Saturday, October 24, 2015

First in the Secondary - A look at NFL DB's behind the line of scrimmage

By Nick Webster

Through Week 6 of the NFL season an interesting trend has developed in among defenders.  Of the NFL’s Stuff leaders – a Stuff being a play where a defender tackles a runner for a loss on either a run or pass play – two defensive backs are representing themselves strongly.  Tied for third place through six weeks are Philadelphia Safety Malcolm Jenkins and Arizona Safety Deone Bucannon with 6.5 Stuffs a piece.  
2014-CARDINALS-Bowman-50-Bowman-Mini-50B4-Deone-Bucannon
How impressive are these figures, both players are on pace to set the single season mark for a defensive back.  The existing leaders (1982 to date) and the only DB with double digit Stuffs are:









How good were Wilson and Winfield, in Career Stuffs? They are well clear of their competition.
Here are the career leaders, as per Pro Football Journal in stuffs by defensive backs. As can be seen, both Wilson and Winfield were the best in making plays in the backfield.

Most Career Stuffs, DB (1982 - 2014) 
Player
# Seas
Stuffs
P/Yr
Adrian Wilson
12
65
5.4
Antoine Winfield
14
59.5
4.3
Troy Polamalu
12
47.5
4.0
Darren Woodson
12
41.5
3.5
Steve Atwater
11
38
3.5
Brian Dawkins
16
47.5
3.0
John Lynch
15
43.5
2.9
Rod Woodson
17
38.5
2.3
Charles Woodson
17
37.5
2.2
Ronnie Lott
14
29
2.1
Joey Browner
10
20.5
2.1

Should we expect to see Jenkins and Bucannon join the likes of Winfield and Wilson?  Unlikely, each has already exceeded his career high, and while they play in schemes which employ them with great frequency near the line of scrimmage, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll end the year among the league leaders . . . who will?  A betting man would be advised to put his money on, you guessed it, J.J. Watt . . . or the up and comer, Aaron Donald, might Calais Campbell finally break through and see mainstream acclaim?  It will certainly be fun to watch.  Overall Stuff leaders through week 6:

Rk
Name
Stf
1
J.J. Watt
8
2
Kevin Minter
7.5
3
Malcolm Jenkins
6.5
4
Deone Bucannon
6.5
5
Aaron Donald
5.5
6
Jaye Howard
5.5
7
Jonathan Babineaux
5.5
8
Calais Campbell
5
9
Bennie Logan
5
10
Brandon Marshall
5
11
Henry Anderson
5
12
Telvin Smith
5
13
Aaron Lynch
4.5
14
Cameron Heyward
4.5
15
Jelani Jenkins
4.5
16
Michael Bennett
4.5
17
Tyrann Mathieu
4.5
18
Cameron Jordan
4
19
Damon Harrison
4
20
Khalil Mack
4

2 comments:

  1. Jenkins is impressive (coverage skills too! being former CB and all) but "Arizona Safety Deone Bucannon" doesn't work since Bucannon is listed - and plays - as a LB. That's on the official depth chart ($LB) and has been. Even if he was listed as a S it would be like listing a WR as a RB and then talking about the RB receiving records he was setting . . . Wouldn't make sense, obviously. Bucannon, $LB.

    For Campbell, he's been good for years and he finally got recognized last year with the Pro Bowl and 2nd-team All-Pro nods.

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  2. Agree on Campbell - it's hard to get attention as a 3-4 DE not named JJ.

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