Consensus Week 8 NFL Power Rankings

Over the past couple of seasons, a pass-rusher has come close to the single-season sacks record set by Michael Strahan set in 2001.

Two seasons ago, Minnesota's Jared Allen missed the mark by only a half-sack. Last year, Houston's J.J. Watt, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, finished with 20.5 sacks.

Heading into Week 8, there are currently three players on a record-setting pace and a fourth on pace for 20-plus sacks: Robert Mathis (11.5), Justin Houston and Mario Williams (10.0) and Tamba Hali (9.0).

Here's this week's question: Will anyone break Michael Strahan's single-season sack record this year?

Kevin Hanson (follow on Twitter):

With the NFL transitioning to a passing league over the past several years, the once rare 4,000-yard passer is no longer rare. As an example, only 22 quarterbacks threw for 4,000 yards from 1990 to 1999. From 2010 to 2012, there were 26 passers with 4,000-plus yards.

Heck, both Carson Palmer and Josh Freeman threw for more than 4,000 yards last year. Nobody would consider them elite.

We have also seen the impact it's having with rushing stats. As I tweeted yesterday, there have been only 29 100-yard rushers so far this season. As a comparison, there were 46 of them up to this point last year and 53 of them the year before that.

Another implication of the NFL becoming a pass-first league is what happens (or will happen) on the defensive side of the ball. As more quarterbacks drop back to pass, there are more opportunities to get a sack.

While I'm not sure which pass-rusher will break the record this year, I'm going to say that there will be a pass-rusher that does break the record this season.

Only nine players have ever sacked the quarterback 20-plus times in a season, but we are going to see that number become much more common in the future like we've seen with 4,000-yard passers.

John Trifone (follow on Twitter):

Guys get on pace to break records just about every year, but it's rare that it actually happens. It's tough to get through an entire season injury-free, let alone keep pace to break the sack record. While there are a few guys currently ahead of the pace, I'm gonna say Strahan's record holds up by season's end.

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Sean Beazley (follow on Twitter):

I think Strahan’s record is safe this season, although I do think the Colts Robert Mathis will finish a half sack behind the record with 22.

It’s always funny talking about people being on pace to break records. Peyton Manning was on pace to throw 112 TDs this year after Week 1, or Justin Blackmon heading into last week was on pace to fall eight yards short of Calvin Johnson’s receiving yards for a season record while missing the first four games of the year.

I’ll take the record every time.

Dan Yanotchko (follow on Twitter):

I know it seems that every year, there is always the discussion of someone being able to break Michael Strahan's single-season sack record of 22.5, and it won't happen this year. For the record, I believe that the single-season record is 22 recorded by Jared Allen and Mark Gastineau, but you can thank Brett Favre for laying down and giving Strahan a freebie in the last game.

Aldon Smith had 19.5 through Week 14 last year and couldn't get the job done. J.J. Watt played about the best I've ever seen a defensive lineman play, and he only tallied 20.5 last year. Although Robert Mathis, Justin Houston, and Mario Williams are on pace right now, there are too many factors such as weather, injuries, and of course offensive lines will change blocking schemes to slow down the leading pass rushers.

This year yet again Gastineau and Jared Allen's record is safe.

- See our full power rankings here.

Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

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