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Falcons records that are unlikely to be broken: Scott Case’s bushel of interceptions

The hard-hitting safety’s career year is going to be tough to beat.

San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Gin Ellis/Getty Images

In the entire history of the NFL, just 75 players have managed to snag double digit interceptions in a single season. Just 6 of those players have managed to do so since 2000, which tells you that piling up that many picks in one year is becoming an increasingly rare feat. No one since 1981 has managed to even top 11, which means Dick “Night Train” Lane’s awesome nickname and NFL record 14 interceptions is likely to stand forever.

Similarly, the Falcons single season record for interceptions is unlikely to be toppled at any point in the immediate future, given the way passing games have been bolstered and pass defense have largely been neutered. That means Scott Case’s 10 picks in 1988 will likely stand the test of time.

Case’s season was completely out of nowhere. He carved out a reputation as a hard-hitting cornerback and safety in the NFL and likely deserved more than one Pro Bowl berth for that fine work, but he wasn’t necessarily the kind of guy who piled up turnovers. His career high until 1988 was 4 in a single season, which he managed in both 1985 and 1986, and he would never again top 3 after that. In ‘88, though, his age 26 season saw him reel in more than double his career high for a single year, as he didn’t manage an interception in 8 of 16 games but piled them up in the remaining 8, managing 2 each against Tampa Bay and Green Bay.

It came out of nowhere, in other words, and was one of the great seasons in team history because of it. Since then, no one’s come particularly close to breaking that record and remains unlikely to do so, with interception machine Damontae Kazee and his 2018 mark of 7 picks in not-quite-a-full-season as a starter standing out as the most impressive campaign since then.

Again, though, the NFL has changed a lot since Scott Case prowled the Falcons secondary, and Case himself would likely tell you that year was a bit fluky. It’s yet another record I can’t see being broken any time soon.