There is a new joint single-season sack leader in the NFL, and his name is T.J. Watt.
The defensive end tied Michael Strahan's single-season record of 22.5 sacks Sunday in the Steelers' Week 18 finale when he sacked Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley in the second quarter.
While Watt tied the record after the NFL switched to an 18-game season, the four-time Pro Bowler played in one less game in his than Strahan, who played in 16 games in 2001 during his record-setting season. Watt played in 15 games this season after he missed two games due to injury.
Watt may have reason to be upset, as an apparent sack in the first quarter was judged to be a fumble on the snap by Huntley, which turned the quarterback into a runner. That left Watt at a Steelers' record 21.5, one shy of tying Strahan's mark, despite tallying a forced fumble moments later.
But Watt wouldn't have to wait long, matching Strahan's record with under a minute remaining in the first half.
The 27-year-old failed to record a sack in four games this season, but Watt's four-sack tally in Week 17 against the Browns gave him a shot at the record Sunday and sent him past his brother J.J.'s single-season best of 20.5 sacks, set in 2012 and 2014.
However, Watt, like Strahan, fell short of the unofficial single-season leader. At 21 years old, Lions rookie Al Baker set the unofficial record of 23 sacks set in 1978, four years before sacks became an official NFL statistic. But it will still be Watt's name in the NFL record books next to Strahan's.
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