In his nine years with the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Andy Dalton has never been sacked the same number of times in a game as he was Monday night at Heinz Field. The Steelers were going through his hostile line just as it were the EZ Pass path on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The Steelers had eight sacks, their most in a game since they had eight out of a November 2016 game in Cleveland, driving Dalton to rush tosses or search for some place to cover up, something he did with extraordinary consistency. When they were done, Dalton had just 171 yards passing, almost 50% of what he had been averaging in the initial three games.
In the wake of leading the league in sacks every one of the previous two years, the Steelers are ending up something beyond one of the most dreaded pass-hurrying teams in the NFL. They are poised to turn into the best at sacking the quarterback over any three-year time frame in over 20 years.
What’s more, they’re having a fun doing it, particularly when they win.
“I think we’re just so hungry as a defense,” said outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who had 1½ of the eight sacks on Dalton and recouped a bungle on a strip-sack by Bud Dupree. “I can only speak for our defense; we are so hungry to make that splash. We never take our foot off that gas pedal, and you saw that.”
The Steelers are tied for fourth in the association with 14 sacks, yet 12 have come at home, more than any team in the league. Inquisitively, the Steelers had a greater number of sacks out and about than at home every one of the previous two seasons. In any case, that should prove to be useful Sunday against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers have three players with in any event 2½ sacks — Stephon Tuitt (3½), Cam Heyward (2½) and Watt (2½) — among the best 26 sackers in the association. Just the New England Patriots, who are tied for the group lead with 18 sacks, have progressively (4).
In any case, it’s not just about the quantity of various players who are giving the weight. It’s the consistency with which the Steelers have had the option to get after the quarterback since 2017.
At their momentum pace, the Steelers will complete the season with 56 sacks, a similar sum they had in 2017 and four more than their 2018 aggregate (52). That would give the Steelers 164 sacks in three years, overshadowing the 158 sacks totaled by the St. Louis Rams from 1998 to 2000. The following nearest group in that period is the Buffalo Bills, who had 147 sacks from 2012-2014.
“It’s been there all season, but it showed up [Monday night] because of the situations, because we were controlling the football game,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “So, it was able to be highlighted, and I think it’s just a lesson for all of us. In an effort for us to be at our best, it takes collaborative work in all three phases to produce an environment where your strengths get an opportunity to show, and it was able to be shown (against the Bengals).”
However, not at all like last season when they positioned close to the base of the league with 15 takeaways, the Steelers are making turnovers with their weight.
Subsequent to getting a interception and bobble recuperation against the Bengals, every one of which snuffed scoring openings, the Steelers have nine takeaways through the principal quarter of the period. Just the Patriots (10) have more.
“I think it comes down to ball awareness,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his week after week news gathering, roughly 12 hours expelled from the Steelers’ 27-3 triumph against the Bengals. “That’s something we’ve really been stressing, not only in our team development process but way back in the spring. If you want to create turnovers, first you got to be a group that’s aware of the ball, who’s carrying it, how they’re carrying it, and the opportunities associated with that in general. We’re just displaying better ball awareness, and it’s producing opportunities to get it.”
After four games, the Steelers rank fourteenth in the association in all out barrier, permitting 375.2 yards per game. They are much more terrible against the run, positioning 22nd. Be that as it may, with regards to reliably hurrying the passer the previous three years, the Steelers are in their very own alliance.
“We haven’t reached our peak yet,” safety Terrell Edmunds said. “We’re still going. Right now we’re still trying to figure out everything. It looked better (against the Bengals), hopefully next week even more. From there, the sky’s the limit.”