In this Jan. 9, 2021, file photo, Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) rushes in the team’s NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Landover, Md. Young got The Associated Press’ top defensive rookie award Saturday, Feb. 6. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr., File)
- The Washington Football Team is favored to led the NFL in sacks during the 2021 regular season
- The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 56 sacks topped the league last year
- A look at the sack odds for all the NFL teams along with wagering advice can be found below
The start of NFL training camps is just two weeks away and a new prop bet is on the board for the 2021 season.
The Washington Football Team has opened as the favorite to lead the league in sacks during the regular season. Washington was sixth in the NFL last year when it took down opposing quarterbacks 47 times.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 56 sacks topped the NFL in 2020.
2021 NFL Regular Season Team Sacks Leader Odds
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|Washington Football Team||+600|
|Los Angeles Rams||+650|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+650|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1800|
|Green Bay Packers||+2800|
|New England Patriots||+2800|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+3000|
|New York Giants||+3300|
|New Orleans Saints||+4000|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+4000|
|New York Jets||+5000|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+8000|
Odds as of July 14th
2022 AFC and NFC Championship Odds Tracker
Steelers Defending Sacks Champs
Outside linebacker T.J. Watt led the Steelers’ pass rush last season when he registered an NFL-best 15 sacks. It was the third straight season he recorded double digits after having 13 in 2018, his second pro season, and 14.5 in 2019.
Watt was named a first-team All-Pro for a second straight season and was picked to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. He finished second in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting to Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Watt a year it was for T.J. 😤@_TJWatt | #UltimateHighlight pic.twitter.com/59Ke1irSgN
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 10, 2021
End Stephon Tuitt also had double-digit sacks as he finished with 11. The previous career high for the seven-year veteran was 6.5 in 2015.
Outside linebacker Bud Dupree had eight sacks in 11 games before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. He then signed with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent in the offseason.
Alex Highsmith is expected to take Dupree’s spot in the lineup after notching two sacks as a rookie in 2020. Highsmith might have a hard time matching Dupree’s production at this stage of his development.
Looking at the Favorite
Washington spread the wealth when it came to sacks last season as four different players had at least five.
Defensive end Montez Sweat topped the team by bagging the quarterback nine times. Fellow end Chase Young added 7.5 sacks on his way to being voted NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Chase Young gonna be SCARY in Year 2 😈 @youngchase907 (via l0st__files/IG) pic.twitter.com/aIzlhFWyjX
— Overtime (@overtime) July 8, 2021
Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan contributed 5.5 sacks in what turned out to be the last of his 10 seasons in Washington. He joined the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles in free agency.
Defensive tackle Tim Settle quietly became a pass-rushing threat from the inside last season when he had five sacks, three more than he had in his first two NFL seasons combined. He is part of a rotation with Jonathan Allen and DaRon Payne.
Oddsmakers are expecting improvement from the young line. Allen is 26 years old while Sweat, Settle and Payne are all 24 and Young is 22. All except Settle were first-round draft picks.
The Second Choices
The Steelers are one of three second choices at +650 with the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Rams were second in the NFL in sacks last season as their 53 were three less than the Steelers’ total.
Donald led the charge with 13.5 as he won DPOY for the third time in his career while also garnering All-Pro honors for the sixth time. He has been a Pro Bowler in all seven of his professional seasons.
Aaron Donald is a BULLY.
And we LOVE IT.@AaronDonald97 💪 @RamsNFL pic.twitter.com/uXZJQL8Dt8
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) July 13, 2021
Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd added 10.5 sacks, lineman Morgan Fox finished with six and end Michael Brockers chipped in with five.
The Rams, though, lost two of their key pass rushers in the offseason. Brockers was traded to the Detroit Lions in a salary-cap squeeze and Fox signed with the Carolina Panthers as a free agent.
The Buccaneers’ 48 sacks tied for fourth in the NFL in 2020 and they added 10 more in four playoff games on their way to the Super Bowl title.
Outside linebackers Jason-Pierre Paul (9.5) and Shaquil Barrett (eight) combined with inside linebacker Devin White (nine) for 26.5 sacks in the regular season and defensive end Ndamakong Suh added six. All four are coming back in 2021 along with the entire defensive starting lineup.
“I take cold showers,” Jason Pierre-Paul said to no one in particular as he took the field in short sleeves in pregame. “I’m ready.” Here he was coming off … pic.twitter.com/7rlxiMgUTa
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) January 24, 2021
The Buccaneers added another pass rusher in the draft when they selected outside linebacker Joe Tyron in the first round from Washington.
Browns Should Be Improved
While Washington certainly possesses the talent to finish atop the sacks leaderboard in 2021, the Cleveland Browns are a more intriguing play at +1200.
Adding free agent edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney should help the Browns get to the quarterback more frequently than last season when they had 38 sacks to rank 15th in the NFL. Though Clowney did not record a sack in eight games with the Titans a year ago, he is healthy again and appears highly motivated.
Clowney will be paired opposite Myles Garrett, who had 12 sacks last season while being selected as an All-Pro for the first time.
Jadeveon Clowney hasn’t run into many guys like Myles Garrett in the NFL. Now, they’re teammates on the same defense #Browns pic.twitter.com/pHonNxFZT6
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) June 16, 2021
If you’re looking for a longshot play, the Las Vegas Raiders might be worth a small wager at +8000. Though their 21 sacks were 27th among the league’s 30 teams last season, they added Yannick Ngakoue in free agency and Clelin Ferrell showed marked improvement in 2020 in his second NFL season.
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.