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30 Scenarios in 30 Days: T.J. Watt will break the single-season sack record

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2024 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp back at Saint Vincent College in order to fine tune their skills. As we here at SCN prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario…

Scenario: T.J. Watt will break the single-season sack record

Why it will happen: Watt was drafted in 2017, and if I’ve learned anything in the time since he was the Steelers 1st Round pick that year is to never underestimate Watt. The former Defensive Player of the Year, who should probably have three of those awards if we’re being honest, was able to rack up 19 sacks last season, and he missed Week 18 after suffering a knee injury in Week 17. You’d have to think the 20 sack mark would have been eclipsed yet again.

For those who don’t remember, the single-season sack record is tied between Watt and Michael Strahan at 22.5 sacks. To get to that number you need two things:

  • Stay healthy
  • Get some luck

Every game there are those plays where the quarterback slips and it’s whoever touches the down quarterback who is credited with the sack. If Watt can get some of those sacks, and stay healthy in the process, he should be right around the 20 sack mark yet again. If Alex Highsmith can do his part on the opposite side, Watt should see more one-on-one situations where he can win and get to the quarterback.

It won’t be easy, but I’ve learned to not doubt T.J. Watt.

Why it won’t happen: At this point, it feels like the only thing keeping T.J. Watt away from breaking his 22.5 sack mark would be injury, or the officials not calling the many holding calls which seem obvious to the layman watching football.

Watt just seems like he is the inevitable force which will break all records possible, but the two aforementioned forces standing in his way have certainly done their share of damage throughout his career. On top of all that, Watt openly said this is the first offseason where he didn’t feel like he was a young guy anymore. Does this mean he is taking more of a leadership role with the team, or is this speaking more to the natural changes which happen as players age.

It took 20 years for a player to tie Strahan, so the odds of it happening so quickly seem to be unlikely.

Prediction: While I want to say there is no doubt Watt breaks this record, I also realize just how difficult it would be for Watt to even get 20 sacks, let alone 23. It pains me to write this, but I don’t see it happening. In fact, I’d be thrilled if he and Highsmith both had double-digit sacks, stayed healthy, and were able to not just get to the playoffs but wreak havoc when they get there. I’ve been proven wrong before though, and would be fine if Watt proved me wrong again.

Miss a scenario? You can see the full list of scenarios below, and be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for training camp.

Day 6: George Pickens Will Have Double-Digit Receiving TDs

Day 5: Russell Wilson Will Start All 17 Steelers Games In 2024

Day 4: The Steelers Defense Will Have More Takeaways This Season

Day 3: The Steelers Will Top Their 2023 Sack Total

Day 2: The Steelers Offense Will Have More Turnovers This Season

Day 1: The Steelers Will Go Above And Beyond Their Win-Loss Prediction In 2024


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