I like to look at the NFL and franchise records our Falcons might break, whether they be for a single game, a single season, or even a career mark. Here’s one that came to my attention as I was sifting through Deion Jones’ game logs for another story.
The all-time NFL mark for tackles in a single game belongs to six different players, who all tied with 16. Getting to Jessie Tuggle’s franchise mark in a season (200+) would be insane, and reaching his career tackle total, which is the highest in NFL history, seems unlikely. But that single game mark? That seems right up Jones’ alley.
Jones racked up 13 in a single game in his rookie season (and 11 in another), and he’s a truly exceptional athlete who has already shown a nose for the ball. It’s fair to say that he probably hasn’t reached his considerable upside just yet, and as the defense improves, he should still have plenty of opportunities to chase down quarterbacks, ball carriers, wide receivers, and any poor sucker who wanders onto the field. Tackles have ceased to be an extremely meaningful statistic, but racking up that many in a game still tells you something about a player’s ability to, well, tackle. Jones already looks like he’ll have no problem doing that many hundreds of times in the coming years.
I think there’s a solid chance Jones at least hits 16 tackles at some point in his career, and I think there’s a slim but non-zero chance he gets more than that. I only needed to see Jones’ rookie season to be convinced that he can be one of the best linebackers in team history, and history itself is not safe from him.