Justin Houston Sack Watch

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Justin Houston, Deity of the Sack, has been on a rampage this season when it comes to sacking the quarterback. Through eight games Houston has totaled 12 sacks, three more than co-second place occupants Everson Griffen and Von Miller.

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Twelve sacks in eight games would be more than what the Atlanta Falcons, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and Seattle Seahawks have done as a team, and equal that that of the Dallas Cowboys. It is also more than what the 2008 Chiefs (10) accumulated for the entire season. Good grief.

The advanced metrics also love Houston. Pro Football Focus says Houston has created more quarterback pressures than any other 3-4 outside linebacker. Ryan Kerrigan, who is in second place with 39 pressures, has needed 57 more pass rushing attempts than Houston to get himself close his number.

Everyone’s favorite Bronco, Von Miller, is the only other outside linebacker with over 40 quarterback pressures, and he, too, has 42 of them. But like Kerrigan, Miller has needed 54 extra pass rush attempts to match Houston’s pressure mark.

Yeah, Houston has been a monster.

As a result, Houston is on pace to break the single-season sack record of 22.5 set by Michael Strahan in 2001. The Chiefs record is 20, which was set by some dude named ‘Derrick Thomas’ in 1990. Should Houston keep up this pace he will crush both the team and the NFL record by the end of the season. What are his chances? Here’s what he’s up against for this week with a brief look at the rest of the season.

BUFFALO BILLS

Houston will be matched up against Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn, who, according to Pro Football Focus, is having an ‘okay’ season. In 319 pass blocking snaps Glenn has allowed five sacks, two quarterback hits, and 11 hurries. Four of his five sacks allowed have come in the last three games he’s played.

Glenn, who like Houston is a Georgia alum, has been a pretty stable force at left tackles, allowing six sacks in his rookie season and only two last season. This is all based on PFF’s determination of an allowed sack. So getting past Glenn isn’t going to be an easy proposition.

The key here may be that Kyle Orton is at quarterback. Orson is far less mobile than the Bills’ previous starter E.J. Manuel which makes his a more stationary target for Houston. Of Glenn’s five sacks allowed, four of them have come with Orton as the starting quarterback. Having a guy who isn’t going to be running around back there all day may help Houston overcome the challenge Glenn will present.

Getting one sack this week should be doable for Houston.

REMAINING SCHEDULE

vs. Seattle – 16 sacks allowed this season ranks them as one of the better sack prevention teams in the NFL

at Oakland (Thursday Night) – Co-NFL leader in sacks allowed with nine. (This is not a misprint.)

vs. Denver – Co-NFL leader in sacks allowed with nine. (Manning Effect)

at Arizona – 13 sacks allowed ranks sixth best in NFL

vs. Oakland – Allowed nine sacks at Arrowhead last season

at Pittsburgh – 23 sacks allowed is eighth worst in the NFL

vs. San Diego – Houston had one sack in the first matchup