Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Haason Reddick had five sacks Sunday against the New York Giants, setting a franchise record and becoming the first player in the NFL to hit that number this season.
The magnitude of the moment hit Reddick at the end of the game, when he said he broke down in tears.
"Filled with joy; felt blessed," Reddick said. "This whole year has just been important to me and to see things going the way that I want them to go, to see today happen is just amazing. So, I'm still processing it and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it."
The Cardinals' franchise record was previously held by Curtis Greer, who had 4.5 sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 18, 1983.
Sunday was more than than milestone for Reddick, who saw his playing time increase after the Cardinals lost All-Pro pass rusher Chandler Jones in Week 5 at the same stadium to a biceps injury. It was validation for the fourth-year linebacker, who had been moved around the Cardinals' defense since his rookie season depending on which coaching staff he was playin for, which totaled three in all.
"He just continues to get better and better," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "I've said it all along, how much respect I have for him, the perseverance he's shown. We tried to make him a stand-up linebacker for the past three years and it just wasn't his deal. It's not what he was phenomenal at in college and he's getting more and more comfortable back to that outside rush.
"So, a guy like that who stuck with it, who didn't let the noise get him down, didn't let any sort of frustration get him down and just kept working, and now has a game like that, you couldn't be happy for him. And he'll keep progressing."
On Wednesday, Reddick predicted he was going to get after the quarterback, fellow outside linebacker Markus Golden said. Reddick felt good about this week because of what he saw on film from the Giants' offensive line coupled with the Cardinals' defensive game plan.
"The game plan worked," Reddick said, "which is amazing."
Golden could feel Reddick was going to have a good game against the Giants because of how Reddick practiced all week -- but he didn't think it was going to be that big of a game. "I got a lot of respect and I'm super happy for him," Golden said.
The Cardinals had eight sacks as a team, with outside linebacker Dennis Gardeck getting credit for two in the 26-7 win.
It was an impressive homecoming for Reddick, who was born in Camden, New Jersey, and went to high school in Haddon Heights, about 90 minutes from MetLife Stadium. He entered Sunday's game with five sacks for the season. His previous single-game high was two sacks, which came in Week 6 on Monday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys.
The previous time a player had at least five sacks in a game was 2017, when the Atlanta Falcons' Adrian Clayborn had six against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10. The single-game sack record is seven by Derrick Thomas of the Kansas City Chiefs. He set the mark on Nov. 11, 1990 against the Seattle Seahawks.
"This is the first time I've ever had a game like this where everything was just working for me," Reddick said. "I hit on all cylinders."