Records fall all the time. Whether it’s franchise marks like Morten Andersen’s field goals or league marks like single season receiving records, there are few records that are truly untouchable. It’s fair to say that very few records are unbreakable, and a look at the team’s record books reveals plenty of intimidating milestones that nonetheless seem likely to fall some day.
Things are a little different on the defensive side of the ball, given the way offenses have exploded in recent years, but even then you can see the sack record crumbling if Vic Beasley or Takk McKinley really comes on. Rolland Lawrence’s interception record seems insurmountable, given how few picks we’ve seen Falcons getting in recent years, but a cornerback who plays a decade or more for Atlanta and grabs four picks a year would be able to break it.
The one truly insurmountable record belongs to Jessie Tuggle. The thumping linebacker and five-time Pro Bowler has ten fumble recoveries, 21 sacks, six interceptions and five defensive touchdowns to his name, but it’s his 1,640 career tackles that truly stand out. Tackles have never been a critically important statistic, but Tuggle’s number—which is nearly a full 700 more than Scott Case, Atlanta’s all-time #2 for tackles—is a testament to how well he played and how long.
It’s also the closest thing we’ve got to an unbreakable record. To blow by Tuggle, a player who would need to post 100-plus tackles for 15-16 years, 150+ tackles for a decade-plus, or 200+ tackles for over eight years. That’s sort of an insane pace, and it’s one we probably will never see again, even though Deion Jones (246 tackles in two years) is off to one hell of a start. In a record-breaking era for this franchise, when multiple future Ring of Honor candidates are flying up and down the turf, Tuggle seems likely to be able to enjoy this particular mark in perpetuity.
Weigh in if you see other unbreakable records in this franchise’s history.