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Will Anderson Jr. sets record mark for Houston Texans rookie

Now, if he can get a pick-six off the Bengals in the playoffs...

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Back-to-back sacks from the #3 overall pick? Yes please. Lost in all the C.J. Stroud hype, the monster that is Will Anderson Jr. has slowly been carving out his own spot in H-Town history.

Yardbarker

The previous record holders, Whitney Mercilus and Brooks Reed, were tied with six sacks as rookies.

What makes this all the better is the sack attack happened against the BESFs as part of the season sweep. Apparently impersonating another legendary team doesn’t, in fact, make your team legendary. Hopefully the Tennessee Titans “brain trust” takes note of such things.

Anyway...

With one game left in the 2023 season, Anderson has 7 total sacks, 21 solo tackles and 15 assists, 10 tackles for loss and 22 quarterback hits. This, despite no additional stats in weeks 14, 15 and 16 due to injury.

Meanwhile, teammate Jonathan Greenard has 12.5 sacks, 31 solo tackles, 16 assists 15 tackles for loss and 22 quarterback hits. Accomplished in 14 games, vs the 13 Anderson affected.

For those keeping score at home, Greenard now sits at #6 all time in the Houston Texans sack pantheon, with 23. Antonio Smith is fifth with 27.5, Jadeveon Clowney is fourth with 29, Mario Williams sits third with 53, Whitney Mercilus holds the runner-up spot with 57.

For reference, legendary Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt compiled 5.5 sacks, 49 solo tackles and seven assists. All done in 16 games. And, he’s (obviously) the top sackmaster in Texans history with 101.

While this doesn’t immediately land Anderson Jr. on the The Five Best Defensive Linemen in Texans History, it’s a great sign of things to come.

Now, if Anderson can get three next Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts, that will go a long way to cementing the legend in the making.

Koby Turner of the L.A. Rams is in the lead for most sacks by a rookie this season, with nine, so Anderson’s landing three more could leap-frog him into first place. And, rookie’s have tallied 3+ sacks in a single game dozens of times throughout NFL history.

Whether Anderson joins that group or not, the rook has already left his mark on the NFL.