NFL Stats Leader 2021: Who has the most sacks heading into Week 16?

NFL Stats Leaders in Sacks
NFL Stats Leaders in Sacks

Another week is gone, and the field is getting clearer in terms of NFL stats leaders when it comes to sacks. Matthew Judon, who was on the leaderboard last week, dropped out after he could not add to his tally, leaving the top five NFL stats leaders with sacks further crystallized.


Also Read: NFL Stats Leader 2021: Who has the most sacks heading into Week 15?


But to say there has been much movement at the top would be misleading, as all the players who were there last week are still there, except Judon. There has been a slight change in order from last week as Myles Garrett did not record any sacks, but Robert Quinn did. Let's see how they all line up.

NFL Stats Leaders After Week 15: Sacks

#5 - Trey Hendrickson, Cincinnati Bengals, 13 sacks

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers

Trey Hendrickson tied for fifth last week with Matthew Judon but took sole possession of the fifth spot this week among NFL stats leaders for sacks after recording half a sack in their game against the Denver Broncos. He had two assisted tackles and three combined tackles in the game.

In total, this season, he has had 19 solo tackles and 13 assisted tackles for a combined 32 tackles. He has recorded 88 yards in sacks. While he does not have any interceptions or pass deflections, which is not a surprise given he plays as a defensive end, he has been responsible for three forced fumbles. It shows his ability to hassle passers, and he remains an asset for the Cincinnati Bengals as they now sit atop the AFC North and look to book their ticket to the playoffs.

#T3 - Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers, 15 sacks

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks
San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks

Nick Bosa remains tied for third on the list of NFL stats leaders in sacks after he recorded a sack in their game against the Atlanta Falcons. He recorded one forced fumble and had a solitary combined tackle count.

That brought his total to 15 sacks for the season. He has also now recorded 35 solo tackles and eight assisted tackles for a combined total of 43. His yardage on sacks is 118. Much like Trey Hendrickson, as a defensive end, his strength is not interceptions, but he has recorded a single pass deflection this season. But with the latest forced fumble this week, he has increased his total number in that category to four, the joint highest among all NFL stats leaders on this list.

Top 3 NFL Stats Leaders After Week 15: Sacks

#T3 - Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns, 15 sacks

Detroit Lions v Cleveland Browns
Detroit Lions v Cleveland Browns

Myles Garett slides to third on our list of NFL stats leaders in sacks after failing to record a single sack against the Las Vegas Raiders. He did combine for three tackles, though, but it was still a disappointing outing for a player who we have grown accustomed to sitting right at the top of the pile when we talk about sacks and NFL stats leaders in this category.

After Week 15, he remains on 15 sacks, which was the same as last week. He has 85 yards on sacks. His total tackle count is higher than Nick Bosa's, having recorded 48 tackles this season, but out of that 17 have been assisted and 31 have been solo. He has one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a fumble return for a touchdown. Where he also excels among his compatriots on the NFL stats leaders list for sacks is his ability to deflect passes, with his total record for pass deflections this season standing at three.

#2 - Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears, 16 sacks

Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders
Chicago Bears v Las Vegas Raiders

Robert Quinn moved up to second on our list of NFL stats leaders in sacks after continuing his fine form against the Minnesota Vikings and recording a couple of sacks in the game. In a season where much has gone wrong for the Chicago Bears, and in a match where they were officially eliminated from playoff contention, Robert Quinn remained one of the last remaining bright spots as he additionally recorded a forced fumble as well.

That brought his total number of sacks to 16 for the season in just 13 games, and he has recorded 110 yards on those sacks. The forced fumble this week was his third for the season. He does not have any pass deflections or interceptions, but he has 36 solo tackles out of 45 total tackles, justifying his claim as an NFL stats leader.

#1 - T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers, 17.5 sacks

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers

The numbers T.J. Watt is putting up this season not only have him in contention for defensive player of the year, but the MVP. He is not just an NFL stats leader this season, but what he is having is an all-time season in sacks.

Consider this that he has 17.5 sacks in total having played 12 games. If he had remained playing throughout the season and had played 16 games, as was the regular season norm until last season, he would have had roughly 23.5 sacks when extrapolated. The NFL stats leader for most sacks in a season is Michael Strahan with 22.5 sacks in 2001.


Also Read: Steelers players with most sacks in a season: T.J. Watt breaks 13-year old record


But we would not put it past him to break that barrier either. He registered five combined tackles, one assisted tackle and had 1.5 sacks against the Tennessee Titans in Week 15. With three more games to go this season, and him having already reached or breached two sacks a game five times this season, he has a great shot at the all-time record having already become the franchise recordholder.

In addition to the sacks, he has 53 tackles, 39 of them solo, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and four pass deflections. T.J. Watt has been a defensive mammoth, even among NFL stats leaders this season.

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Edited by Windy Goodloe
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