During a decorated 19-year NFL career, Buffalo Bills legend and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith did bad things in his pass rushing cleats and was widely regarded as one of the game’s best pass rushers.
He amassed an NFL-record 200 sacks during his career, including 171 during a memorable 15-year career with the Bills that included four straight Super Bowl appearances and earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1990 and 1996.
Smith, who was inducted into Canton in 2009, is celebrating Halloween this year by turning to his on-field accomplishments as one of the NFL’s most intimidating, most feared pass rushers.
Any visitor who approaches Smith’s Virginia Beach home will be greeted by a fearsome sight for quarterbacks: Smith commissioned a local artist to create 76 artificial tombstones, one for each of the 76 quarterbacks he sacked during his NFL career. You might say they’re the ghosts of sacks past.
“I took a lot of pride in what I did for a living. Getting to the quarterback was my specialty,” Smith, who still rules supreme as the NFL’s all-time sacks leader, told WIVB’s Nathan Epstein.
This is the #Halloween decoration outside Bruce Smith’s house. All the QB’s he sacked through his hall of fame career. Local Virginia Beach artist created the tombstones. More on @WAVY_News @BuffaloBills— Nathan Epstein (@Nathan_Epstein) October 26, 2021
inspired by @Flash_Garrett, who had slightly less. pic.twitter.com/a6BPWPAGIb
Among the notable signal callers represented in Smith’s quarterback graveyard: Fellow Hall of Famers Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman, plus former teammates Frank Reich and Doug Flutie.
The New York Jets’ quarterbacks fell victim to Smith’s quick and explosive pass rush moves the most, with Jets’ QBs getting sacked 31 times. Ken O’Brien of the Jets holds the dubious distinction for being Smith’s most frequent sack victim: 17.5 times.
Former Bill Drew Bledsoe is second on that list with 12.5 sacks by Smith, followed by Marino (sacked 9.5 times).
Smith recorded at least one sack against every NFL team, with three notable exceptions: the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, and the Bills.