PITTSBURGH — T.J. Watt joined a pretty elite group during Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears. With his second sack of Justin Fields during the first half, Watt reached 60 career sacks in just 69 career games. Watt is the fourth-fastest player to reach 60 sacks, trailing only Reggie White (50 games), brother J.J. Watt (66 games) and Derrick Thomas (67) games. Watt added a third takedown of Fields in the fourth quarter for career sack No. 61 and counting.
White and Thomas are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an honor Watt will surely receive as soon as he is eligible. White is second all time with 198 career sacks, while Thomas is 17th all time with 126.5 sacks. J.J. Watt has tallied 102 sacks during his 11-year career.
Watt also reached several Steelers career milestones on Monday night. He moved past Joey Porter for fifth all time in franchise history in career sacks. Watt also moved past teammate Cameron Heyward for the second-most career sacks at Heinz Field. Watt is nine sacks behind James Harrison, who had 49 sacks at Heinz Field during his decorated run with the Steelers.
With 11.5 sacks this season in seven-plus games, Watt has four straight seasons with double-digit sacks. This is the fastest he has reached that mark in his career.
Watt’s success this season has once again put him in the middle of the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. Watt finished runner-up behind Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald in last year’s voting. It appears that Watt’s stiffest competition this season is Browns pass-rusher (and fellow 2017 first-round pick) Myles Garrett, who has a league-high 12 sacks through nine games.
Six Steelers have won Defensive Player of the Year, with Joe Greene winning the award on two separate occasions. The last Steelers player to win the honor was Troy Polamalu, who this summer was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.