T.J. Watt Could Reach A Number Of Milestones In 2022 For Steelers

The heights that Pittsburgh Steelers’ star outside linebacker T.J. Watt reached in 2021 were out of this world.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year won his record third-straight Steelers’ Team MVP award, tied the NFL’s single-season sacks record, earned yet another First Team All-Pro accolade and landed another berth in the Pro Bowl. Now, ahead of his sixth season in the NFL, Watt could continue to leave his mark in the NFL’s record books.

According to CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr, Watt is primed to reach a number of milestones in 2022 with another otherworldly year, stating that Watt is, “entering the conversation of the greatest pass rushers ever.”

In 2022, Watt has a chance to become the first Steeler ever to win four straight Team MVP awards, along with four in total. On top of that, he needs just 9.0 sacks to surpass former Cowboys and Broncos great DeMarcus Ware (80.0) for the second-most sacks by a player in his first six NFL seasons (since sacks became an official stat in 1982). Only Eagles and Packers great Reggie White (95.0) has more. Watt currently sits at 72.0 career sacks.

Watt also needs 13.0 sacks to become the first player since 1982 to record at least 13 sacks in five consecutive seasons. The Steelers’ star also needs 15.0 sacks to join White (1986-88) as the only players since 1982 to record at least 15 sacks in three consecutive NFL seasons. Additionally, if Watt his 20.0 sacks again, he’d become the first player since 1982 to record at least 20 sacks in consecutive seasons.

To top it all off, Watt sits just 8.5 sacks away from tying James Harrison for the Steelers’ franchise record for sacks in a career with 80.5. Watt, who has played just five seasons, already sits fifth all-time with 72.0. He’ll pass the likes of Jason Gildon (77.0), Joe Greene (77.5) and L.C. Greenwood (78.0) before getting to Harrison this season, presuming good health overall.

It’s been a remarkable start to a career for Watt, who is already on a Hall of Fame trajectory. Currently, Watt has a 53.40 Hall of Fame monitor score from Pro Football Reference, which I’ve used in the past to make the Hall of Fame cases for the likes of L.C. Greenwood and James Farrior. That already puts him in the top 35 at the outside linebacker position, and he’s played just five seasons. Adding a championship, one more First Team All-Pro accolade and fort more Pro Bowls — not out the question at all with Watt — would make him a Hall of Fame lock.

Adding those individual numbers and milestones in 2022 would go a long way on Watt’s Hall of Fame résumé.

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