All About the Solo: Week Two

Eric Olinger


One of the more frustrating things in IDP leagues is seeing your stud linebacker fly all over the field on game days only to see the home scorekeeper dilute his performance by divvying up his tackles as an assist. Not everybody knows this, but the NFL does not recognize a tackle as an official statistic. Tackles are scored by the home team’s official scorekeeper and those are the stats you see on news and stats sites. The league made an effort to standardize what is and isn’t a solo tackle back in 2007 when they sent a video to all NFL teams, but it still the discretion of the score keeper and there is a large disparity from team to team and week-to-week. I will be tracking this throughout the season to give you a better idea of what to expect when choosing your IDPs each week. The chart below shows the results through week two.

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View the entire spreadsheet


Through the season’s first two weeks, the only teams to play both games at home are the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even though it’s a small sample size, their respective home scorekeepers were consistent. For the first time this year we see data from Buffalo, Carolina, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota, NY Giants, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Tennessee and Washington scorekeepers. The most eye popping numbers from week two were from Baltimore and Carolina where nearly 50% of all tackles were scored as assists. Anyone who has owned Ray Lewis over the last decade knows the Baltimore scorekeeper would give Lewis an assist every time he was on the field regardless of his involvement in the play. Ok, not really, but it was pretty close. Scoring 50% of a game’s tackles as assists is crazy. On the flip side, Denver, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Tennessee all gave out assists on less than 20 % of plays.

Currently, of the top 60 tackle leaders in the league, only Paul Worrilow and Luke Kuechly have at least 50% of their total tackles scored as assists. Worrilow is currently leading the league with 29 total tackles, 13 solo and 16 assists. Kuechly is tied for third with 20 total tackles – ten solo and ten assists. They are also the players with the most assists in the entire league. There are five players (all defensive backs) tied for the league lead in solo tackles with 16 each – Tyvon Branch, Antoine Cason, Dashon Goldson, Leodis McKelvin and Donte Whitner.

The good news for Kuechly and Worrilow is it gives them a high weekly floor. Rarely will they give you a total dud for the week but it also puts a cap on their ceilings too. Their numbers would be out of this world if even half of their assists were scored as solos.

We’ll continue tracking this to see if we can predict high and low weeks for our stud IDPs.

Follow me on Twitter @OlingerIDP.


eric olinger
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