Broken Tackles From A Defensive Perspective

We're used to seeing broken tackles used as a measure for how many defenders running backs can fight off, but now we have some numbers that look at things the other way around. Football Outsiders released their broken tackles part II article a couple days ago, and it examines how effective defenders were in this category.

This is a difficult statistic to keep track of, as they go on to mention within the article. I'm sure there is some dissent in dealing with these figures, but we'll just accept their work for argument's sake. Ignore the grammar as well.

FO considers a broken tackle from a defender's standpoint as, "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." Thomas DeCoud got lucky with that last line (am I being too hard on him?).

From their findings we can see that 'Spoon is listed with some of the worst numbers. He had 13 broken tackles on him and one of the highest broken tackle rates for linebackers.

Dunta Robinson is also listed among the worst defensive backs for this category. Atlanta as a team overall ranked towards the bottom, coming in at ninth-worst. Tampa Bay had the most appalling stats, so that makes me feel a little better.

I don't seem to recall 'Spoon getting beat very often, but maybe it's my personal bias towards him kicking in again. Also, if everyone tried to log these stats during the course of a season, we'd all probably come up with something a little different. Any opinion on this?

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