T.J. Watt has joined Michael Strahan in the NFL record books. The Steelers' All-Pro pass rusher has tied Strahan's 20-year-old record for sacks in a single season. Watt, who entered Sunday with 21.5 sacks, tied Strahan's record after sacking Tyler Huntley with under 30 seconds left in the first half of Pittsburgh's Week 18 showdown in Baltimore.
The sack that tied the @NFL record ⬇️@_TJWatt | 📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/gdipPzoXl9— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 9, 2022
Watt matched Strahan's record despite missing two games earlier this season while dealing with groin and rib injuries. Watt, who led the NFL with 15 sacks in 2020, matched Reggie White's NFL record earlier this season after recording his fourth consecutive season with at least 13 sacks. In last week's win over the Browns, Watt joined White and older brother J.J. Watt as the only players to have at least 70 sacks in their first five seasons.
Watt also broke former teammate James Harrison's franchise single-season record this season. Watt may join Harrison as a Defensive Player of the Year recipient this season after finishing second in the voting to Aaron Donald last season.
"Early on in my career, I would look at those individual awards and would set individual statistical goals," Watt said during a recent conversation with Bryant McFadden on CBS Sports' "All Things Covered" podcast. "The longer I've been in, the more I realize that you don't need to add any more pressure to yourself. … Be healthy and put in absolutely everything you have into preparing for games and everything will take of itself.
"Winning means everything, especially late in the season. We're trying to make a playoff push, and the best way I can help this team win games is by making plays, and that's what I need to continue to do if we want to get to where we want to be."