The sack is a crucial and effective defensive play for NFL players. A sack happens when all receivers are covered, and the quarterbacks cannot complete any long throws. Find out who has the most sacks in a game in the NFL right here.
Since 1982, when the NFL first started keeping score of sacks, it has been another metric for NFL defences to track. In addition to Jones, other players like Al "Bubba" Baker and Coy Bacon were also capable of sacking the quarterback but were never given the same level of attention. Here are the top 10 holders for the record of the most sacks in the NFL.
1. Derrick Thomas (7): November 11, 1990 — Kansas City Chiefs vs Seattle Seahawks
Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Derrick Thomas holds the NFL record for most sacks in a match with 10. On November 11, 1990, against the Seattle Seahawks, Thomas set the record. Seven of the nine the Chiefs had against Seahawks quarterback Dave Krieg each day were made by Thomas. The most sacks in a game of all time still belong to him.
In 1990, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Derrick Thomas set an NFL record with eight against the opposition. He surpassed the previous mark of six in a match held by Fred Dean of the San Francisco 49ers in 1983.
2. Osi Umenyiora (6): September 30, 2007 — New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles
Several sacks occurred in a matchup between Osi Umenyiora and William Thomas. While defeating the Eagles, Donovan McNabb, the Eagles quarterback, was sacked 12 times by the visiting Giants' defence. The Philadelphia Eagles have the most in a game by a team with 14 against the Giants on October 26, 1952.
3. Derrick Thomas (6): September 6, 1998 — Kansas City Chiefs vs Oakland Raiders
September 6th, 1998, in the season opener against Oakland, he recorded six sacks, one short of matching his own NFL record. There had never been a Chiefs player with more than three safety records. He also holds the recored for the most sacks in a match by a player against the Seahawks on November 11, 1990.
4. Aldon Smith — (5.5): November 19, 2012 — San Francisco 49ers vs Chicago Bears
To cap off a historic defensive performance, Smith finished with 5.5 of Bears quarterback Jason Campbell in a 32-7 victory at Candlestick Park. In 2015, Smith recorded 15, which ranks him first in the NFL, and 28.5 for his career through 26 games.
5. William Gay — (5.5): September 4, 1983 — Detroit Lions vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
To go along with his six tackles and two assists, defensive end William Gay had 5.5 for the Lions. On two separate occasions, Tampa Bay drove deep into Lions territory but was ultimately forced to punt after being stopped on fourth down.
6. Khalil Mack — (5): December 13, 2015 — Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos
With five sacks of Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler, Mack led Oakland to a 15-12 victory over Denver. Mack's 14 sacks in a single game tied the franchise record set by Howie Long in 1982 and put him on the NFL list.
7. Antwan Odom — (5): September 20, 2009 — Cincinnati Bengals vs Green Bay Packers
In the game, Antwan Odom had five quarterback sacks, matching Eddie Edwards for the most ever in a single game for the organization. They were crucial when needed, such as taking the Packers out of field goal range, extending a play, or resulting in a punt.
8. Vonnie Holliday (5): December 22, 2002 — Green Bay Packers vs Buffalo Bills
Thus, the proverbial asterisk was attached when defensive end Vonnie Holliday established the Packers' single-game record with five late in the 2002 season. The team's media guide claims that two players, Ezra Johnson (in 1978 at Detroit) and Dave Pureifory (in 1975 against the Los Angeles Rams), had five sack games with the Packers before the "official" date of 1982.
9. Chuck Smith (5): October 12, 1997 — Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints
On October 12, 1997, the Atlanta Falcon's defence had ten against the New Orleans Saints. Half of those were to defensive end Chuck Smith (90), and the other half were to quarterbacks Danny Wuerffel and Heath Shuler (80). In 1982, sacks were recognized as a separate statistic.
10. Gary Jeter (5): September 18, 1988 — Los Angeles Rams vs Los Angeles Raiders
In 1975, as a senior at USC, Gary Jeter earned All-American and defensive player of the year accolades. In the 1977 NFL Draft, he was selected by the New York Giants as the fifth overall choice. In 1977, he occasionally started at left defensive end, where he recorded 32 tackles and three quarterback sacks. When he started playing defensive tackle regularly in 1978, he managed three.
Teams with the most sacks in a game
The Philadelphia Eagles have the most by a team in a game. They managed 14 against the Giants on October 26, 1952.
Most sacks in a game
The record of 8 in a match was set back in 1990 by Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs. He took the record from Fred Dean of the San Francisco 49ers, who had six in a match in 1983
What are the most sacks allowed in one NFL game?
The New York Giants have been sacked the most by a team in a game. They were beaten by 14 against the Eagles on October 26, 1952.
Who holds the most NFL records as a QB?
Tom Brady. In the NFL, the starting quarterback is the only position that is credited with records of wins and losses. Tom Brady holds the record for the most regular season wins with 245. Otto Graham holds the record for the highest winning percentage with a minimum of 50 starts at .814 (57–13–1).
Most sacks in a game all time
In 1990, Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Derrick Thomas set an NFL record with eight against the opposition. In doing so, he surpassed the previous record held by Fred Dean of the San Francisco 49ers, who recorded six against the New York Giants in 1983.
Most sacks in a game by a rookie
Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson made history for the Lions by becoming the first rookie in team history with three. The record for most sacks by a rookie in a game is held by Leslie O'Neal, who recorded five against the Cowboys on November 16, 1986. Maxx Crosby has recorded a single-game rookie record for the Raiders.
Most sacks in a game in 2022/2023
On September 25 against the Commanders, the Philadelphia Eagles recorded nine, the most by any team in a single game this season. For games played after 2021, the game in which Chandler Jones recorded five against the Titans on September 12, 2021, is the game with the most in a single game.
Many separate teams share the "modern" NFL most sacks in a game title, with 12 sacks. However, Derrick Thomas' record of seven sacks in a game stands unchallenged by the updated data on Pro Football Reference.
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