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Blake Martinez Wants Tackles Record

Green Bay Packers linebacker Blake Martinez was one of the NFL co-leaders in tackles in 2017. He wants to do even better in 2018.

Martinez said during Thursday night’s game that he wants to get the NFL record. That was established by Detroit Lions linebacker Chris Spielman in 1994. The number is 195. Interestingly, it seems the Packers credited Martinez with 158 tackles. The NFL credited him with 144 and the league’s count would determine the record.

So Martinez would need to add 50-odd tackles to his 2017 total. That seems like a stretch.

Whether Martinez was serious or not is questionable. He kind of said that with a smile on his face.

I would mention that Martinez setting the tackles record might not necessarily be a good thing for the Packers. That means the defense would have to be a on the field A LOT.

If you look at last year’s leaders, three of the top five played for sub-.500 teams. Two players are from the winless Browns. Another, Buffalo’s Preston Brown, played for a team with a less-than-potent offense.

So I’m not sure we really need Martinez setting the tackles record.

Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.



  1. PF4L August 11, 2018

    No knock on Martinez, he had an outstanding 2nd year. I’d hate to see where the Packers defense ranked without him.

    I saw that interview and it reminded me right away of A. Peterson’s claim that next season, he would rush for 2,500 yards after falling like 9 yards short of the NFL rushing record back in 2012. (Don’t be that guy)

    The Packers can claim Martinez had 158 tackles, 198 tackles, 2,098 tackles, it doesn’t mean a thing.

  2. Howard August 11, 2018

    If A. Rodgers stays healthy and the O-line can keep Rodgers upright, and that is the big, then Martinez will not come close to exceeding his tackle total of last year.

    Even though the Packers had what I considered the worst pass defense last year, the Packer D had the 5th fewest passing attempts against last year. You would have thought teams would have been throwing against the Packers from tunnel to final whistle. Wrong, Hundley was so fucked up as a QB and the team was so turnover prone teams just ran out the clock on the Packers.

    The Packers D had the 8th highest rush attempts against them last year. With a Rodgers lead offense and a competent O-line (big if) oppponents will need to be in a game with more passing attempts to keep up, in my opinion.

    Even though it was the first pre-season game Burks appears to defend the pass well. Burks if he keeps it up will probably be the dime linebacker. That will take Martinez off the field for some plays. If Burks can get off blocks in the run game and hit the correct gap Burks should be able to take some tackles away from Martinez if it comes down to a foot race.

    It was good to see an ILB be the top tackler over a safety last year, for a change. A good defense should have ILB(s) as top tackler(s) over the safety(s). Good job Martinez.

    1. Kris August 12, 2018

      What a bunch of nonsense. A safety can have the most tackles. It depends on the defensive scheme. Also, martinez has been very good in pass protection. He is on the verge of another jump in production in his 3rd season, the 3rd year jump. Even if burks keeps it up, he will not be taking playing time from martinez unless he needs a breather for a play or two. Also, the packers run a 3-4, which means two middle linebackers on the field. You are so far off base if you think burks will ever be taking playing time from martinez this season. Check reality buddy. Martinez has the tools to be one of the best 3-4 ILBs in the league THIS year.

      1. Howard August 12, 2018

        O.K I guess I will play your game.

        First I never said that Martinez was a bad ILB. In fact I wrote “good job Martinez”and I meant it. Not sure why that got you in a knot. I think Martinez has a lot of potential, however Martinez has a long way to go to be the best overall linebacker in the league. Martinez is very good at run defense, but is lacking in pass defense. Martinez’s severe deficiencies in pass defense last year placed him as a below average linebacker by PFF at 66.6 or the 32nd rank.

        I will let PFF explain and you can critique them if you would like:

        “Martinez ended the season with 63 tackles in run defense in 2017 while finishing tied for third in run stops (38), playing his own integral role in PFF’s second-highest graded run defense. His run-defense grade of 89.7 was good for eighth in the league, just behind top-overall ranked linebacker Bobby Wagner. His run stop-percentage of 9.0 tied for 27th among all off-ball linebackers (89 ). Martinez posted an alarming 44.0 coverage grade. Martinez is a curious case given he was so highly regarded for his coverage prowess coming out of Stanford, posting an 88.6 coverage grade during the 2015 season for the Cardinal, tops in the country. However, in 2017 Martinez was picked on consistently by opposing quarterbacks, ranking tied for 77th (out of 82 linebackers) in coverage snaps per target (5.8) and 78th in coverage snaps per reception at 7.1 among the same group.”

        So Martinez was approximately 8th in run defense but approximately 77th in pass defense out of approximately 82 qualifying linebackers. So either the Packers need to hope that Martinez improves considerable in pass defense with Morgan Burnett gone or try to bring in another ILB that can cover. That is why Burks was drafted for his pass defense first and then hope he develops in run defense. The Packers and most teams bring in a coverage linebacker in the dime when down and distance dictates, unless Martinez improves greatly Burks or someone other than Martinez will be that guy.

        Everyone knows you don’t want to have safeties making a majority of the tackles on a team. You can say what you want but the facts do not defend your position. If a safety is making the most tackles that means the defensive line and linebackers are allowing big holes and big runs. You can drop a safety into the box when the offense goes into a run heavy formation, and that makes sense, or you can run blitz safeties. When you run blitz safeties because of a weak front 7 you leave the backend of your defense open for big plays. Shit I could be wrong maybe it is better to run a defense that has the safeties make the majority of the team tackles. Let’s see what the NFL team stats say over the last 2 years.

        If you take the 32 teams X 2 years out of those 64 teams only 16 of the 64 teams had safeties as the top tackler for the year. 48 of those teams had linebackers as the top tackler for the year. In the last two years out of the top 5 defenses each year or 10 total 8 of those teams had a linebacker as the top tackler. Only 2 teams of those top 10 had a safety as a top tackler (20%). In the last two years out of the bottom 5 defenses each year or 10 total 5 of those teams had a safety as a top tackler or 50%.

        I could go back further in years, but the stats are going to overwhelmingly say it is better for a defense to have a linebacker be your top tackler not a safety, but you probably know better than the NFL and what common sense tells you.

        The Packers prior to last year have had a safety as a top tackler since 2013. In 2013 Hawk was the top tackler over Burnett. In 2012 and 2011 linebackers and safeties switched the top spot. In 2010, a Super Bowl year the top two tacklers on the Packers Lombardi trophy team were both inside linebackers Hawk and Bishop with Collin a distance 3rd.

        So Don’t take it from me, PFF says your very wrong about Martinez in pass defense last year. Martinez wasn’t very good in pass defense Martinez was very bad in pass defense last year. Many of us who watched the games saw the same. I hope Martinez improves considerably in his pass defense to go along with his very good run defense.

        If you are so correct about safeties being the top tacklers because of the defensive scheme why do historical records from the NFL indicate that by a large % the top defenses and the majority of all the defenses have linebackers as the top tacklers? I would take a wild guess and say NFL teams are trying to win the games the best way possible and linebackers being the top tacklers over safeties is the best way to win, if for no other reason than linebackers are closer to the line of scrimmage than safeties, for the most part, when the ball is put in play. I’m certain NFL stats and usually reliable sources that grade all NFL players are correct. So you are wrong on all counts except we will wait and see about Burks as a rookie and if Martinez can improve in pass defense. I hope both do well and improve along the way.

        So please feel free to respond with some NFL stats or another source that has graded NFL and college players over the years that defend your positions.

        1. MM²SUCK August 13, 2018

          That was brutal . . .

  3. Kato August 11, 2018

    Assuming the defense is out on the field an average of 60 plays a game, that’s 960 snaps he is on the field, assuming he is on the field every snap. He would be recording a tackle on more than 20% of the plays

  4. chungo August 11, 2018

    All he needs to do is emulate the great aj hawk and jump on the pile at the end of the play.

  5. MJ August 12, 2018

    The good thing about this guy is that he was often stopping a run near or behind the line, not 15 yds away from it like the late AJ Hawk. A couple of stuffed runs put the opponent in three-and-long situations, where the defense can have a decent chance to get off the field. At th same time if you put the opponent in an obvious pass situation we can implement all the blitzes and whatever special plays Pettine has cooked up.