While all sacks are created equal in a game book or on a stat sheet, not all of them really are when you look at why and how each one happened. Throughout the offseason I plan on looking at each of 56 sacks the Pittsburgh Steelers defense registered during the 2017 regular season and attempt to contextualize each of them. This process should help identify which defensive players are earning their sacks more than others.
We’ll continue on with this series of posts by looking at and contextualizing the 2 sacks that Steelers nose tackle Javon Hargrave registered during the 2017 season.
Sack #1 – Week 1 vs. Browns – 4Q – 1-10-CLV 31 – (12:05) (Shotgun) D.Kizer sacked at CLV 22 for -9 yards (J.Hargrave) – TIME 4.29 seconds
Hargrave’s first sack of the 2017 season came in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns and it was a high-quality one at that. The Steelers rushed just three players on this 1st and 10 play in the fourth quarter and at the snap Hargrave does an excellent job of getting under the pads of Browns center JC Tretter. From there, Hargrave uses his upper body strength and strong leg drive to walk Tretter back into the lap of rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, who not fails to see two receiving options in the middle of the field, but also fails to slide to his left at the first sign of pressure coming up the middle.
Sack #2 – Week 3 vs. Bears – 3Q – 2-14-PIT 29 – (2:13) M.Glennon sacked at PIT 36 for -7 yards (J.Hargrave) – TIME 3.92 seconds
Hargrave’s second and final sack of the 2017 season came in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears and late in the third quarter. On this sack, Hargrave gets matched up one-on-one with Bears left guard Cody Whitehair and at the snap of the football the Steelers nose tackle is once again able to win the leverage battle as he’s able to get himself engaged underneath the pads of the Chicago offensive lineman. From there, Hargrave is able to slowly drive Whitehair back into the lap of Bears quarterback Mike Glennon for the sack.
Summary: In general, you probably would have liked to have seen Hargrave register a few more sacks during the 2017 season and especially being as he had two in the team’s first three games. The former third-round draft pick played 454 total snaps last season and rushed on passing plays 226 times. We have him down for 12 total pressures and he made in an improvement in his snaps per pressure stat. Hargrave should be expected to play roughly the same amount of defensive snaps in 2018 and have perhaps a few more sacks than he had in 2017.
Contextualizing The Steelers 2017 Sack Production: OLB Bud Dupree
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