Before the NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and T.J. Watt were in a contract showdown. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that the Steelers should pay the defender “whatever the heck he wants.” They ended up coming to terms and now, in Week 18, Watt is cementing all the reasons why Ben was right.

Just before halftime of the Steelers’ season-ender against the Baltimore Ravens, Watt tied Michael Strahan’s NFL record with 22.5 sacks in one season.

Watt still has one half to try and break the record for himself now. As many have pointed out, despite the fact that this season has an extra game beyond when Strahan played, Watt also missed three games this season, which actually makes it all the more impressive.

In his fifth NFL season, Watt has become one of the preeminent defensive players in the NFL. With almost 300 tackles, 72 sacks, and 21 forced fumbles, it’s no wonder he’s been to four Pro Bowls and been named First-team All-Pro twice, with more accolades sure to come this season.

The reactions to the record came from all over the NFL world, including from Watt’s own brother.

It wasn’t all fun and games for Watt, however. On the very next play, Watt went to disrupt a pass by Tyler Huntley and ended up getting punched in the nether regions for his efforts.

Brother J.J. was quick to point out the timing of everything, as only older brothers can.

We’ll see if Watt can break the record in the second half as the Steelers try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

[Steelers]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.