Recently, we took some time to look at Falcons records and franchise milestones that might fall during the 2017 season. Today, we’ll take a longer view at a handful of records that seem unlikely ever to be broken.
Mike Kenn’s 251 games played
If Matt Ryan can follow the Tom Brady career trajectory, playing nine more years, he could average about 12 games per season and get past Kenn. While I love Matt Ryan and think he could wind up making a Hall of Fame case with his career before all is said and done, you just can’t bank on that outcome for him. I think Kenn’s record is likely to stand the test of time and the assault of some true Falcons greats in the years ahead.
Jessie Tuggle’s 1,640 tackles
Tuggle is still my favorite Falcon ever. When I was growing up watching the Falcons, he was involved in nearly every defensive play in some capacity, and was one of the finest tacklers I’ve ever seen, full stop.
It’s little surprise that he sits atop the franchise’s all-time tackles list, but you may be surprised just how far ahead he is. Scott Case is second with 946, while Keith Brooking played in just 48 fewer games and put up just a little over half as many tackles as Tuggle with 882. Tuggle’s number of tackles is so bonkers that it’s unlikely to even be approached unless someone like Deion Jones manages a decade-plus, distinguished career in Atlanta.
Rolland Lawrence’s 39 interceptions
We’ve underlined how ridiculous this number is before, but here goes again. Robert Alford has been one of the team’s more productive interception artists during his career in Atlanta, which has spanned four seasons. He has nine picks.
It’s certainly possible that a gifted ballhawk comes along, averages say five picks a year for eight seasons and blows by Lawrence, but since he left in 1980, only two players have even topped 30. Gonna go ahead and say this one is safe.
Allen Rossum’s 5,489 kick return yards
Fun fact: This yardage number alone would put Rossum at #23 all-time on the NFL’s career list. Of course, overall he has 11,947, which is good for 2nd all-time behind Brian Mitchell.
This is one of those numbers that could only be broken by a dedicated, gifted returner who stuck around for a long time, and given the way kickoffs are going in the NFL, Atlanta’s unlikely to ever have that guy again. Eric Weems is currently second on this list all-time with 3,724 yards, and while he could continue to build on that number this year if he keeps that gig, he’s not sniffing Rossum.
Any records I’m forgetting?