Texans defensive end J.J. Watt’s attempt to catch 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith for the NFL sack lead was bolstered when the league’s official statisticians reviewed the tape from Sunday’s win over the Titans and gave Watt another sack.
The official scorers had originally said that when Titans quarterback Jake Locker slipped, fell and fumbled just as Watt was pressuring him, that it wasn’t a sack for Watt because Locker dropped the ball before Watt touched him. After reviewing the tape, that was reversed, and Watt now has 16.5 sacks.
Smith still leads the league with 17.5 sacks, while Denver’s Von Miller is third with 15 sacks. Those three, who were among the first 11 picks in last year’s NFL draft, will be terrorizing NFL quarterbacks for years to come.
And those three also may be chasing Michael Strahan’s NFL record of 22.5 sacks in a season. Smith is on pace to break the record and finish with 23.5, while Watt is on pace to fall just short with 22, and Miller is currently on pace for 20. Only eight players in NFL history — Strahan, Jared Allen, Mark Gastineau, Reggie White, Chris Doleman, Lawrence Taylor, Derrick Thomas and DeMarcus Ware — have ever had 20 sacks in a season.
Smith, Watt and Miller can join some elite company.