With two games to play, 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and Texans defensive end J.J. Watt both have a real chance of breaking Michael Strahan’s NFL record for sacks in a season.
Smith has been the league leader for most of the season, but on Sunday Watt sacked Andrew Luck three times, while Smith didn’t sack Tom Brady at all, and that moved Watt into a tie with Smith for the league lead, at 19.5 on the season. Strahan had 22.5 sacks in 2001, the most since the NFL began keeping sacks as an official stat in 1982.
So if either Smith or Watt records 3.5 sacks in the last two games, he’ll break Strahan’s record. That’s definitely doable. And it’s definitely OK with Strahan, who wrote on Twitter yesterday that records are meant to be broken.
Whether Smith or Watt actually breaks the record or not, they’ve both already had outstanding seasons: In 22 of the 30 seasons since the NFL began keeping sacks as a stat, 19.5 sacks would have been enough to lead the league.