There is a lot to like about the Packers defense this year especially on the line. A line of Kenny Clark, TJ Slaton, Dean Lowry, Jarren Reed, and Devonte Wyatt complemented by Rashan Gary and Preston Smith is going to create some pressure. Early training camp results have been fantastic. The defense is pressuring the quarterback constantly. With the talent on the field, the Packers can break the team sack record this year.
What is the Team Sack Record?
The team sack record was set by the 1984 Chicago Bears with 72 sacks in that season. To give you an idea of how good that season was, in 2021 the team with the most sacks was the Pittsburgh Steelers with 55 sacks. This was helped along with TJ Watt tying the single season sack record with 22.5 sacks. The Packers had 39 sacks as a team in 2021. This would be a very large increase from last year but the Packers defense is different this year.
Why They Will Break the Sack Record
Every player on the line has potential to get sacks. Kenny Clark is top 10 at his position. Rashan Gary is primed for a huge season. On the other side, Preston Smith is a player that gets consistent pressure. Dean Lowry was solid last year and the Packers brought in more help. Jarren Reed was brought over from the Chiefs and Devonte Wyatt was drafted in the first round. If a team tries double teaming one person, others will step up. The deficiency of many defensive lines is fatigue. This crew is going to be able to cycle out players and not lose production.
73 sacks over 17 games is just over 4 sacks a game. That is quite a lot of sacks but the Packers have one more game than the 1984 Chicago Bears. With the pressure that the Packers can create, it isn’t out of the question that they could have some big sack games. We’ve also only talked about the defensive line. Jaire Alexander is often in the backfield and hard hitting safety Darnell Savage is often sent on blitzes as well. The Packers have a lot of ways to create pressure that will lead to sacks.
Why They Won’t Break the Sack Record
Even with the additional game, 73 sacks is a lot of sacks. Amongst the 7 players on the line, most of them would have to produce somewhere in the ballpark of 10 sacks each. Gary only had 9.5 all of last year. While you would hope that Gary can easily eclipse 10 sacks, others on the line would have to follow suit. Inevitably, injuries and regression happen. Game situations dictate different types of defenses that may not include getting after the QB. An incredible amount of luck would need to go the Packers way in order to make this work.
I think this could be one of the fun subplots on the Packers season. If the Packers start out hot and rack up a bunch of sacks, this could be a topic of discussion. Regardless of whether they break the record, they easily should beat last years 39 sacks. Pair that with QB pressures and hurries to cause bad throws, the Packers are going to have an elite defense. I will say, taking the record from the Chicago Bears would feel pretty good.