NFL rules to keep Steelers’ T.J. Watt from owning sack record

T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher, set a new NFL single-season sack record. However he was denied by the NFL for violating a controversial play.

T.J. Watt came a rules interpretation away from breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record.

Steelers requested that Watt be credited with a sack during a first-quarter game against the Ravens. The pass rusher forced Tyler Huntley into a fumble.

The NFL rejected the appeal and ruled that the play was aborted due to a bad snap taken by Bradley Bozeman. Pittsburgh recovered the fumble but the play wasn’t eligible for a sack to have occurred.

The NFL denied T.J. Watt’s appeal for another sack

Watt and Pittsburgh will be disappointed by the ruling, given the historical context.

Here’s the play in question:

It’s particularly frustrating because the play is up for interpretation. Watt would have probably gotten the bag if Huntley had been able to grab the ball from the ground as it was clearly a passing play. However, because Huntley had to scramble back for it, the play doesn’t count as a passing play. It’s just one of those bad beats.

Watt went on to tie Strahan’s sack record at 22.5 with an undisputed sack at the end of the first half. He technically had one.

He can vent his frustration on the Chiefs. They will be Pittsburgh’s opponent in round one of the playoffs. Watt was only held with one tackle during a 36-10 loss to Kansas City the last time Steelers faced them.