Much of the focus on Monday night was on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger playing his final home game, but linebacker T.J. Watt stole a good bit of the spotlight over the course of the 26-14 win.
Watt recorded four sacks of Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and he now has 21.5 sacks on the season. That leaves him one sack away from tying Michael Strahan’s official single-season record and 1.5 sacks behind Al Baker’s unofficial record from the 1978 season.
After the game, Watt said his focus isn’t on the numbers but on making sure he creates as much havoc as possible for opposing teams.
“I tell people all the time, the first year or two, I used to do big individual goals: ‘x’ amount of sacks, [tackles for loss], all that stuff,” Watt said, via Steelers Depot. “But it adds too much pressure. You start chasing and all that stuff. Now it’s just trying to affect every game the best that I can prepare and t’s been working for me. So I’m not really looking at goals like that any more. I’m just trying to be a game-wrecker.”
The nice thing for Watt is that wrecking games tends to lead to numbers that make for records and individual accolades, so Watt can kill multiple birds with the same stone. Speaking of birds, the Steelers close the season with the Ravens and no team has allowed more sacks than the 54 that Baltimore’s allowed this season. That sets up well for a new single-season sack record being set before the week is out.