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NFL sack title, Deacon Jones Award coming down to end for Dumervil, Houston and Watt

NFL sack title, Deacon Jones Award coming down to end for Dumervil, Houston and Watt
Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil has a chance to lead the NFL in sacks and set a new career high. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

The NFL sack title race is coming down to the wire.

With one game remaining in the regular season, Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil has 17 sacks to tie his previous career-high established in 2009 when he led the league while playing for the Denver Broncos.

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That's one fewer sack than the NFL leader, Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (18 sacks) and a half-sack behind Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (17.5 sacks).

The NFL established the Deacon Jones Award last year to be given annually to the league leader for sacks after the Hall of Fame defensive end died at 74.

Jones coined the term "sack," before it was an official statistic. Unofficially, he had 173 career sacks. Unofficially, Jones had 26 sacks in 1967 in 14 games and 24 sacks in 1968 in 14 games.

The first winner of the Deacon Jones Award last year was Indianapolis Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis.

Watt might wind up winning the sack title, given that he's playing against Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. Bortles has been sacked 50 times this year.

Houston is playing against San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who's been sacked 20 times.

And Dumervil is playing against Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Connor Shaw, who's playing in his first NFL game.

The Browns' offensive line, led by Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas, has surrendered only 27 sacks this season.

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