Choudhry's Chronicles

By: Saleem Choudhry

Saleem Choudhry - Researcher
Saleem spends his days gathering, interpreting, and disseminating information about the game of pro football. He now shares in his blog some of the more unique stories and facts that he has uncovered while working with the Hall’s vast collection of more than 18 million pages of documents.

Interesting Reed


Jan 03, 2011

What a tremendous 2010 season by Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed. Not only did he lead the National Football League in interceptions for the third time in his career, but he did so while playing only 10 games. Amazingly, the injury which forced him to miss a large chunk of the season (a nagging hip that required surgery leading into the season) had Reed contemplating retirement at the Super Bowl last year.

Oh, and by the way, Reed's league-leading total just tied him with long-time Dallas Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls for most seasons leading the league in interceptions. Also, his interception return yardage for the 2010 season (183) gave him a career total of 1,438 yards which is now second in NFL annals. Reed now trails only Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, who holds the record with 1,483 career return yards, by only 45 yards.

How spectacular was the 32-year-old's season? Let's take a look.

Here is a chart of NFL interception leaders since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 and the number of games played.

Year Player Team INTs Games Avg/GM
1970 Johnny Robinson Kansas City 10 14 0.71
1971 Bill Bradley Philadelphia 11 14 0.79
1972 Bill Bradley Philadelphia 9 14 0.64
1973 Dick Anderson Miami 8 14 0.57
  Mike Wagner Pittsburgh 8 14 0.57
1974 Emmitt Thomas Kansas City 12 14 0.86
1975 Mel Blount Pittsburgh 11 14 0.79
1976 Monte Jackson Los Angeles 10 14 0.71
1977 Lyle Blackwood Baltimore 10 14 0.71
1978 Thom Darden Cleveland 10 16 0.63
1979 Mike Reinfeldt Houston 12 16 0.75
1980 Lester Hayes Oakland 13 16 0.81
1981 Everson Walls Dallas 11 16 0.69
1982 Everson Walls Dallas 7 9 0.78
1983 Mark Murphy Washington 9 15 0.60
1984 Ken Easley Seattle 10 16 0.63
1985 Everson Walls Dallas 9 16 0.56
1986 Ronnie Lott San Francisco 10 14 0.71
1987 Barry Wilburn Washington 9 12 0.75
1988 Scott Case Atlanta 10 16 0.63
1989 Felix Wright Cleveland 9 16 0.56
1990 Mark Carrier Chicago 10 16 0.63
1991 Ronnie Lott L.A. Raiders 8 16 0.50
1992 Henry Jones Buffalo 8 16 0.50
  Audray McMillian Minnesota 8 16 0.50
1993 Eugene Robinson Seattle 9 16 0.56
  Nate Odomes Buffalo 9 16 0.56
1994 Eric Turner Cleveland 9 16 0.56
  Aeneas Williams Arizona 9 16 0.56
1995 Orlando Thomas Minnesota 9 16 0.56
1996 Tyrone Braxton Denver 9 16 0.56
  Keith Lyle St. Louis 9 16 0.56
1997 Ryan McNeil St. Louis 9 16 0.56
1998 Ty Law New England 9 16 0.56
1999 Rod Woodson Baltimore 7 16 0.44
  Sam Madison Miami 7 16 0.44
  James Hasty Kansas City 7 15 0.47
  Donnie Abraham Tampa Bay 7 16 0.44
  Troy Vincent Philadelphia 7 14 0.50
2000 Darren Sharper Green Bay 9 16 0.56
2001 Anthony Henry Cleveland 10 16 0.63
  Ronde Barber Tampa Bay 10 16 0.63
2002 Rod Woodson Oakland 8 16 0.50
  Brian Kelly Tampa Bay 8 16 0.50
2003 Tony Parrish San Francisco 9 16 0.56
  Brian Russell Minnesota 9 16 0.56
2004 Ed Reed Baltimore 9 16 0.56
2005 Ty Law N.Y. Jets 10 16 0.63
  Deltha O'Neal Cincinnati 10 15 0.67
2006 Champ Bailey Denver 10 16 0.63
  Asante Samuel New England 10 15 0.67
2007 Antonio Cromartie San Diego 10 16 0.63
2008 Ed Reed Baltimore 9 16 0.56
2009 Jarius Byrd Buffalo 9 14 0.64
  Asante Samuel Philadelphia 9 16 0.56
  Darren Sharper New Orleans 9 14 0.64
  Charles Woodson Green Bay 9 16 0.56
2010 Ed Reed Baltimore 8 10 0.80


Reed's eight picks in his 10 games gave him a .80 interceptions per game average. Only two players had a higher interception per game average than Reed. Hall of Famer Emmitt Thomas registered a league-leading 12 interceptions in 14 games played in 1974 for an average of .86. In 1980 Lester Hayes stole 13 passes in 16 games for a .81 average.

Reed and his Ravens face the Kansas City Chiefs in a Wild Card match-up this coming Sunday. Reed is already third in NFL history for interceptions in the postseason with seven. The record is nine and is held by three men – Charlie Waters, Bill Simpson, and Ronnie Lott.

Who wants to bet that Reed's name is on the top of that list by the time the playoffs are over?