TJ Watts further engraved his name on steelmakers story during Pittsburgh’s Monday night matchup against the Browns. 2021 NFL The Defensive Player of the Year broke James Harrison’s franchise sack record when he pinned Deshaun Watson with just over a minute left in the first half.

Watt now has 81.5 career sacks, surpassing Harrison’s tally of 80.5 sacks during his decorated 14-year career with the Steelers. Ironically, Harrison set the previous franchise mark against the Browns in Week 11 of the 2016 season.

Watt now sits atop the following list of Steelers all-time sack leaders.

Steelers all-time sack leaders

TJ Watt (2017-present)


James Harrison (2002, 2004-12, 2014-17)


Cam Heyward (2011-present)


L. C. Greenwood (1969-81)


Joe Greene (1969-81) 77.5
Jason Gildon (1994-03) 77

Watt (’21) and Harrison (2008) are flanked by Joe Greene (1972 and ’74), Mel Blount (1975), Jack Lambert (1976), Rod Woodson (1993) and Troy Polamalu (2010) as Steelers players who have earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Watt took home the honor after tying Michael Strahan’s NFL single-season record of 22.5 sacks.

Watt’s brother JJ, an analyst for NFL Today on CBS, offered his opinion on his brother’s talent after the record-breaking sack:

The 2017 first-round pick is off to a stellar start this season. In Week 1, Watt had three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, being one of the only bright spots in the Steelers’ 30-7 loss to the 49ers. Watt tied Harrison’s record with his third sack of 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, prompting Harrison to congratulate his former teammate via social media.

While he is the Steelers’ new official sack king, Watt’s main goal in the NFL is doing something his former teammate did twice during his career: lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy. But before he can do that, Watt wants to help the Steelers break their seven-year playoff drought.

“I’ve played three playoff games and haven’t won any, so that’s a big problem.” Watt told CBS Sports during the low season. “That’s probably the number one goal: make the playoffs, win a playoff game and go from there.

“I’m not talking about individual goals anymore. I’ve positioned myself well where I’ve had a good career, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not winning games when they matter most. I think that’s goal. No. 1, for sure.”