Ronde Barber Leads In Defensive Starts


With Brett Favre’s streak over at 297 games in a row, who now is the current active player leading the National Football League in consecutive starts?

I'm glad you asked. 

Folks in Washington, DC are being awfully quick to point out that Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher is now tied for first in consecutive games played.  Some in the Capitol City are even calling him the NFL's 'newest iron man.'

But that's a bit of a stretch, isn't it?

It's true that Fletcher has played in every game since the 1998 season opener, but it's not so unique.  Two others in the league have been in every game starting with that season opener:  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and your own Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber.  All three have played in 205 consecutive games.

In fact, Manning has started every game, giving him the NFL's current active record for starts in a row.

The argument from DC says that since Fletcher plays linebacker and not quarterback, it's even 'more impressive than Favre or Manning.'  Which completely dismisses Barber from the equation.

On November 14, 1999, Barber played, but did not start in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.  But since then, Barber has started 180 straight games -- the most ever consecutive starts for a cornerback.

Further, Barber is the only player in NFL history with at least 25 sacks and 40 interceptions.

Fletcher has *only* 158 straight starts at linebacker, which is well below the league record at that position.  That record is held by your favorite player, Mr. Derrick BrooksBrooks started in 208 straight games -- all for those Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

By the way, the record for any defensive player is held by defensive end Jim Marshall, who started 270 straight games for the Minnesota Vikings from 1961-1978.

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