GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Within 27 minutes and 15 seconds Sunday, Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham went from 11th on the NFL’s all-time sack list to ninth, passing one of the game’s greatest sack artists in the process.
He woke up Sunday with 130 career sacks since 2000, 2.5 behind Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O’Neal, who finished their careers with 132.5 each and were tied for ninth on the all-time list. By the time Abraham walked out of University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday night, he sat alone at No. 9 with 133 career sacks.
“When you pass Lawrence Taylor and you get in the top 10 of all-time, that’s something special,” Arizona coach Bruce Arians said.
When Abraham signed as a free agent on July 25, he had two goals: Get on the field and pass L.T. Both were accomplished Sunday. But one thrilled him and one didn’t. He was given the opportunity to get 11 sacks this season because of injuries to Sam Acho and Lorenzo Alexander in Week 3.
Sunday marked the 10th time in his career Abraham had three or more sacks in a game, tying him with Derrick Thomas. This is also the eighth season Abraham has had 10 or more sacks, and he was able to hit that mark in 2013 in the last seven games.
“Having 10 shows you can still play and, for me, personally, it’s an accomplishment mentally, just saying I still can play and I still can put up numbers,” Abraham said. “Passing L.T. was one of my goals coming into the year. I always try to get 10 every year and I knew 10 would put me right there.”
Abraham’s teammates understood the magnitude of what he accomplished.
“We’re watching history,” Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “To pass Lawrence Taylor on the all-time sack list, that’s unbelievable.”
Defensive end Calais Campbell, who helped Abraham get to the quarterback with his pressure up front, couldn’t help but smile when asked about the team’s sack master.
“That’s amazing,” Campbell said. “That’s what it’s really all about, being able to play with somebody like that who’s a potential Hall of Famer. It don’t get much better than that.”