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Babineaux a Leader in Tackles for Loss

Posted Apr 13, 2013

He doesn’t get a lot of talk among the best in the league, but in one of the most important stats from a defensive tackle, Jonathan Babineaux is among the best in the NFL.

There’s a lot of talk this offseason about the Falcons adding help in the draft at defensive end, but there’s even less talk about what they have between the ends on the D-line.

What the Falcons have in Jonathan Babineaux is one of the more underrated defensive tackles in the NFL and the stats prove it.

He finished last season with 31 tackles with four sacks, one forced fumble and an interception, the first of his career. The interception came in Week 13 against the Saints when Babineaux snagged a Drew Brees pass off at the line of scrimmage.

The interception was impressive for a DT, but it’s his ability to get into the backfield to blow up plays before they happen is what helps make Babineaux stand apart from others. Last season he totaled 8.5 tackles for loss behind the line of scrimmage. That number ranked him second among all defensive tackles in the NFL, behind only Kyle Williams, Buffalo’s two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle.

Babineaux’ tackles for loss finished ahead of other premier DTs around the league including San Francisco’s Justin Smith, Miami’s Paul Soliali and Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh.

Since joining the team as a second-round draft pick in 2005, he’s tallied 49.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, giving him the most tackles for loss among defensive tackles in the entire NFL.

Babineaux had one of his best games of the season in the playoff win against the Seahawks last season. His sack came with under 30 seconds remaining in the first half as Seattle threatened to score. On third down, Babineaux sacked Russell Wilson, allowing the clock to continue to run without a score from the Seahawks. He added one tackle for loss and a QB hit to go along with the sack and his three tackles in his first career playoff win.

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