We are aware that stats are only a reflection, often a fuzzy one, of what happens on a sports field. A lazy pop fly caught by the center fielder and an amazing catch where the centerfielder climbs the wall and steals a home run are both scored an "8". In basketball, a layup and an amazing death-defying, Brooklyn Bridge, 360-degree slam-dunk (Thanks Mars Blackmon) is also scored the same.
It's that way in football two. A double-teamed defensive end who uses some speed and power to sack a quarterback to seal a win gets the same credit as a player who chases a running QB out of bounds for a 0-yard gain—both are sacks.
However, over time and by watching one can also see that the centerfielder, or basketball forward, or defensive linemen that possess extraordinary skills usually get the stats that lead the pack week-after-week and then year-after-year.
So, when we post this list, keep that in mind. It's a measure, just one measure and it gives useful information.
here are the NFL leaders, though 13 weeks, of sacks plus stuffs, including zero-gain stuffs. We do that to match sacks because a sack for no gain counts and to do an apple-to-apples comparison on run/pass stuffs we have to do plays for zero gains.
It is interesting to see a safety (Jamal Adams) so high on such a list that is usually reserved for defensive linemen and edge linebackers.