For years, talk about sack records in the National Football League has had a bit of an asterisk by it, as sacks were not an officially recorded stat by the league until 1982. However, thanks to the folks from Pro Football Reference, we no longer have to do that.
The gang from PFR has added all of the pre-1982 sack totals to their extensive database following what must have been a ton of research. They’ve released the new top 25 with those numbers added in, and it looks pretty darn good if you’re a fan of the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings have six members on the new list of the top 25 sack masters in the history of the National Football League. They are as follows:
- #7 - Chris Doleman, 150.5
- #8 - Alan Page, 148.5
- #14 (tied) - John Randle, 137.5
- #16 (tied) - Jared Allen, 136
- #18 (tied) - Carl Eller, 133.5
- #22 (tied) - Jim Marshall, 130.0
Yes, three-fourths of the Purple People Eaters are among the top 25 sack artists in the history of the National Football League, a serious testament to just how dominant they were during that time. It should. . .and I emphasize should. . .help strengthen the case for Jim Marshall to get into the Hall of Fame.
I mean, the guy should have been in a long damn time ago, but this just solidifies it.
Two Vikings also rank among the best individual sack seasons of all time, but their places were altered a bit because of the pre-1982 stats. Allen’s 2011 season that saw him collect 22 sacks is now tied for the third-highest total in league history, while Chris Doleman’s 21-sack performance from 1989 is now tied for tenth-best. The new single-season sack leader is now former Detroit Lions star Al Baker, who collected 23 sacks as a rookie in 1978 according to PFR’s new numbers.
In addition, as it stands right now Alan Page has the most sacks by a defensive tackle in the history of the NFL.
We know that the Vikings have been the home to a lot of great pass rushers over the years. With the new pre-1982 stats added to the equation, we can see just how dominant the Vikings have been up front over the years.