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Watt needs 1.5 sacks against the Ravens to break Strahan's NFL single-season sack record

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

T.J. Watt had an incredible performance in Monday night's win over the Browns, as he racked up five tackles, including three for a loss, four sacks, five quarterback hits, and two passes batted at the line of scrimmage. With four sacks, Watt now has 21.5 sacks on the season, which means he needs 1.5 sacks against the Ravens on Sunday to break Michael Strahan's NFL single-season sack record (22.5), which was set in 2001.

Watt's 21.5 sacks lead the league. He also ranks No. 1 in quarterback hits (36) and is tied for first in tackles for loss (20). Watt should be a lock for Defensive Player of the Year. Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was in the running for DPOY, but he has struggled in his last three games and hasn't recored a single sack. Garrett had just one hit and two quarterback hits in last night's game.

The added 17th game can't be used as an argument if Watt breaks Strahan's record either, as Watt has missed two games and has been sidelined for the majority of three games due to injury. According to Scott Kacsmar, Watt has 19.5 sacks in the 10 games where he played at least 60% of the snaps this season.

Mike Tomlin was asked about Watt on the heels of breaking Strahan's record at his weekly press conference today, and Tomlin said he was “not surprised by it at all."

“I thought he was capable of that for the last several years,” Tomlin said. “His pressure rate relative to sack-to-rush opportunities is what screams at you. You know, I don’t spend a lot of time analyzing the analytics of it, but I would imagine his pressure rate is historic relative to the rush opportunities. So when you’re putting yourself in position to affect the game as often as he does relative to rush opportunities, the numbers are just the natural component that comes with that. His rush rate over the last several years has just been unbelievable in terms of his ability to put pressure on the passer given his opportunities to rush.”

Watt had 3.5 sacks in the Steelers' Week 13 win over the Ravens. On the season, the Ravens have allowed a league-high 54 sacks.

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