PITTSBURGH — The celebration and the official accolades came two weeks ago, when T.J. Watt’s 17th sack of the season in the Steelers’ win over the Tennessee Titans gave him the official team record, breaking the mark set by James Harrison in 2008.
But with his 18th sack of the season on Monday against the Cleveland Browns, he passed another important milestone.
Sacks have only been official NFLO statistics since 1982, but thanks to research unveiled earlier this year by Pro Football Reference, we now have accurate sack totals back to 1960. And according to that research, the Steelers’ record actually belong to Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, who had 17.5 sacks in 1931.
Watt came around the end to sack Baker Mayfield on the final play of the first quarter to set the record with 18.5, breaking a tie with Lipscomb.
The Steelers don’t officially recognize Lipscomb’s mark, but Watt passing it — and doing it in the same 14 games that Lipscomb played — eliminates any doubt about the best pass-rushing season in Steelers’ history.