TJ Watt Breaks NFL Sack Record Amid Controversy Over Strahan's 2001 Mark

TJ Watt becomes the first player to lead the NFL in sacks three times, setting a new record with 19 sacks in 2023. Meanwhile, new evidence emerges suggesting Michael Strahan's single-season sack record from 2001 may be inflated due to a record-keeping error.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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TJ Watt Breaks NFL Sack Record Amid Controversy Over Strahan's 2001 Mark

TJ Watt Breaks NFL Sack Record Amid Controversy Over Strahan's 2001 Mark

Pittsburgh Steelerslinebacker TJ Watthas made NFL history in 2023, becoming the first player to lead the league in sacks three times. Watt finished the regular season with 19 sacks, setting a new record despite missing time due to an MCL sprain.

However, Watt's achievement comes amidst renewed scrutiny of Michael Strahan's single-season sack record from 2001. Social media user JaguarGator9NFL on X (formerly Twitter) claims to have uncovered evidence suggesting Strahan's 22.5-sack total may have been inflated by a record-keeping error in a game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The play in question occurred in Week 8 of the 2001 season, with Cowboys quarterback Clint Stoerner snapping the ball from the Giants' 44-yard line. Stoerner scrambled upfield and was tackled at the 43 1/2-yard line, with officials moving the ball forward half a yard. The play was recorded as a sack for Strahan, but JaguarGator9NFL argues that Stoerner actually gained half a yard, making it a tackle rather than a sack.

If the disputed play is reclassified as a tackle, Strahan's 2001 total would be reduced to 21.5 sacks, leavingWatt as the undisputedsingle-season record holder. Watt tied Strahan's mark in 2021 with 22.5 sacks of his own.

Since being drafted by the Steelers in the first round in 2017, Watt has established himself as one of the NFL's premier defensive players. He has earned six Pro Bowl selections, four first-team All-Pro honors, and was named AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2021.

In a recent interview, Watt expressed excitement about the Steelers' offseason acquisitions of quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields, saying,"I'm excited for both of them... I'm just hoping I can learn something from those guys and hopefully show them how things are done in Pittsburgh, as well."

As the 2024 NFL season approaches, all eyes will be onWatt to see ifhe can further solidify his status as one of the greatest pass rushers in league history. Meanwhile, the debate surrounding Strahan's 2001 record is likely to continue, with fans and analysts closely examining the evidence to determine the rightful owner of the single-season sack crown.