T.J. Watt closing in on Steelers’ all-time sack record

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T.J. Watt is closing in on the Steelers’ franchise record for most career sacks, a record Watt should break this season.

Watt has 72 sacks so far in his NFL career, and as noted by the Steelers’ website, that puts him just nine sacks away from breaking James Harrison’s franchise record of 80.5 sacks as a Steeler.

Although the NFL only began recording sacks as an official statistic for defensive players in 1982, Pro-Football-Reference.com has sack data going back to the 1960s, and that data shows the two Steelers closest behind Harrison both played before sacks were an official statistic: L.C. Greenwood retired with 78 sacks, while Mean Joe Greene retired with 77.5. Both Greenwood and Greene played for the Steelers from 1969 to 1981.

In fourth place in Steelers history is Jason Gildon, with 77 sacks, and then Watt with 72.

Watt has led the NFL in sacks two years in a row, with 22.5 last year and 15 the year before, so he’s highly likely to get the nine sacks he needs to become the Steelers’ all-time leader.

13 responses to “T.J. Watt closing in on Steelers’ all-time sack record

  1. It’s pretty crazy to imagine the success he would have had on a different team. He is a beast.

  2. And to think that the Packers traded with the Steelers and moved DOWN to draft Kevin King (who lost them a SB berth), while the Steelers drafted TJ.

  3. I am floored that Greenwood and Greene don’t have more than 78 career sacks. I always thought that Steel Curtain defensive line was similar in sack numbers to the Vikings and Rams, but I guess they held teams down in a different way.

  4. 72 sacks is impressive, but even more impressive when you consider he has done it in only 5 seasons.

  5. The GM is Kwesi says:
    June 2, 2022 at 12:40 pm
    I am floored that Greenwood and Greene don’t have more than 78 career sacks. I always thought that Steel Curtain defensive line was similar in sack numbers to the Vikings and Rams, but I guess they held teams down in a different way.
    ——————————–
    Yes that really surprised me too. Per the article they both played for Steelers for 12 years – that’s 6.5 sacks a year. Not what I would have expected from those two great players.

  6. It’s an impressive stat. Now he’ll just need to find a new team and get a ring

  7. The GM is Kwesi says:
    I am floored that Greenwood and Greene don’t have more than 78 career sacks.
    ———————
    14 game seasons. All four linemen were monsters, so sacks were distributed.

  8. Additional factors re Greene’s and Greenwood’s sacks: Teams ran a lot more in their era, although that ratio got a boost to passing with the 1978 rule changes that benefitted offenses. TJ Watt is such a great player – clearly, Moms and Pops Watt have epic genes!!

  9. The GM is Kwesi says:
    I am floored that Greenwood and Greene don’t have more than 78 career sacks.
    ———————
    14 game seasons. All four linemen were monsters, so sacks were distributed.
    ———————

    Yes. 14 game seasons. All 4 linemen were monsters and rushing the ball was much more prevalent in the 70’s then passing the ball is in today’s game… resulting in fewer opportunities for sacks.

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