Thursday, May 26

NFL catch record: Will TJ Watt or Myles Garrett reach Michael Strahan’s total in one season?

Adding a 17th game to the NFL schedule doesn’t give teams with playoff aspirations an extra week to gain ground. It also gives players an extra week to accumulate regular season stats.

Everyone knew going into the 2021 season that their single season records could be in jeopardy. There have been 16 weeks in a season regularly since 1978, and almost every single season record has been set during that time period. With an additional game, it is only a matter of time until all records are reset once more.

Notably, Michael Strahan’s single season sack record of 22.5 since 2001 appears to be threatened this year by two defensive players from the AFC North. Steelers linebacker TJ Watt has racked up sacks, leading the league with 16 despite missing a couple of games, and Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is not far behind, just two behind with 14 this year. .

Could you break the record? Sporting News take a look.

What is the NFL season sack record?

Although the unofficial record is 23, set by Al Baker in 1978, Strahan sits at the top of the NFL’s single-season sack record list at 22.5 in 2001. Twice since then, players have reached 22, but the record remains intact.

This is how Watt and Garrett have looked so far this season in pursuit of the record.

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How many bags does TJ Watt have in 2021?

As things stand after Week 13, the closest thing to the record is Watt. Watt has 16 sacks this season, despite being limited to just 10 games, and he’s past his bye week. Pro Football Focus currently rates Watt with the 11th best rushing rating among NFL defenders (90.5) and puts it in a tie for 5th best in fast pass productivity among players with rated snap counts at 10.4.

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Here’s what Watt has for the rest of the season.

Week Team Sacks are allowed PFF Pass Block Efficiency
14 Vikings 18 (T-2nd) 85.4 (17º)
fifteen Titans 33 (T-25) 80.8 (31º)
sixteen Bosses 21 (T-5th) 87.5 (seventh)
17 Brown 34 (27th) 86.1 (13th)
18 Crows 43 (32º) 85.0 (20º)

Two of the teams Watt will face, the Browns and the Ravens, whom he already played in 2021. He had 1.5 sacks against the Browns in Week 8, and had a season-best 3.5 sacks against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Week 13.

The schedule would certainly seem to favor Watt for a productive stretch. The Chiefs are the only team the Steelers will face in the coming weeks that are above average in both sacks allowed this season and in pass blocking efficiency. Watt would need seven more sacks in five games to get to Strahan, which would be an average of 1.4 per game. So far this season, he’s averaging 1.6 per game and has only two games without a catch.

If he broke the record, he would probably do it in 15 games, one less than Strahan in his record season.

How many sacks does Myles Garrett have in 2021?

Garrett is just behind Watt in the category of sacks with 14, and also anticipates to be in the race for the record of sacks. The Browns were free last week, which means he, too, has a full season ahead of him. He is listed as the second best pass rushers in the NFL by PFF with 92.4, and has the second best rush productivity grade pass with 11.3. Both numbers are only behind Dallas’ Micah Parsons.

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This is the remaining schedule ahead of Garrett.

Week Team Sacks are allowed PFF pass blocking efficiency
14 Crows 43 (32º) 85.0 (20º)
fifteen Assailants 27 (T-19) 83.6 (25º)
sixteen Packers 23 (T-11) 85.4 (T-17)
17 Steelers 25 (T-14) 88.8 (3rd)
18 Bengals 36 (29th) 85.7 (15º)

Like Watt, Garrett only has one team that is above average in both sacks allowed and pass blocking efficiency, which would be Watt’s Steelers. The teams Garrett will face have allowed more sacks (154-149), but slightly higher average pass blocking efficiency (85.7-84.96). The two schedules are comparable, as each is packed with playoff contenders and a few division rivals.

However, the road will continue to be a bit more difficult for Garrett than for Watt. He’s two behind his AFC North counterpart, and would need an average of 1.8 per game to hit the nine needed to break Strahan’s record. He has logged more than 1.5 sacks just once, coming back in Week 3 against the Bears when he scored 4.5. He has averaged 1.17 sacks per game.

It would still be dangerous to count Garrett here, given how explosive he can be. But Watt will be the most likely bet to break the record, assuming he can stay on the field.

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