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NFL: Who Will Be This Year's Sack King?

Jeff LittleSenior Writer IDecember 11, 2008

Every fan wants their team to excel in all three phases of the game Offense, Defense and Special Teams.

Beyond a fan wanting his or her team to win every game on the schedule, out run and pass for more yardage than their opponents that same fan wants to see his or her teams defense shut down every offense the team faces.

We all want to see the team, stop the run and get after the passer. We all know that shutting down a team defensively has a lot to do with getting in a quarterbacks face, throwing off his timing with his receivers and putting him on his back.

It is also nice to see players recognized for all of their accomplishments.

This starts us off on the discussion of individual awards but I’m going to go in a different direction and discuss who is going to be the Sack King of 2008.

There is no definitive award for this feat but there’s always added motivation to attain a league record.

Some of the names on top of the list are familiar but some can only be described as surprising. Injuries, not being as productive a unit as last year could be reasons for some players not making the list this season.

Looking back the leader board as far as sacks in 2007 finished:

 

1) Jared Allen – KC              15.5

2) Patrick Kerney- SEA        14.5

3) DeMarcus Ware -   DAL  14

    Mario Williams –    HOU   14

5) Osi Umenyiora -     NYG  13

6) Trent Cole    -         PHI    12.5

    Elvis Dumervil -     DEN    12.5

    Greg Ellis -            DAL    12.5

    Shawne Merriman-SD       12.5

    Mike Vrabel -         NE     12.5

 

At this point in 2008 with three games to go the list currently stands:

 

1) Joey Porter- MIA            16.5

2) DeMarcus Ware- DAL    16

3) James Harrison-PIT         15

    John Abraham-ATL         12.5

    Jared Allen-MIN              12.5

    Julius Peppers-CAR         12.5

4) Robert Mathis-IND          11.5

    Justin Tuck-NYG              11.5

    LaMarr Woodley-PIT       11.5

5) Mario Williams-HOU        11.0

 

There are playoff berth’s and playoff seeds on the line in the last three weeks of the season which leads to a very good chance that everyone listed above improves upon their sack totals.

Let’s face facts, these are playoff games and the post season has begun for teams in the playoff picture.

As is the case every year quarterbacks are going down. Although, it is far from what would be an alarming rate.

There has been a total of 855 sacks league wide this season which may seem like a high number, but the reality is that this years number is 247 shy of last years total.

Looking ahead at the schedule of the league leaders, I will go out on a limb and state that it is possible that the top three all exceed the twenty sack total and challenge Michael Strahan’s league record of 22 ½ sacks for the season.

To be definitive, I think Joey Porter gets the record on the last game of the regular season.

Although the question remains if he does have a shot at the record on the road in the last game of the season at the Meadowlands will Brett Favre show him the same love that he showed Michael Strahan?

Also could the Dolphins win out and go from worst to first and take the AFC East title?

Can the Jets come out of their unexpected funk and wake up in time to make it to the post season?

How many thought that when QB Tom Brady went down that the Patriots wouldn’t make the playoffs? A better question now is does anyone doubt that Bill Belichick will find a way to put the Patriots in the playoffs?

I could ask some similar questions about the NFC North with the Vikings holding to a slim one game lead with three tough games to play and the Bears breathing down their necks.

No one is talking about the Eagles but after beating the Giants in New York that may change but if they back into the playoffs trust me they’ll be a tough out for anyone.

The AFC North comes down to this week 15 battle between the Steelers and Ravens.

The playoff picture isn’t clear at this time with a few seeds still up for grabs.

These questions are yet to be answered but will play out in the final three games of the season due to the AFC East coming down to the last three weeks of the season.

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