Steelers outside linebacker, T.J. Watt is off to a hot start to the 2021 season, despite missing a game from his groin injury and limping through another as he got back to full health. Despite playing obviously injured against the Packers Watt was still able to pick up a pair of sacks. Sometimes the stats just find the best players in the league as a testament to their work ethic and that is exactly what Watt got in Green Bay. Through just three games played the youngest Watt brother has tallied 5 sacks (tied for second in the league), 11 tackles, and 2 forced fumbles (tied for first). All of this and he has played one less game than most players in the league.
With such impressive numbers like these in such a short period of time maybe it’s time to ask whether or not T.J. Watt will have one of those truly memorable seasons and perhaps break some records along the way. The Steelers single season sacks record is still held by James Harrison with 16 sacks back in the 2008 season. T.J. Watt is currently on pace for 26.5 sacks (which would be an NFL record), although that total is likely not possible to achieve, he has put himself on a trajectory to knock down Harrison as the Steelers single season sack king. Only trailing 11 sacks of the record currently, Watt will need to average just .84 sacks per game the rest of the way out to tie the mark. If Watt can stay healthy the rest of the season he has been averaging 1+ sack per game dating back to the 2019 season.
With just 6 more sacks Watt would also pass the likes of Dwight White, LaMarr Woodley, Keith Willis, Cam Heyward, and Joey Porter for fifth all-time on the Steelers career sack list. The most unbelievable part of all this is T.J. is only just three games into his fifth NFL season and the rest of the players listed above played full careers worth of games with the black and gold.
Watt has quickly cemented his legacy in the steel city and will quickly find himself alone in first place for the sack numbers list, and possibly the first Steeler to crack 100 in his career.
Perhaps this may finally be the season where T.J. Watt gets to hoist his defensive player of the year award. Year after year of snubs have made Watt an even better player. When he is on the field, and 100% heathy, you can see how much better the Steelers defense plays. He is the engine of this defense and more than capable of being the most valuable player on the defensive side of the football for the NFL.
But what do you think? Will 2021 be a special year for T.J. Watt? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.