How does the NFL tabulate tackles? Let us count the ways

Ray Lewis photo courtesy Baltimore Ravens

Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner led the league in tackles last year with a franchise-record 167 … at least, that’s the number he’s credited with by the NFL. But often those numbers don’t correspond with coaches’ numbers, and there’s no telling how many tackles the Seahawks’ staff had the star linebacker making in 2016.

So why the discrepancy?

Good question. NFL historian John Turney of Pro Football Journal says it’s a practice that’s been going on for years … no, decades … and that has us wondering: Just what is the accurate number for tackles and whom do we trust? Turney wondered, too, and shows us in this post referencing Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, London Fletcher and Patrick Willis just how the numbers can differentiate … and sometimes by substantial amounts … according to who’s doing the counting:

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