Dwan Edwards is quietly having the most statistically impressive season among all NFL defensive tackles.
Edwards was signed as a free agent by the Carolina Panthers before the 2012 season and the 6'3", 300-pounder has been nothing short of dominant halfway through his first year in Charlotte.
No other defensive lineman has put up a combination of tackles and sacks to rival Edwards' output thus far.
While some of what defensive linemen contribute does not appear on the stat sheet - tying up offensive lineman, stuffing running lanes, quarterback pressures, etc. - the measurable stats Edwards is putting up are perhaps the best in the league.
The Sack Master
Before coming to Carolina Dwan Edwards had recorded a total of just 5.5 sacks in his seven-year, 83-game career.
But in eight games as a Panther he has exploded for 5.0 sacks.
Edward's five sacks rank second in the NFL among all defensive tackles.
Most Sacks, Defensive Linemen - Week 9
1. Gino Atkins, CIN - 7.0
2. Dwan Edwards, CAR - 5.0
3. Kyle Williams, BUF - 4.5
4. Linval Joseph, NYG - 4.0
Edwards has benefited from playing alongside defensive ends Charles Johnson (7.5 sacks) and Greg Hardy (6.5). With opposing offensive lines sliding protection to the Panthers' ends on passing downs, Edwards has been free to beat his man and get to the quarterback.
But he has not only been succeeding as a pass rusher. Dwan has also been stuffing the run like few other DT's in the league.
Racking Up Tackles
Edwards' 32 total tackles through Week 9 are almost as impressive as his sack total and put him on pace to eclipse his career high 57 tackles in 2010.
He is currently tied for third in the NFL in tackles for defensive linemen
Most Tackles, Defensive Linemen - Week 9
1-T. Justin Smith, SF - 351-T. Brandon Mebane, SEA - 35
3-T. Dwan Edwards, CAR - 32
3-T. Haloti Ngata, BAL - 32
5. Jurrell Casey, TEN - 30
Dwan is the only defensive tackle in the NFL to have recorded at least 30 tackles and 4.0 sacks.
The argument could be made he is having the most impressive season among all defensive linemen halfway through the season, a remarkable feat for a veteran who had been pretty average in his seven-year career before joining the Panthers.
While stats don't tell the full story of the productivity of a defensive lineman, they don't lie, either.
And the simple truth is Dwan Edwards is quietly putting up the best stats among defensive tackles halfway through the NFL season.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan.For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check out these articles:
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Dwan Edwards
- Carolina Panthers
- defensive lineman