Justin Houston emerging as elite NFL pass rusher

Rich Schultz

Overlooked in a 2011 NFL Draft class that featured J.J. Watt, Aldon Smith and Von Miller, Justin Houston leads the NFL with 7.5 sacks through three games.

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston was credited with an additional sack on Friday, upping his total from Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles to 4.5. The dominant effort, which was the third-best in Chiefs history behind two performances by Hall of Fame pass rusher Derrick Thomas, jumped Houston's total for the season to 7.5.

Houston, 24, had a similarly dominant showing against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1, recording three sacks in a 28-2 victory. Often overlooked in a 2011 NFL Draft class that features Von Miller, Aldon Smith and J.J. Watt dominated the sack charts, Houston has quietly become one of the best of the group.

Statistically, he is the best of the group in 2013 and the best of the entire NFL, with three more sacks than any other player in the league. Granted, he's had one more game than just about everybody else, but with 2.5 sacks per game, he's also tallied the league's best sack average and is well on pace to break his career-high of 10 sacks in a season.

Rk Player Team Sacks
1 Justin Houston Chiefs 7.5
2 Mario Williams Bills 4.5
3 Robert Quinn Rams 4.0
4 Dontari Poe Chiefs 3.5
5 Aldon Smith 49ers 3.5

Houston will next see the field when the Chiefs host the New York Giants in a Week 4 game at Arrowhead Stadium.

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