Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Terrell Suggs Still Making Plays

By John Turney
Suggs in tha backfield stuffing a runner for a loss. Credit NFL Replay
After 16 years in Baltimore Terrell Suggs returned to Arizona, where he played his college ball and at 37 is doing things much younger rushbackers are supposed to be doing.

Through seven games Suggs has 25 tackles, 4.5 of them stuffs, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles. The forced fumbles are tied for the league lead and his 5 sacks are tied for 12th. The 4.5 stuffs (tackles for loss) are tied for fifth. This old man is defying the odds without doubt.

Suggs has always een a consistent performer and he's been relatively healthy, missing just ten games in his NFL career. He had his "career year" in 2011 when he was All-Pro and was the AP and PFWA Defensive Player of the Year and a Pro Bowler. Five other seasons he was a Pro Bowler as well.

So he's had "honors" but they are light compared to some of the edge players or "rushbackers" of his era. John Abraham was a 3-time All-Pro, Julius Peppers four, Dwight Freeney three-times All-Pro, Demarcus Ware was a five-time All-Pro, Elvis Dumervil two. Jason Taylor, a Hall of Famer (first-ballot!) was a three-time All-Pro. All these compared to the one-time for Suggs.

Most of them were good at prying the ball loose when they got to a quarterback, including Suggs wh has 37 forced fumbles. Abraham and Taylor both have 47 and Julius Peppers has 52 and Freeney has 46 and Ware had 35.

However, none of them played on a great defense, year-in and year-out like the Ravens had. As part of that Suggs was a team defender, sticking his nose in the gaps to stop running plays. Like sacks, stuffs are inexact, but we've found that usually, the best pass rusher has the most sacks and the most gurries. Likewise, the best run defenders make the most plays behind the line of scrimmage and have plenty of assists in that, akin to a hurry if you will.

Suggs had 98.5 stuffs to go with his 137.5 sacks. The others? John Abraham has 54.0 stuffs and 133.0 sacks; Jason Taylor 76.0 and 139.5; Julius Peppers 62.0 and 159.5; Dwight Freeney 39.0 and 125.5; Demarcus Ware 67.5 and 138.5; Elvis Dumervil 11.5 and 99.0.

Add them together and Suggs is on the top of the list.
So, does combined sacks and stuffs matter that much? Maybe not. It matters to us because when matched with other things can identify who is working hard in the run game or even who is recognzing the run when it shows from pass formations and we think that fits Suggs to a 'T".

Come, Hall of Fame time, we'll see if voters take notice of his two-way play.


  1. Hey john how do you comp Suggs to Kevin Greene?

    1. good comparison. Suggs more athletic, Greene stiffer. But Greene called on to cover less---Suggs played both edges more. Greene was on right a little bit but not too much

  2. raw numbers can be misleading....Freeney at his peak was an almost unstoppable pass rusher, but what else and for how long? Taylor was great, but I've always thought a little overrated....could be my bias 'cause he was under the national radar a lot due to mediocre teams...."eyeball" test: the whole combination + longevity, Suggs and Peppers are the two I'd want on my draft list if all were available at the same time.....thoughts?

  3. Agree with holt. Peppers and Suggs would be my picks. They seem sturdier against the run than Taylor.

  4. I have viewed Suggs as a Hall of Famer for quite some time. He probably passed the test in 2011.