The Fans' Favorite Falcon series, presented by Ford, rolls on with the first matchup of the second round.
How do you decide between No. 1 Jessie Tuggle and No. 9 William Andrews?
Tuggle came to the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 1987 and is now widely recognized as one of the greatest to ever wear the Falcons' uniform. Aptly nicknamed "The Hammer" for his bone-jarring hits, Tuggle finished his career after the 2000 season, logging 14 seasons with the Falcons and an all-time franchise record 2,065 tackles and 12-straight 100-tackle seasons. With five Pro Bowl appearances during his career, Tuggle has always been recognized as a favorite among fans. Quiet and reserved, Tuggle provided the perfect balance to some of his other teammates who thrived on individual attention. Tuggle easily earned the No. 1 seed for his style of play, his back story of being an undrafted rookie and for being the type of player that has resonated with the fanbase even years after he retired.
William Andrews may have only played six seasons in the NFL — all with the Falcons — but making four straight Pro Bowls between 1980-1983 easily lands him in the top 16. Setting 19 records that started from his first game as a rookie, Andrews was a key reason the Falcons made the playoffs three times during his short career. Second on the Falcons' all-time leading rushers list, Andrews did a lot in a little time, but away from the field, he was very active in the community, endearing himself to the fanbase.
Is there a better matchup to start the second round? I doubt it. To recap the first round, Tuggle easily cleared past the No. 16 seed, Morten Andersen, while Andrews barely eked past No. 8 Patrick Kerney to earn the right to face Tuggle. This is another matchup of one player having a long, fulfilling career against another player whose career was cut short, but accomplished so much in a short period of time. The fans on the FalconsLIFE Message Board were able to dig up some great quotes and comments about Andrews, but Tuggle was the reason a lot of people became Falcons fans in the first place. This could be a close matchup, but my edge goes to The Hammer.