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Ray Lewis' 1997 Season

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The 1997 season may not have been a memorable one for his team, but it certainly was for the second year linebacker.

Larry French


The Baltimore Ravens did not have a season to remember in their second year of existence. A 6-9-1 record is certainly not something to regurgitate, especially after two Super Bowl victories in the years since then.

However, for a second year player, it couldn't have been more memorable, except of course, had it also resulted in a Super Bowl victory. Alas, that was nowhere near happening, but LB Ray Lewis had one of the best, if not the best individual defensive season of any player in NFL history in 1997.

The statistics will show that Lewis had the second most total tackles (184 in 1997) of any player in league history, behind the Detroit Lions Chris Spielman (195) in 1994. San Francisco 49ers LB Patrick Willis was third with 174 total tackles in 2007. Ironically, Lewis is also 5th on the list with 168 total tackles in 1999.

The underlying stat that elevates Lewis' effort above the others is that of his 184 total tackles in 1997, 156 of them were solo tackles. None of the other players mentioned (or not mentioned) had over 135 solo tackles, meaning that Lewis averaged two additional games worth of solo tackles than the next best total.

Squidoo.com has the story on the Most Tackles In A Single NFL Season, along with the video above, from the NFL's Most Feared Tackler (Ray Lewis was #7).