T.J. Watt remains tied with Michael Strahan after Elias rejects Steelers’ appeal of aborted snap

NFL: JAN 09 Steelers at Ravens
Getty Images

Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt thought he tied Michael Strahan’s sacks record in the first quarter when he knocked the ball from Tyler Huntley in the backfield. He didn’t. At least officially.

Ravens center Bradley Bozeman appeared to think Huntley was under center rather than in the shotgun when he snapped the ball. The ball rolled to Huntley, who covered it and was getting up when Watt knocked the ball loose. Henry Mondeaux recovered for Pittsburgh.

The botched snap was ruled an aborted play. Watt got credit for a tackle for loss and a forced fumble, and Bozeman and Huntley both were given fumbles.

“It was empty [backfield], and there was a bad snap,” Watt told Albert Breer of SI.com. “He fell on it, but then he got up. And when he got back up on his two feet, I tackled him and got the ball out. So, I mean, he very well could have still thrown the ball. My understanding was that it was a sack, but apparently it wasn’t, at least according to the statisticians.”

The Elias Sports Bureau, which has final say, agreed with the statisticians in Baltimore.

The Steelers confirmed Wednesday that they inquired about the play, hoping to give Watt another sack, but Elias rejected their appeal. Watt’s only sack of Huntley came in the second quarter, allowing him to tie Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5.

Twenty years later, Strahan’s record remains controversial because Packers quarterback Brett Favre appeared to take a dive to allow Strahan to touch him down and break the previous mark of 22.

If Elias had given Watt a sack for the aborted snap, he, too, would have faced questions about the record sack. Alas, three days after the Steelers’ final regular-season game, Elias kept Watt at 22.5, which should be good enough to win him defensive player of the year.

12 responses to “T.J. Watt remains tied with Michael Strahan after Elias rejects Steelers’ appeal of aborted snap

  1. I’m a Steeler fan and a TJ fan, I haven’t seen or heard anything to make me think he didn’t get robbed.

  2. I didnt want him to break Strahans record (didnt know that about Favre) but after reading this … seems like he got screwed a bt. Maybe its just this laughable explanation

  3. My how the times have changed when all Steelers fans have to brag about TJ Watt’s accomplishments when they used to be contenders every year.

  4. So if Huntley had stood up and thrown the ball away, like QBs do all the time on broken plays…. He also got robbed of a 1/2 sack on Heyward’s roughing call.

  5. The Elias Sports Bureau is based in New York. Enough said on that matter. Nothing to see here. Move along……………….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.