Bowman unofficially leads NFL in tackles

September 26, 2012, 1:25 pm
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- All-Pro 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman enters Week 4 of the NFL season as the league's leading tackler . . . unofficially.Nowhere in the NFL record book can "tackles" be found. While there might be a listing of the top tacklers on, it's not an official statistic because nobody is quite sure which tabulations to go with.
Defensive statistics are included in the statistics package distributed after every NFL game. The figures are totaled on the spot by a stats crew at the stadium. But due to the speed of the game, the identifications of players are often unreliable.RELATED: 2012 49ers stats page
Every coaching staff across the NFL comes up with their own adjusted numbers after reviewing the game film. These numbers typically run on the high side.That's why I was curious what the 49ers' staff would come up with for its figure on Bowman after the team's 24-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Bowman was credited with 18 tackles on game day. I figured he could reach 20 or more after the 49ers' coaches were done.
But, in a rarity, the 49ers staff, credited Bowman with 17 tackles -- one fewer than the stats crew from the previous day. In some cases, it might have been a case of mistaken identity. After all, fellow first-team All-Pro Patrick Willis saw his figure increase from 10 on game day to 14 after the film review.
Here's the comparison of game day tackles vs. film review tackles from the 49ers' game Sunday against the Vikings:Game day statistics
NaVorro Bowman 18 (7 solo, 11 assists)
Patrick Willis 10 (5 solo, 5 assists)
Ahmad Brooks 8 (5 solo, 3 assists)
Donte Whitner 6 (4 solo, 2 assists)
Aldon Smith 3 (3 solo)
Tarell Brown 3 (3 solo)
Justin Smith 3 (3 solo)
Dashon Goldson 3 (2 solo, 1 assist)
Isaac Sopoaga 3 (2 solo, 1 assist)
Ricky Jean Francois 2 (2 solo)
Chris Culliver 2 (1 solo, 1 assist)
Ray McDonald 2 (2 assists)
Carlos Rogers 1 (1 solo)
Larry Grant 1 (1 assist)
Will Tukuafu 1 (1 assist)
Demarcus Dobbs 0--Totals 66 tackles (38 solo)After 49ers coaches' film review
NaVorro Bowman 17 (8 solo, 9 assists)
Patrick Willis 14 (6 solo, 8 assists)
Ahmad Brooks 10 (9 solo, 1 assists)
Donte Whitner 7 (4 solo, 3 assists)
Aldon Smith 7 (4 solo, 3 assists)
Tarell Brown 3 (2 solo, 1 assist)
Justin Smith 11 (7 solo, 4 assists)
Dashon Goldson 2 (2 solo)
Isaac Sopoaga 7 (2 solo, 5 assist)
Ricky Jean Francois 7 (4 solo, 3 assists)
Chris Culliver 0
Ray McDonald 7 (3 solo, 4 assists)
Carlos Rogers 2 (2 solo)
Larry Grant 0
Will Tukuafu 3 (1 solo, 2 assists)
Demarcus Dobbs 1 (1 solo)--Totals 98 tackles (55 solo)Note: The Vikings ran 76 offensive plays and scored three touchdowns, so there were 73 plays in which the 49ers made tackles. The numbers from the stats crew simply do not add up. As for the coaches' review, if there were 55 solo tackles, that means there were 43 credited assisted tackles (98 total tackles minus 55 solo) on the 18 plays in which there was not just one person credited with the tackle.