveland Browns
26. QB 1978 Terry Bradshaw Pittsburgh Steelers
27. QB 1976 Bert Jones Baltimore Colts
28. QB 1975 Fran Tarkenton Minnesota Vikings
29. QB 1974 Ken Stabler Oakland Raiders
30. QB 1970 John Brodie San Francisco 49ers
31. QB 1969 Roman Gabriel Los Angeles Rams
32. QB 1968 Earl Morrall Baltimore Colts
33. QB 1967 Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts
34. QB 1966 Bart Starr Green Bay Packers
35. QB 1964 Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts
36. QB 1963 Y.A. Tittle New York Giants
37. QB 1960 Norm Van Brocklin Philadelphia Eagles
38. QB 1959 Johnny Unitas Baltimore Colts

*

RUNNING BACK MVPs

POS. SEASON PLAYER TEAM
1. RB 2012 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
2. RB 2006 LaDainian Tomlinson San Diego Chargers
3. RB 2005 Shaun Alexander Seattle Seahawks
4. RB 2000 Marshall Faulk St. Louis Rams
5. RB 1998 Terrell Davis Denver Broncos
6. RB 1997 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions
7. RB 1993 Emmitt Smith Dallas Cowboys
8. RB 1991 Thurman Thomas Buffalo Bills
9. RB 1985 Marcus Allen Los Angeles Raiders
10. RB 1979 Earl Campbell Houston Oilers
11. RB 1977 Walter Payton Chicago Bears
12. RB 1973 O.J. Simpson Buffalo Bills
13. RB 1972 Larry Brown Washington Redskins
14. RB 1965 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns
15. RB 1962 Jim Taylor Green Bay Packers
16. RB 1961 Paul Hornung Green Bay Packers
17. RB 1958 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns
18. RB 1957 Jim Brown Cleveland Browns

Photos: USATSI via cbssports.combleacherreport.com / Vernon Biever via imageslides.com

NFL: Best Teams That Failed to Make the Postseason (11-Win Teams)

With Tom Brady Sidelined For The Season With A Knee Injury In Game 1 (Above), Matt Cassel Led The 2008 New England Patriots To An 11-5 Record - But No Postseason

With Tom Brady Sidelined For The Season Thanks To A Knee Injury In Game 1 (Above), Matt Cassel Led The 2008 New England Patriots To An 11-5 Record – But No Postseason

Pretty, pretty rare. That’s how often an NFL team has failed to make the postseason with 11 wins.

More specifically, five times since the playoffs were introduced in 1933 – and only twice since the 16-game schedule was introduced in 1978.

What about a 10-6 record? There must be plenty of teams that failed to make the postseason with that record over the past 36* completed seasons. Even teams that are 9-7 make the postseason here and there. Well, sort of.

According to my source for today’s post, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just 21 teams won 10 games during this period and missed the playoffs. That averages out to a little more than one team (1.17) every other year.

Now, what about 2014? What is going on out there?

The same, and the opposite, too.

The AFC North’s worst record right now is 6-4. Another six AFC teams have at least that record. The NFC’s chances of producing a 10- or 11-win no-berth team are slimmer, but existent.

Meanwhile, look at the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons are tied for first at 4-6. One of those teams might join quite the contrary list of worst teams to make the postseason.

TEAM SEASON W-L RECORD
1. Detroit Lions 1962 11-3
2. Green Bay Packers 1963 11-2-1
3. Baltimore Colts 1967 11-1-2
4. Denver Broncos 1985 11-5
5. New England Patriots 2008 11-5

* including 1987, which was a 15-game, strike/replacement-player season, and 1982, which was a nine-game, strike-shortened season; not including current season (2014).

Photo: boston.sportsthenandnow.com

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