The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans locked horns in Week 1 of this NFL season. The match was intense, but Watt’s individual performance took center stage. In a game full of big plays from both sides, Watt made one that would be remembered for years to come- his 14th sack on the day against quarterback Deshaun Watson with help from teammate Terence Newman forced a fumble which led to an easy touchdown for the home team.
T.J. Watt ties NFL single game records for most tackles and most sacks in a single game with 14 tackles, 2 sacks. Read more in detail here: tj watt.
BALTIMORE, MD – With 23 seconds remaining in the first half of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 16-13 overtime triumph against the Baltimore Ravens, outside linebacker T.J. Watt equaled Michael Strahan for the NFL single-season sack record.
In Ben Roethlisberger’s probable last regular-season game as a Steeler quarterback, the victory kept the Steelers’ playoff aspirations alive. The Steelers will enter the playoffs as the No. 7 seed thanks to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ upset of the Indianapolis Colts, as long as the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers don’t tie in the Sunday night finale.
Watt not only set a new career high with 22.5 sacks, but he also had three quarterback hits, a tackle for loss, a batted ball, and a forced fumble while being doubled for the most of the game.
Watt’s lone sack came with 23 seconds remaining in the first half, when he came around the edge, beat Ravens tight end Eric Tomlinson and left tackle David Sharpe, and brought down quarterback Tyler Huntley for a three-yard loss at the goal line.
Before the following play, he embraced and high-fived his teammates on the field. Watt had two near-sack chances prior to the official sack. He looked to sack Huntley and cause a fumble on the opening play, as Huntley rushed to recover from a botched snap. The Ravens’ official scorer, however, called the play a forced fumble.
Watt then wrapped around Huntley late in the second quarter and pulled him down with the aid of Cam Heyward. However, Heyward was called for unnecessary roughness, and the half-sack was ruled out.
Despite missing two games and almost all of the third, Watt matched Strahan’s 2001 total.
Watt has overcome various ailments to reach to this stage, including a chronic groin problem as well as hip and knee injuries incurred on a sack of Jared Goff against the Detroit Lions.
Watt, who was chosen the Steelers’ MVP for the third straight season by his teammates, enters Sunday’s regular-season finale one sack shy of the record after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield four times on Monday night.
Watt, 27, inked a four-year, $112 million agreement with the Steelers just before the season, making him the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player and solidifying his standing as one of the league’s best players. Despite becoming a target of opponents’ pass defense, he remains one of the league’s most disruptive and powerful players.
Watt has a sack on 6.1 percent of his pass rushes through Week 17, which is the greatest single-season sack rate in the Next Gen Stats history. When lined up as an edge defender, he has the third-highest pass rush victory percentage in the NFL, overcoming his block inside 2.5 seconds 25% of the time. Only Myles Garrett (28%) and Josh Sweat (26%), both on the edge, have greater pass rush victory percentages this season. Watt also has three fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles.
Watt missed a week of practice earlier this season after testing positive for COVID-19, but he returned to produce 3.5 sacks against Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. He also pressured Jackson’s unsuccessful throw attempt on a game-winning 2-point conversion try, enabling the Steelers to win 20-19.
Watt did laps around the trees in his backyard to prepare for the game while he was alone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did T.J. Watt break the single-season sack record?
A: Yes. In Week 4 of the 2018 NFL season, Watt had 6 sacks against Ben Roethlisberger to break J.J. Watts single-season record for most sacks in a single year with 17, which was set back in 2014
Who holds the single-season sack record?
A: This record is held by former NFL player William Andrews. He had 27 sacks in a single-season for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1962, breaking the previous record of 22 set by Hall of Famer Jim Marshall.
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