PoF: Best Single Games – Defensive Tackles
Our single-game honor roll today switches to the big men on the defensive line, as we reveal the best performances by defensive tackles.
PoF: Best Single Games – Defensive Tackles
Welcome to the Pro Football Focus Page of Fame for Defensive Tackles, where only the best one-off performances during our time grading (2007 – Present) are mentioned.
If this is your first visit to a “PFF PoF” then the rules are pretty simple. Each game is it’s own island, and only the highest grades make it onto the list.
Anything over a +8.5 grade for this position will get the recognition it deserves!
1. Kyle Williams, 2010 – WK12, PIT @ BUF: +11.6
Pass Rush: +4.2, Run Defense: +7.2, Penalties: +0.2
A game that almost broke the PFF Graph system. Williams was dominant from first to last against a Steelers offensive interior that just had no answers for the questions he posed. Six defensive stops in the run game and another six quarterback disruptions earned Williams the highest grade of any defensive tackle in 2010.
2. Geno Atkins, 2012 – WK4, CIN @ JAX: +9.4
Pass Rush: +7.1, Run Defense: +2.2, Penalties: +0.1
As far as defensive tackles went, 2012 was very much the year of Geno Atkins. And in that ‘Year of the Atkins’ no performance earned a higher grade than his Week 2 outing. Two sacks, a hit and six hurries grabbed the attention, but there was more to his game with his penetration in the run game causing more than a couple of problems.
=3. Marcus Stroud, 2008 – WK1, SEA @ BUF: +9.3
Pass Rush: +5.1, Run Defense: +4, Penalties: +0.2
The very first week in the life of PFF saw Stroud pick up what would prove the highest defensive tackle grade of all 2008. Teasing Buffalo fans with his top-end talent, he walked away with two sacks and a further six hurries (in addition to two batted passes). That he ended with four more defensive stops in the run game ensured a monster grade for the former Jaguar.
=3. Kyle Williams, 2014 – WK3, SD @ BUF: +9.3
Pass Rush: +5.1, Run Defense: +4.0, Penalties: +0.2
The Bills may have succumbed to the Chargers but it wasn’t for the want of effort from Williams. The long time stud defensive tackle wreaked havoc all game long, including five quarterback disruptions and three stops in the run game.
5. Geno Atkins, 2012 – WK16, CIN @ PIT: +9.2
Pass Rush: +5.1, Run Defense: +3.5, Penalties: +0.1
Somebody woke up in a bad mood. Determined seemingly to hurt Ben Roethlisberger, Atkins finished with four sacks and a couple more pressures as the Bengals killed off the Steelers’ postseason chances.
6. Marcus Stroud, 2008 – WK11, BUF @ MIA : +9.1
Pass Rush: +5.6, Run Defense: +3.3, Penalties: +0.2
Stroud would have the two highest grades of all defensive tackles in 2008, yet only finish with two other games graded above +1.0. How is that for consistency? Again, it was his pass rush that proved the difference maker as he ended with two quarterback hits and another five hurries.
=7. Richard Seymour, 2011 – WK5, OAK @ HST: +9.0
Pass Rush: +7.4, Run Defense: +2.4, Penalties: -0.8
We didn’t always see the best of Seymour in Oakland, but when he was truly motivated he still had the special talent that made him so hard to stop. Houston found that out the hard way as he rocked and rolled all over them to the tune of two sacks, two hits, two batted passes and three hurries.
=7. Gerald McCoy, 2013 – WK14 – BUF @ TB: +9.0
Pass Rush: +7.0, Run Defense: +1.8, Penalties: +0.2
McCoy had always been a very good player when on the field, but 2013 was the year he took it to another level and nothing quite encapsulated this like how he ripped apart the Bills interior. A pass rushing pest, he ended the day with a sack, two hits and hour hurries to go along with a batted pass.
9. Gerald McCoy, 2014 – WK5, TB @ NO: +8.9
Pass Rush: +10, Run Defense: -0.1, Penalties: -0.7
It wasn’t the most complete display for McCoy who didn’t have the biggest impact against the run, but he more than made up for that with a dominant pass rushing effort. Jahri Evans has never had as tricky a day as the one McCoy forced him to have, beating him regularly on his way to a four hit and five hurry outing.
=10. Jovan Haye, 2007 – WK6, TEN @ TB: +8.7
Pass Rush: +2.1, Run Defense: +5.9, Penalties: +0.2
The former sixth-round pick had a career day when the Bucs met the Titans. In his 60 snaps he was able to pick up a sack and three hurries, while making himself a complete nuisance against the run. Any time a defensive tackle finishes with nine tackles you know they’ve had a big game, and when seven of them end with defensive stops it makes it even more special.
=10. Kevin Williams, 2010 – WK12, MIN @ WAS: +8.7
Pass Rush: +6.9, Run Defense: +0.1, Penalties: +0.2
Even though Williams wouldn’t even earn the highest grade of the week, he would still end up with the second-highest grade of all defensive tackles for his efforts. Built on a strong pass rushing display, a sack, hit and hurry (as well as two batted passes) really don’t tell the whole story.
12. Geno Atkins, 2012 – WK11, CIN @ KC: +8.6
Pass Rush: +4.9, Run Defense: +3.5, Penalties: +0.2
Atkins picked up one of only two batted passes he managed for the entire season, showing an area for growth in his game. In addition to that he had three further quarterback disruptions, as well as three more defensive stops in the run game.
13. Geno Atkins, 2012 – WK12, OAK @ CIN: +8.5
Pass Rush: +7.3, Run Defense: +0.6, Penalties: +0.1
This one was all about the dominance of his pass rush. A quiet day against the run matters little when you can pick up a sack, two hits and eight hurries. That worked out to a quarterback disruption on every third pass rush. Incredible.
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