Smith trapped Jesse Palmer for a record-setting 199th sack and Tim Hasselbeck threw two touchdown passes as the Redskins beat the New York Giants 20-7 in a meaningless game that ended with only a couple of thousand people and few snowmen in the stands.
"I don't know what to feel like," Smith said after the Redskins (5-8) snapped a three-game losing streak and eliminated the Giants (4-9) from the playoff race.
"I have been playing this game a long time," said the 40-year-old who wore a burgundy robe with the inscription "All Time" on the front. "I've had a lot of surgeries. A lot of very important people were instrumental in prolonging my career."
Reggie White held the old mark of 198.
"I grew up watching him," Hasselbeck said. "Being around him for a little while, it's amazing what he's accomplished. To be on the field, I won't have to say I saw it in my living room."
NFL single-season sacks record holder Michael Strahan was happy for Smith despite the disappointment of the Giants' fifth straight loss. The two friends hugged after the game.
"Before the season that was his goal," Strahan said. "That's a testament to how long he has played and how consistent he has been to do that. That's a number I think he'll be the only one to get."
The Giants not only lost their fifth straight at home, they also lost quarterback Kerry Collins in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle, courtesy of a hit by Smith.
"It wasn't my intention to hurt Kerry," Smith said. "It was my intention to knock the heck out of him."
Some of the Giants were a little miffed at Smith because the hit came on a play officials blew dead for delay of game.
Smith created the most lasting memory in the game for last place in the NFC East when he tackled Palmer for a 7-yard loss with 8:33 to play. He put an inside power move on tackle Ian Allen., grabbed Palmer around the left ankle and pulled him down.
Smith stood up, raised an arm in the air and was mobbed by teammates, walking off the field and waving to the crowd, which booed.
"I heard everyone say `Bruuuucce!"' Palmer said. "I figured that was it, I was part of the record. I should have least gotten a `Thanks."'
John Hall added field goals of 28 and 41 yards for Washington.
Dorsey Levens scored on a 5-yard run for the Giants, who were booed by the hardy few who stayed to the final gun in what might be coach Jim Fassel's next-to-last home game.
Former Giants Jessie Armstead had two of the Redskins six sacks and a fumble recovery against his former teammates.
By the time Smith got the record, the Redskins were in control.
Hasselbeck, who was 13-of-19 for 154 yards, gave them a 10-7 lead with his TD pass to McCants early in the second quarter. He upped the margin to 10 by leading them on an 80-yard scoring drive into a 25 mph to open the second half.
The game was mistake-marred, as expected.
Tiki Barber, whose fumbles have hurt the Giants all season, lost another on the second play from scrimmage, setting up Hall's 28-yard field goal.
The Giants squandered a chance on their next possession when Matt Bryant missed a 26-yard field goal into the wind, but Levens gave them the lead on their next series with his run. It capped a 36-yard drive set up by a 16-yard punt by Bryan Barker.
The Giants special teams didn't protect the lead, allowing Patrick Johnson to break two tackles for a 50-yard return on the ensuing kickoff. Hasselbeck wobbled a 6-yard TD pass to McCants to cap the 34-yard drive.
Bruce Smith (78) is congratulated by teammates after breaking the sacks record. (AP)
|FG||John Hall 28 Yd, 10:52. Drive: 7 plays, 17 yards in 3:34.|
|TD||Dorsey Levens, 5 Yd run (Matt Bryant kick is good), 2:14. Drive: 7 plays, 35 yards in 3:19.|
|TD||Darnerien McCants, 6 Yd pass from Tim Hasselbeck (John Hall kick is good), 14:02. Drive: 6 plays, 34 yards in 3:12.|
|TD||Rod Gardner, 7 Yd pass from Tim Hasselbeck (John Hall kick is good), 10:04. Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards in 4:56.|
|FG||John Hall 41 Yd, 10:42. Drive: 6 plays, 16 yards in 2:03.|
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