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T.J. Watt Passes Brother J.J. Watt in NFL Sack History



Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt runs out of the tunnel against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct. 29, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt (88.0) has surpassed J.J. Watt (87.5 sacks) for the second-most sacks by a player in his first 100 career games since 1982 (in 96 career games). Only former Green Bay Packer and Hall of Famer Reggie White has recorded more sacks (105) in his first 100 games.

Watt sacked Packers quarterback Jordan Love at the 5:05 mark of the second quarterback. With Keeanu Benton providing pressure up the middle, Watt beat Packers right tackle Zach Tom off the edge to bring down Love. Two plays later, Love conned to rookie Jayden Reed for a 35-yard touchdown to cut the Steelers’ lead to 17-13. Patrick Peterson blocked the extra point.

With growing up in Wisconsin, J.J. Watt said it’s a real honor for he and T.J. to be mentioned in the same breath as Reggie White.

“We grew up in Wisconsin, idolizing Reggie White. If you told us that someday a stat like this would exist, we wouldn’t believe you. Pretty damn cool,” J.J. wrote on X.

Watt’s sack in the second quarter gives him a league-high 10.5 on the season. He surpassed James Harrison for the franchise all-time sack record in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns at Acrisure Stadium. Watt started the season in third place in team history at 77.5.

The 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Watt set the NFL single-season sack record with 22.5 that year. He also led the NFL in sacks with 15 in 2020 and led the league in tackles for loss in both 2020 and 2021.

He missed seven games in 2022 after tearing his pectoral muscle in the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury could have been season-ending, but he battled to return, even though he was not his usual self down the stretch run. He finished 2022 with 5.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss in 1o games.

Sacks have only been an official NFL statistic since 1982. Research by Pro Football Reference says that L.C. Greenwood would have had 78 sacks if they were officially counted in his career.