Looking at the NFL’s all-time leading tacklers, one name stands out above the rest: Ray Lewis. The longtime Baltimore Ravens linebacker is the NFL’s all-time leader in tackles, with 2,061.
In football, tackles are how the defense prevents the offense from moving the ball forward. The defense tries to tackle the player with the ball when he is running or trying to pass it. The player who makes the most tackles in a career is considered to be one of the best defensive players in NFL history.
So, who has the most tackles in NFL history? That distinction belongs to former middle linebacker Junior Seau, who played for 20 seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. Seau tallied 1,849 tackles during his illustrious career and was elected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Other notable names high on the all-time list include Hall of Famer Ray Lewis (1,562 tackles), London Fletcher (1,419), Brian Urlacher (1,353) and Kevin Greene (1,160).
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league. The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. The NFL is the highest level of professional football in the United States, and the world’s largest professional American football league by revenue, with an annual revenue of around US$13 billion.
Tackles are a defensive statistic in football that signify how many times the defensive player has stopped the offensive player from gaining yardage. The NFL began tracking tackles in 1947, but the stat didn’t become official until 1999. In 2002, the NFL began keeping track of solo and assisted tackles, which provide a more accurate picture of a player’s tackling ability.
The leader in tackles is Ray Lewis, who racked up 2,643 during his 17-year career with the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis is followed by Junior Seau (2,534), Derrick Brooks (2,504), David Harris (2,088), and London Fletcher (2,031).
Most Tackles in NFL History
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, the highest professional level of American football in the world.
The tackle is a primary statistical category by which individual defensive players are measured. The official tackle statistics for the NFL were first compiled in 1975. Since then, there have been several changes to the way tackles arerecorded and categorized by the NFL. The most recent change came in 2009, when assisted tackles were officially recognized as a separate statistic.
As of the end of the 2020 NFL regular season, Luke Kuechly has the most tackles in NFL history with 1,092. Kuechly, a linebacker who played his entire eight-year career with the Carolina Panthers, retired in 2020. He is followed by fellow linebackers Paul Posluszny (1,089), David Harris (1,088) and Clay Matthews (1,085).
Linebacker Derrick Brooks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is second on the all-time tackles list with 2,131. He is followed by former Pittsburgh Steeler great, Jack Ham, with 2,125 tackles. Ray Lewis, another linebacker, this one from the Baltimore Ravens, is fourth on the all-time list with 2,022 tackles. The top five is completed by Steelers’ linebacker Jason Gildon with 1,985 tackles.