Michael Strahan’s record of 22.5 sacks in a season has stood for 17 years, but Aaron Donald may finally be the savior who takes it away. That’d be a good thing, because Strahan’s record is bullshit.
The Hall of Famer finished his career with 141.5 sacks — the sixth most all-time — but the one that put him one of ahead of Mark Gastineau was garbage. In short, Brett Favre intentionally got sacked in the final minutes of a Week 17 game to give his friend the record. You can read more about that here. What’s important now is that Donald has a real shot at getting to 23 sacks.
Through 12 games this season, Donald has 16.5 sacks. That puts the Rams’ star defensive tackle on pace for 22 sacks.
But Donald had zero sacks through the first three weeks of the season, so all 16.5 were tallied in his last nine games. If he continues the pace he’s been on since Week 4, Donald would finish with about 24 sacks.
It’s absurd that a defensive tackle could be the record breaker
A few players have come close to knocking off Strahan, but never a player from the interior of a defensive line. Since sacks started being recorded as a stat in 1982, no player listed as a defensive tackle has ever had more than 18 in a season.
Sacks are a stat usually dominated by defensive ends and linebackers rushing off the edge. Even Donald — a Pro Bowler in each of his first four seasons and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year — hadn’t topped 11 sacks in a season before 2018.
He spent his offseason training by dodging knives and then sat out preseason while angling for a new contract. He got that blockbuster deal at the end of August, and hit the field as an even better version of his already dominant self.