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Where do Falcons past and present rank on all-time sack, tackle, and forced fumble leaderboards?

John Abraham is dominant, but the team is well-represented here.

Divisional Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Falcons are not known for their defense. Historically, that’s also been true, outside of brief stretches of dominance and brilliant individual performers.

Nonetheless, this team has some players on the all-time leaderboards for tackles, sacks, and forced fumbles, among others. There are names you would expect and names you will likely be very surprised by (the two cornerbacks below under our solo tackles statistic are particularly jarring).

Let’s get into it.

Solo Tackles

#22: Mike Peterson, 896

#74: Curtis Lofton, 660

#83: Ray Buchanan, 638

#83: DeAngelo Hall, 638

* Why is this asterisk here? Because the tackle stat leaders on Pro Football Reference go from 1994 on. Just keep that in mind for why Tuggle isn’t there.

Combined Tackles

#4: Jessie Tuggle, 1,805

#11: Keith Booking, 1,440

#13: Lawyer MIlloy, 1,439

#16: Eugene Robinson, 1,413

#27: Mike Peterson, 1,220

#34: Cornelius Bennett, 1,190

#86: Scott Case, 976

#87: Chris Doleman, 975

#98: Curtis Lofton, 948

Tackles for Loss

#8: John Abraham, 148

#46: Patrick Kerney, 95

#49: Grady Jackson, 93

Forced Fumbles

#3: John Abraham, 47

#6: Chris Doleman, 44

#23: Cornelius Bennett, 31

#64: Chuck Smith, 20

#76: Patrick Kerney, 19


#5: Chris Doleman, 150.5

#13: John Abraham, 133.5

#66: Patrick Kerney, 82.5

This is a good group. Tuggle is obviously one of the most prolific and hard hitting tacklers of his era, which puts him near the top of that combined list, while former Falcons good Mo Pete checks in in the 20s on tackles himself.

For the more impactful stats, John Abraham is the big-time leader, as he’s in truly rare company for sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles, and deserves his spot in Canton for that. Chris Doleman was only a Falcon for two season but put up 16 sacks in those two years, leading him to have the kind of impact that deserves a spot on this list, and he was quietly one of the greatest ever to do it. Patrick Kerney is, once you toss Abraham’s name out there, nod your head appreciatively at Chuck Smith, and acknowledge that Claude Humphrey is unfairly not counted here, one of the best pass rushers in team history and a player who consistently shows up in the back half of these lists.

If this list does anything, I hope it helps you appreciate how deserving John Abraham and Jessie Tuggle are of Hall of Fame berths. Tuggle’s the harder case to sell, given the lack of eye-popping across the board numbers, but both were special players who have put their mark on the league’s history books.

On Monday, we’ll get into pass deflections, interceptions, and other secondary stats.