Watch: T.J. Watt ties NFL single-season sack record
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Fans got their money’s worth when the Pittsburgh Steelers bucked the odds and handed the Baltimore Ravens a loss in their stadium on Sunday. The game was a low-scoring affair that ended up going into an overtime period.
It was memorable in one other way, however, besides being the first step the Steelers needed to have a shot at the postseason. Late in the second quarter, outside linebacker T.J. Watt nailed Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley for a three-yard loss for a single-season sack record of 22.5.
The play came on a first-and-goal for the Ravens. Watt made an excellent dip move to get around the offensive line and wrapped Huntley up and held on as the duo spun to the turf.
Hall of Famer Michael Strahan set the NFL single-season record with 22.5 sacks in 2001. That record stood for two decades until Watt grabbed the sack on Huntley in a key AFC North rivalry game. Watt tied Strahan by playing in one less game than Strahan did due to missing time on the field due to injuries.
In games that Watt played over 60 percent of defensive snaps, the Steelers had a 9-2 win-loss record.
In his five seasons in the NFL, Watt has logged the following sack counts:
- Year 1: 7.0 sacks
- Year 2: 13.0 sacks
- Year 3: 14.5 sacks
- Year 4: 15.0 sacks
- Year 5: 22.5 sacks
Watt made another play in the same game that many feel should give him 23.5 sacks, and the all-time sacks leader title in the NFL. Huntley grabbed a muffed snap from his center and mishandled it, going to the turf to recover it. Watt, who was pressuring, fell on Huntley and stripped the ball loose once again.
Unfortunately, the officials ruled that the play was a tackle for a loss instead. Allegedly the play is still being reviewed by the NFL, but there have been no updates to the official statistics and things look unlikely that Watt will grab the official title of all-time NFL sacks leader, at least not this regular season.