The 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers regular season is quickly approaching, but first is training camp with the players reporting to Saint Vincent College on July 26th. With it being less than a month before Steelers football returns to our lives on a regular basis, many are wondering what the upcoming season has in store for the black and gold?
Sure, we can debate win-loss totals and who will be the starting quarterback in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era, but there was another question I wanted answered by the Steelers faithful.
How many sacks will T.J. Watt have in 2022?
This was the Steelers Burning Question last week, as a part of DraftKings Sportsbook and the DraftKings React survey, and when posed with the question the results were split.
Take a look at the breakdown of the poll which had 17-19 sacks for Watt in this upcoming 2022 regular season.
Some might see 17-19 as the most popular prediction for Watt’s sack total and think it would be a step back from his 2021 statistics. After all, he tied the NFL record for sacks in a season with 22.5 last year. In case you forgot, here were Watt’s stats from last season:
- Games: 15
- Pass Defenses: 7
- Forced Fumbles: 5
- Fumble Recoveries: 3
- Sacks: 22.5
- TFL: 21
- QB Hits: 39
So, if you thought Watt only getting 17-19 sacks was a step back, you would be right, from a statistical standpoint. But when did some digging on players who have recorded 20+ sacks in a season, and how they did the following season, here’s what I found:
2001: Michael Strahan — 22.5 sacks
2002: Michael Strahan — 11 sacks in 16 games
2008: Demarcus Ware — 20 sacks
2009: Demarcus Ware — 11 sacks in 16 games
2011: Jared Allen — 22 sacks
2012: Jared Allen — 12 sacks in 16 games
2012: J.J. Watt — 20.5 sacks
2013: J.J. Watt — 10.5 in 16 games
2014: J.J. Watt — 20 sacks
2015: J.J. Watt — 17.5 in 16 games
2014: Justin Houston — 22 sacks
2015: Justin Houston — 7.5 in 11 games
2018: Aaron Donald — 20.5 sacks
2019: Aaron Donald — 12.5 in 16 games
When you put this into context, if Watt is able to get 17-19 sacks in 2022, it should be viewed as a tremendous feat considering the recent history of players who have been able to hit the 20 sack milestone during a season.
What do you think Watt’s season will look like this year? Do you see a small step back in sacks, or will he continue to dominate the competition every chance he gets and make a new single-season mark? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the remainder of this offseason.
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