With reaching the 19-sack mark on the season against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, T.J. Watt joined his brother J.J., DeMarcus Ware and Mark Gastineau as the only four players in NFL history to have multiple 19-sack seasons. Watt recorded two sacks on Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley to break a tie with Trey Hendrickson of the Bengals for the league sack lead.
Watt is in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, an award that he won in 2021 when he tied the NFL single-season sack record with Micheal Strahan (22.5 sacks).
J.J. is the only player to record 20 or more sacks in multiple seasons since sacks became officially tracked in 1982 (20.5 in 2012 and 2014). Ware had 19 sacks or more in 2008 and 2011, while Gastineau did it in 1983 and 1984.
T.J. Watt has led the league in sacks twice before in 2020 and 2021. If he ends up being the league sack leader in 2023, he will become the first player to lead the NFL in sacks three times. Watt also came into Saturday’s game tied for first in quarterback hits (33), tied for second in fumble recoveries (3), tied for fifth in forced fumbles (4) and tied for sixth in tackles for a loss (16).
J.J. gave a shoutout to T.J. on X for his two sacks and league-high 19 sacks.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR.
1st Player in NFL History to lead the league in Sacks 3 times.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) January 6, 2024
Watt currently hold the Steelers’ all-time sack record with 96.5. James Harrison (81.5 sacks) previously held the record until Watt broke it against the Cleveland Browns in Week 2 of this season. Earlier this week, Watt was named to his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl. He has been named first-team All-Pro four times in his career, and will likely accomplish that feat again this year.
Watt suffered a knee injury in the third quarter after leaping up to stop Huntley. He was hit by friendly fire with defensive tackle Montravius Adams, and Watt’s lower leg got hit. It is unclear on the severity of Watt’s injury, but he immediately went into the blue medical tent and then left to the locker room. He was ruled out for the game.