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Panthers think they can break the all-time sack record

Charles Johnson AP

The Panthers led the league in sacks last year with 60.

And they think they’ve got another dozen or more in them this year.

That’s the opinion of veteran defensive tackle Colin Cole, who thinks the Panthers can break the league’s all-time record of 72 set by the 1984 Bears.

“The goal is to surpass that and get up there with the big dogs of the past years,” Cole said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “We want to set records as well.

“For us as a defensive line, that’s where our goal is. Maybe that’s just me talking on my behalf. But if you don’t shoot for the stars, you’ll never reach the moon.”

Cole had just one of the Panthers’ 60 last year, with Greg Hardy notching 15.0 and Charles Johnson 11.0.

But only one team in the last decade has had more than the Panthers’ total (2006 Chargers, 61), making it clear that rules changes benefitting offenses is depressing the sack totals.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was a rookie on the 1984 Bears team (he got no sacks), and noted that the heavy blitzes of Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense and a superior cast of defensive talent made it possible.

“It was really the perfect storm in terms of personnel,” Rivera said. “The nice thing is our guys have that kind of confidence. We have some good pass-rushers. That’s what it is. You have to have a combination.”

The Panthers again have Hardy in a salary drive after franchise-tagging him, so he’ll be motivated. And with Johnson dropping a little weight and adding second-rounder Kony Ealy to an already good mix, the Panthers could push to top the league again.

Even if 72 is out of reach.

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47 Responses to “Panthers think they can break the all-time sack record”
  1. buckybadger says: Aug 6, 2014 5:36 PM

    You would think with the increase passing this record would be approachable until you factor in probably 20% of the sacks that ’84 team had would probably be flagged today. The new rules also slow the defender down as they have to be under more control.

  2. grogansheroes says: Aug 6, 2014 5:42 PM

    It’s Roger the Dodger’s NFL. No defensive records will be set on his watch.

  3. politicallyincorrect says: Aug 6, 2014 5:43 PM

    funny me.. I assumed this referred to sacks given up by Panthers

  4. haraldsigurdson says: Aug 6, 2014 5:44 PM

    1989 Vikings had 71 sacks, and more amazingly, 60 sacks from their front four alone (Doleman 21, Millard 18, Thomas 9, and Noga 11.5). To me, that’s even more impressive than ’84 Bears with a heavy blitz approach getting only one more.

  5. schmitty2 says: Aug 6, 2014 5:47 PM

    Even with all the rules to protect the offense I think the Panthers have a good shot at it and call me crazy but I think the Rams could break it as well.

  6. bassplucker says: Aug 6, 2014 5:52 PM

    Well… they do play two games apiece against two teams with very questionable OLs — the Bucs and the Falcons — so it’s possible I suppose.

    A lot of that will depend on if Hardy can stay off the suspension list for the whole season.

  7. skoobyfl says: Aug 6, 2014 5:54 PM

    Buffalo might do that this year, monster D-line.

  8. officialgame says: Aug 6, 2014 6:05 PM

    There is the pre season, regular season, post season and the never ending talking season which thankfully will soon be over.

  9. djshnooks says: Aug 6, 2014 6:15 PM

    Buffalo had 3 guys with double-digit sacks last year…I thought they led the league in sacks and interceptions. Must’ve been 2nd.

  10. nowillrepeat says: Aug 6, 2014 6:16 PM

    They better hope they do, cause otherwise, looking like they could take a step back.

  11. haraldsigurdson says: Aug 6, 2014 6:19 PM

    In all fairness, I think the NFL owes it to their past players and fans to go back to the pre-1982 game films and ascertain official sack totals for all the NFL teams. I want to know how many sacks guys like Deacon Jones and Gino Marchetti really had. Our appreciation of these guys is really limited by not having any official numbers.

    For comparison, what kind of discussion would it be if we only knew that Ty Cobb “was really really good and seemed to get on base a lot” as opposed to “.366 lifetime batting average?”

  12. haraldsigurdson says: Aug 6, 2014 6:22 PM

    The thing about Buffalo last year is, yeah they had 57 sacks, but they also had 23 interceptions, too. So they pressured and covered well.

  13. heyguru69 says: Aug 6, 2014 6:28 PM

    And it’s so smart of them to publicize it to the world. (Opposing Coach): “Every other play screen or draw, men. Use their egos against them.”

  14. chrisco4bucs says: Aug 6, 2014 6:35 PM

    Won’t even come close, they will be wore out from being on the field too much, 5-11………..GOBUCS

  15. nosleeptilsb says: Aug 6, 2014 6:49 PM

    Seahawks fan here, but nothing but respect for the Panther defense, Eye of the Tiger is now Eye of the Panther. Go Hawks!

  16. doe22us says: Aug 6, 2014 6:52 PM

    Wait a min, so the guy that had 1 sack is s… talking, while the lead dogs havent said a word. Got it.

  17. kev86 says: Aug 6, 2014 6:57 PM

    Amazing how many all time greats and broken records we will witness. Talk is cheap. Happy August.

  18. sumkat says: Aug 6, 2014 7:12 PM

    Break the sacks record as in, most sacks surrendered by an offense?

  19. samhackney says: Aug 6, 2014 7:16 PM

    They may stand a chance of breaking the hotdog eating competition, but no one takes them seriously!

  20. dickshotdogs says: Aug 6, 2014 7:17 PM

    Lofty goal, but you’ll still finish fourth in the NFC South.

  21. nfloracle says: Aug 6, 2014 7:33 PM

    This reminds me of Ryan Kalil back in July of 2012 taking out a full page ad in the Charlotte Observer announcing before the season started that the Cats were headed to a SuperBowl.

    And all of us Carolina fans sure know how that turned out.

    Better to keep your trap shut until you’ve actually won the division and the conference titles.

    Going any other way turns out to be a jinx all too often.

  22. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 6, 2014 7:33 PM

    I agree. Looking at their Offensive line they will allow a record number of sacks.

  23. sportsfan18 says: Aug 6, 2014 7:37 PM

    They have to average a tick over 1 sack every quarter of every game to get there…

    Good luck

  24. burtmurphy1 says: Aug 6, 2014 7:58 PM

    They can’t.

  25. politicallyincorrect says: Aug 6, 2014 8:13 PM

    Panthers have a great shot to set the sack record…… on offense!

  26. Steeler Nation is so far above you and your lowly franchise. We built this league. Pittsburgh's three rivers are made from the tears of our opponents. Bow to your supreme overlords. says: Aug 6, 2014 8:47 PM

    The Steelers actually have a legit chance to do that this year.

  27. helicopterpilot13 says: Aug 6, 2014 8:49 PM

    Never sounds good when a team is yammering about breaking a dumb record instead of trying to make the playoffs.

  28. reporterofthetruth says: Aug 6, 2014 8:49 PM

    Considering the Offense has little to no passing game planned for 2014, the Defense should average 34-38 minutes per game on the field.
    It’s possible.

  29. snaxdsp says: Aug 6, 2014 9:00 PM

    Saints had 66 in 2000

  30. thereyougo2 says: Aug 6, 2014 9:01 PM

    Real important.

  31. montrealraider says: Aug 6, 2014 9:27 PM

    I dont remember a past training camp season with so many outrageous, bold predictions and statements. We are the best this, I am the best that, my QB will be MVP, my D line will brake that record… its like they play a contest of who can make the boldest calls with a strait face!

  32. clarkisgod says: Aug 6, 2014 9:31 PM

    Jamal Lewis is the last person I can think of who said they would go out and break a record and ACTUALLY DO IT!!

  33. pksoze says: Aug 6, 2014 10:21 PM

    Actually I think these guys have a shot to do that. I saw that defense first hand last year as a Giants fan and it brings a ton of pressure.

    And the funny thing with the league doing all this stuff to make it a passing league it actually gives defenses far more opportunities to sack a QB than when teams ran the ball half the time.

  34. micknangold says: Aug 6, 2014 10:22 PM

    making it clear that rules changes benefitting offenses is depressing the sack totals.

    Correlation doesn’t equal causation.

  35. fcoprado says: Aug 6, 2014 10:31 PM

    Rams have a better shot at breaking the record.

  36. seahawkfanfrom1970s says: Aug 7, 2014 12:11 AM

    If they get some help from their WRs this year they might just go all the way. Panther defense is murderous to run against. Team for team the NFC South is almost as tough on defense as the NFC West.

  37. motsuret06 says: Aug 7, 2014 12:54 AM

    I think the New York Jets defensive line and their defense will give them a run for their money. Its a lofty goal and we shall see and I wish them all the best.

  38. pantherpro says: Aug 7, 2014 1:08 AM

    Super Bowl for rednecks in North Carolina

  39. dino2997 says: Aug 7, 2014 1:55 AM

    Considering teams throw more than they did in 1984 it’s possible due to the number of additional opportunities but the reality is none of the Panther defensive linemen are better than what the 1984 Bears had so I don’t see it happening.

  40. pittsburghdamned says: Aug 7, 2014 2:56 AM

    The all-time Panthers sack record maybe…

    I believe they had 12 one year.

  41. djshnooks says: Aug 7, 2014 7:55 AM

    The Steelers? Lol.

    They won 3 games last year and haven’t done anything since Doug Whaley and the scouting department left there for Buffalo.

  42. sb44champs says: Aug 7, 2014 8:15 AM

    …not against the Saints this year…Saints have a WAY BETTER O-line this year… The Saints are better in the trenches

  43. sb44champs says: Aug 7, 2014 8:19 AM

    It takes a good offense to compliment the defense enough to give them some leads so they can pin their ears back for sacks but I just don’t see the Panthers having that good of an offense this year.

  44. conormacleod says: Aug 7, 2014 8:33 AM

    This season every record will fall! There. Now everybody else can shut up and just play.

  45. duck99 says: Aug 7, 2014 8:42 AM

    1984 Bears vs Raiders at Soldier Field. Watch a replay of that game if you want to see dominating defense from both sides. Don’t watch if you have a child that wants to play QB.

  46. jcrileyesq says: Aug 7, 2014 9:36 AM

    the guy with one more sack than me last year is making predictions about breaking the sack record.. you might want to chip in a little more this year

  47. micknangold says: Aug 7, 2014 10:41 AM

    I think the New York Jets defensive line and their defense will give them a run for their money. Its a lofty goal and we shall see and I wish them all the best.

    Considering Wilkerson led the tea with 10.5, there’s no reason to project a sudden massive improvement. Consistent pressure is more important anyway.

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