Hall-bound Strahan and his fellow N.Y. sack machines
Back before Michael Strahan was a morning TV star, he was one of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history. On Saturday, the former Giants defensive end will join his fellow all-timers when he is enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio -- a day before the Giants open their preseason slate against the Bills at the same venue.
In honor of Strahan's big weekend, here's a look at some of New York football's most talented sack machines.
Although ranks fifth on the all-time sacks lists -- with the caveat that sacks did not become an official stat until 1982 -- Strahan has the second-highest total with one team (141.5) behind Bruce Smith, and the most among players who spent their entire career with one franchise. The four-time First-Team All-Pro also holds the single-season sack record with 22.5 in 2001.
When factoring in the 9.5 unofficial sacks Taylor tallied in 1981, his career total of 142 just barely leapfrogs Strahan's. The Hall of Fame linebacker was the cornerstone of both the Giants' first two Super Bowl victories, and his run from 1984 through 1990 with double-digit sacks is one of the most remarkable stretches by a pass rusher in history.
The head of the Jets vaunted "Sack Exchange" in the early 1980s, Gastineau previously held the single-season sack record of 22 before Strahan came along. His official sack total accounts for just 74 sacks -- still a franchise record -- but that doesn't account for his first three seasons in the league. Factoring in unofficial totals, his figure jumps up to 107.5.