After a recent fanpost on Field Guls which called out Robert Mathis as being less than elite, I did some digging. The post comments mentioned 8 DE's that were claimed to be better than Mathis
Looking at these players stats over their careers leads me to one conclusion, if these 8 are elite, Robert Mathis belongs in the discussion.
Looking only at stats per game over their career’s Mathis is somewhere right in the middle of that pack.
These are stats per game over their career’s(rounded):
tak sacks ff
Mathis 2.35 .63 .3
Osi 2.28 .57 .16
Cole 3.05 .56 .14
Tuck 2.56 .46 .11
J.Pep 2.62 .66 .24
JAllen 3.14 .79 .25
Mario 2.65 .63 .15
DFree 1.97 .71 .32
RSey 2.07 .36 .03
(Richard Seymour played almost his entire career in a 3-4 so his stats aren’t really fair. he also had .25 passes defended per game, something no one else did)
Looking at the numbers it appears that Mathis does give up a bit against the run (No big shock there, his tackles were actually higher in comparison than I had expected, I mean Justin Tuck only averages 0.19 more tackles per game which is only 3.04 tackles per 16 games, and he only averages 12.64 fewer per season than Jared Allen)
But his sack numbers are behind only Peppers, Allen, and Freeney and his Forced Fumble numbers are in a league of their own (well his and Freeny’s own).
I would say if he’s not ‘elite’ I’m not sure what he is. And does freeney help his numbers? sure, just like peyton manning helped Marvin Harrison’s # just like he’s helping Reggie Wayne, and he’s going to make Piere Garcon a lot of money pretty soon. Was Lombardi really an amazing coach or did he just have a million hall of famers? Does Jerry Rice turn into Jerry Rice without Joe Montana? Does Steve Young become Steve Young without Jerry Rice and Joe Montana? Is Joe Montana who he is without Jerry Rice? We can ask these questions all day, we can debate and say what we believe, but bottom line is all we have to look at are the numbers. And according to Robert Mathis’ numbers, he’s ELITE.
Notice I didn’t say he’s Complete, but he is ELITE.
And I guess its just because I dont catch too many Vikings games, but I didn't realize how good Jared Allen is. He is far and away the best DE in the game.