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Von Miller, J.J. Watt have last shot at NFL sack record

Michael Strahan can't rest easy this week. (And not just because he has to wake up at some ungodly hour for morning television.)

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller still have a chance to break Strahan's NFL single-season sack record, although the record looks safer than it did a few weeks back.

Watt needs two sacks to tie Strahan's record of 22.5 in a season. Miller needs five, while San Francisco 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith needs three. All three were top 12 picks in the 2011 draft, where Miller and Smith became buddies.

"Me, Marcell Dareus and Aldon Smith, we talked about doing the whole LeBron, Wade and Bosh thing," Miller told USA Today Sports. "We talked about doing that somewhere down the line."

Dareus would be the Bosh of that group so far, while Watt would be Kevin Durant, making his own way. The great thing about this pass-rushing duo is it's only getting started. Watt is my pick for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but Miller would be a deserving choice in almost any other season.

"I didn't want to just be the best linebacker on the board. I wanted the best defensive player," Miller said. "I might not have looked like a traditional outside linebacker or a traditional defensive end, but I wanted teams to see me as the best defensive player out there."

All three players will be in the playoffs, with Watt and Miller potentially facing off in the AFC postseason. Miller keeps in touch with Smith and keeps an eye on how the rest of the class is doing.

Don't rule out a record just yet. Watt and Smith have great matchups this week, with Watt facing the Indianapolis Colts and Smith facing the Arizona Cardinals.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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