Giants young pass rusher is out to set a major NFL record in 2024

nfl: new york giants at washington commanders, kayvon thibodeaux
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is determined to break an NFL record that will put his name above two all-time greats in 2024.

Per Darryl Slater of, Thibodeaux told reporters at Giants OTA’s on Thursday, May 23, that he will be out to break the NFL single-season record of 22.5 sacks held by Giants great Michael Strahan and Pittsburgh Steelers star T.J. Watt (h/t Christian Gonzales of

“We’re just going to start this off, if you were wondering, I’m going for the record — so don’t ask. Every year I’m here, I’m going for Michael Strahan’s record.”

“Now being here, it’s like he (Strahan) didn’t have as many rush opportunities as I’m going to have,” Thibodeaux said, via the team transcript. “The game wasn’t as much passes as it was before. I have an opportunity that people would wish they could be in. It’s only right if I give the people what they want.”

Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux of the Giants sack Sam Howell of the Commanders in the first half. The NY Giants host the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium
Credit: Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

Giants: Kayvon Thibodeaux has a ways to go to set sacks record despite strong 2023 showing

Thibodeaux impressed in 2023. In his second season in the league, the 23-year-old posted 11.5 sacks in 17 starts. Thibodeaux had the ninth-most sacks on the campaign and was one of only 24 defensive players to reach double-digits in that category.

The California native’s assessment of the NFL landscape in Strahan’s day compared to today holds weight, but not entirely. While offenses are more predicated on the passing game than at the turn of the 21st century when Strahan was in his prime, league averages show that teams were averaging 32.6 passing attempts in 2001 — the year Strahan set the record — which is only marginally less than the 33.7 they put up in 2023.

Yardage accumulated is also fairly close, with a league average of 205.8 passing yards per game in 2001 compared to 218.9 passing yards a week last season. When Watt tied the record in 2021, averages were slightly higher (34.4 passing att., 228.3 passing yards/game) but still in the ballpark of 2023.

Thibodeaux’s work rate will put him in great position to contend for the record

Thibodeaux’s chances of setting the record will be predicated largely on his snap count in 2024. He finished having played 980 snaps on the previous campaign, which was the fourth-most on the roster. If he eclipses 1,000 snaps like Dexter Lawrence did, that will strengthen his chances. Either way, he has a tall task in front of him to nearly double his sacks output from a year ago with his already high usage rate on the Giants’ defensive line. No matter, Thibodeaux’s adamancy is music to the ears of New York’s front office, coaching staff, fans, and his teammates.

The Giants’ defense as a whole will enter the campaign with great expectations. Thibodeaux will have healthy competition and motivation to get after the quarterback playing alongside DE Dexter Lawrence and Brian Burns.

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