Aldon Smith, J.J. Watt closing on NFL sacks record

Jeff Zelevansky

Michael Strahan's record of 22.5 sacks set in 2001 has a good chance of falling to either 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith or Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

Michael Strahan's single season record of 22.5 sacks set in 2001 is in the sights of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who both have 19.5 sacks with two games remaining.

Both players have been terrorizing quarterbacks as of late. Smith has 15 sacks in his last eight games and Watts has two or more sacks in a game six times this season.

They'll each have to fight for the record, however. The 49ers are taking on a stout Seattle Seahawks offensive line that has protected quarterback Russell Wilson rather well all season, only allowing their quarterback to get sacked 26 times all year. The Texans have an easier road to Christian Ponder as the Minnesota Vikings quarterback is the 11th most sacked quarterback in the league this year.

Smith's career 33.5 sacks are already the most by a player in their first two seasons in the NFL. Even if he comes up short against the Seahawks, he finishes the regular season against the Arizona Cardinals -- a team that has struggled to protect its quarterbacks all season.

The Texans close out their season against the Indianapolis Colts, a team Watt has figured out. In a 29-17 win on Dec. 16, Watt sacked Colts quarterback Andrew Luck three times.

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