Football Team

Young off to slow start, but some legends did that too

Football Team
Chase Young

It would be absolutely reasonable for a Washington Football fan to express some disappointment right now at how Chase Young has started his career. No. 2 overall picks with the hype he had preceding him are expected to be superstars. Though he showed flashes last season, overall the numbers just haven't been there.

Through 22 career games, Young has only nine sacks. This season, through seven games, he has 1.5 sacks. That's a half-sack more than Kendall Fuller, who is a cornerback.

It's not only his sack total, either. Young has four quarterback hits this season, according to Football Reference. His teammate Casey Toohill has three. In case you were wondering, Toohill was not the second overall pick.

It's not time to panic when it comes to Young, though. In fact, some of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history were on very similar tracks at this point in their careers. Arguably the greatest pass rushers to ever step on a football field were in the same boat through 22 games.

Young's nine sacks so far compare very closely with Bruce Smith, who had 11.5. Smith would go on to set an NFL record for career sacks - ironically, in a Washington uniform - and still holds the record at an even 200. 

Jason Taylor, who also spent the twilight of his career in Washington, had 10.0 sacks through nine games. He is 11th all-time with 139.5 for his career.

John Randle, the great Vikings lineman, had five sacks in his first 22 games. He ended up 14th all-time with 137.5 of them.


And Michael Strahan, who tormented Washington quarterbacks for years as a member of the New York Giants, had 4.5 sacks through 22 games, exactly half of Young's current total. Strahan is 10th all-time in career sacks with 141.5 and holds the official single-season record with 22.5, set back in 2001. 

So, to recap, Young has more sacks through 22 games than two players who ended up top-14 in NFL history in career sacks. He was also in the neighborhood of Smith, the all-time king of rushing the quarterback.

Career sacks through 22 G

Bruce Smith - 11.5 Jason Taylor - 10.0 Chase Young - 9.0 John Randle - 5.0 Michael Strahan - 4.5

Now, there's no question Young is lagging behind plenty of great pass rushers who came before him. Joey Bosa of the Chargers had 21 sacks in his first 22 games. Reggie White had 20 and Terrell Suggs had 19. J.J. Watt had 15.

Even Brian Orakpo (16.0) and Ryan Kerrigan (11.5) had more in recent Washington franchise history. But if Young can get it together and end up anywhere close to the guys mentioned above - Smith, Taylor, Randle and Strahan (all Hall of Famers) - no one in Washington would complain.