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New England Patriots’ All-Time Sack Leaders
The New England Patriots have been a pro football franchise since 1960, when they entered the AFL as the Boston Patriots. After the NFL merger in 1970, the Patriots moved to Foxboro and became the New England Patriots in 1971. And since then, the team has been to six Super Bowls, winning three times. Most folks know this franchise for its offense, but under Bill Belichick at least, they have also boasted stiff defenses over the past decade or so. Here, we take a look at the Patriots’ all-time sack leaders to date, keeping in mind that sacks became an official statistic in 1982:
Andre Tippett (100)—Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett played his entire career in New England, from 1982 to 1993, and he ranks first in the team’s history with 100 sacks. Tippett had a career high 18.5 sacks in 1984, but his best season was arguably 1985, when he was a first team All Pro. That year, Tippett had 16.5 sacks, and added four fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown.
Willie McGinest (78)—Willie McGinest played at both defensive line and linebacker, and he played for the Patriots most of his career, from 1994 to 2005. McGinest ranks second in franchise history with 78 sacks, and he had his best season in 1995. That year, McGinest racked up a career high 11 sacks, adding 4 forced fumbles as well as 70 tackles (also career best) with 18 assists.
Chris Slade (51)—Linebacker Chris Slade played for the Patriots most of his career, from 1993 to 2000, and he ranks third in team history with 51 sacks. Slade had arguably his best season in 1994. That year, he had a career high 9.5 sacks, and added 4 forced fumbles, 63 tackles and 42 assists.
Mike Vrabel (48)—Linebacker Mike Vrabel has played most of his career in New England, from 2001 to 2008, and he ranks fourth in Patriots’ history with 48 sacks. Vrabel had his best season in 2007, the year the Patriots were undefeated during the regular season. That year, he was a first team All Pro with these gaudy numbers—career high 12.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 54 tackles and 21 assists.
Brent Williams (43.5)—Defensive end Brent Williams played for the Patriots most of his career, from 1986 to 1993, and he ranks fifth in franchise history with 43.5 sacks. Williams had a career high 8 sacks in both 1988 and 1989, but his best overall season was probably 1986. That year, Williams had 7 sacks, and added 4 fumble recoveries (including one for a touchdown) and a career best 73 tackles.