Thanks to Justin Houston, Tom Brady has an NFL record he never wanted.
Baltimore's veteran outside linebacker sacked Brady on back-to-back plays in the second quarter Thursday night to make Brady the most-sacked quarterback in NFL history. Sacked 555 times in his career, Brady surpassed Ben Roethlisberger, who was sacked 554 times during his 18-year career with the Steelers.
Houston said he didn't know about the record entering the game.
"It's not surprising because I'm pretty sure he's the oldest quarterback and he's played the longest out of everybody," Houston said. "So it's not surprising that that's the case."
The consecutive sacks on Brady continued a strong season for Houston, who leads the Ravens with six sacks despite missingthreegames with a groin injury. Houston had two sacks against the Browns in Week 7 after returning from injury. Four days later, the 33-year-old Houston showed no ill effects playing on a short week, storming around the edge to corral Brady and forcing Tampa to come up empty on a two-minute drive before halftime.
Getting the historic sacks during a winning effort, a 27-22 victory over Tampa Bay, made the night more satisfying for Houston.
"I'm playing well, I feel young again," Houston said. "I'm blessed beyond measure. God, he's filled my heart with joy and he's playing through me. I'm just happy to continue to be playing at this age."
Brady usually gets the ball out of his hands quickly, but the Ravens sent blitz pressure that forced him to hesitate, then Houston roared in from Brady's blindside to finish the play.
"You put pressure on him, make him hold the ball, that's the biggest thing," Houston said. "Tom, he's a coach on the field. He sees everything before it even happens. Anytime you can adjust and make him think just a little bit, that's what you want."
On the Sirius XM Podcast “Let’s Go With Tom Brady, Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray”, Brady said he was not looking forward do the distinction of being the game's most-sacked quarterback.
"I'd like to actually thank my complete lack of agility and speed for allowing me to knock on the door of this very esteemed NFL record," Brady said. "So, I have some other cool ones. This one I'm probably not as excited about."
But for Houston, who now has 108 career sacks, getting back-to-back sacks on Brady will be a career highlight to remember. They're also historic sacks for Houston, as they moved him into a tie with Chandler Jones for third-most sacks among active players.
Houston said he won't mind being linked to Brady in history.
"Anytime you can put that under your belt against Tom Brady, that's a plus," Houston said. "I'll take it."