The NFL has only been counting quarterback sacks as an official statistic since 1982. The league’s single-season record belongs to New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who recorded 22.5 in 2001.
That is still official according to the NFL record books but a new study by John Turney and Nick Webster of the Pro Football Researchers Association expands the data on sacks back to 1960 and Strahan’s 22.5 would no longer be the standard if the league decides to officially recognize the study’s findings.
Strahan set the single-season mark in 2001, breaking Mark Gastineau’s record of 22 set in 1984, on a controversial play where Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre appeared to give himself up when he saw Strahan coming at him.
That aside, the new record was established and has yet to be eclipsed, although some have come very close. The Vikings’ Jared Allen had 22 in 2011. Kansas City’s Justin Houston got to 22 three years after that.
The study revealed that Al Baker of the Detroit Lions had 23 sacks in 1978 - unofficially, of course - pushing Strahan into second place all-time.
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