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Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger stumps for T.J. Watt stat change to get him record: ‘Give him half a sack’

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T.J. Watt made NFL history Sunday when he recorded a sack in the Steelers’ 16-13 overtime win over the Ravens. That gave him 22.5 for the season, tying him with Michael Strahan for the single-season record that has stood since 2001.

It was a big achievement for Watt, but Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger believes his teammate deserves more. He is campaigning for Watt to stand alone atop the list.

It began when Roethlisberger made his voice heard during the end of Watt’s media availability.

“Give him half a sack,” Roethlisberger said after the game, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. “Start the petition.”

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That wasn’t all. Roethlisberger wanted to make sure that everyone heard his message during his own media availability. He answered all the questions that were asked of him but also parroted support of Watt at the end of his final three answers.

“The NFL needs to give T.J. Watt half a sack,” Roethlisberger repeated.

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Does Roethlisberger have a point? Well, Watt did make a critical tackle for loss on Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley early in the contest that was initially thought to be the record-tying sack. 

Why wasn’t that called a sack? The officials ruled that the center’s errant snap was a fumble. As a result, Huntley was credited with a fumble recovery when he picked it up, and that made him a runner in the backfield.

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That seemed to be the correct call, as the center failed to get the snap back to Huntley. Still, the Steelers, including Watt’s fellow defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, are hopeful that the NFL will make a stat correction and gift Watt the extra sack.

Perhaps the NFL will be convinced, but for now, expect Watt to settle for tying the record after playing in just 15 of 17 games.



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