2018 Pittsburgh Steelers Sack Breakdown

With the 2018 season in the books, we’re wrapping up some of the breakdowns and charting we’ve done throughout the season. Today, we’re recapping the sacks allowed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where they came from, and how they compare to the previous three seasons.

To start off, the sacks allowed by the 2018 version:

Sack Breakdown (2018)

Alejandro Villanueva: 4.5
Matt Feiler: 4
Coverage: 3.5
Jaylen Samuels: 3
Maurkice Pouncey: 2.5
Ramon Foster: 2
Marcus Gilbert: 2
James Conner: 1
Chukwuma Okorafor: 1
Ben Roethlisberger: .5
B.J. Finney: 0
David DeCastro: 0

More importantly, let’s look at the numbers relatively. Snaps per sack allowed. Higher the number, the better.

DeCastro: 617
Conner: 373
Foster: 361
Pouncey:  286.8
Villanueva: 160.4
Gilbert: 116
Feiler: 107
Finney: 106
Okorafor: 73
Samuels: 37

David DeCastro wasn’t charged with a single sack all year long. The only other Steeler who can say that is B.J. Finney who played far fewer snaps. DeCastro is the first starting non-center to go sackless in a season since I’ve been charting.

Jaylen Samuels struggled as a rookie, giving up three sacks, the most by a running back since we’ve started tracking these. The “per snap” numbers are a little messy. I just used the number of times they lined up at running back on pass plays, though that doesn’t always mean they were blocking. Best we can do off the charting. Le’Veon Bell, for example, allowed 1.5 in 2017 and just half a sack the year before.

Here are the sack totals over the past four seasons, dating back to 2015.

Villanueva: 4.5-6-4.5-5.5
Foster: 2-1.5-2-2.5
Pouncey: 2.5-1-0-0
DeCastro: 0-1.5-2-2.5
Gilbert: 2-0.5-4-1.5
Roethlisberger: 0.5-3.5-3.5-1.5

A lot of consistency across the board, no one too high or too low. A “down” year for Pouncey statistically though. That’s a little noticeable. Villanueva tied a career low for sacks allowed despite not missing a snap the entire year. Improvement for Roethlisberger too, his career low.

Now let’s look at penalties:

Penalty Breakdown (Season)

Maurkice Pouncey: 5
Alejandro Villanueva: 5
David DeCastro: 3
Ramon Foster: 3
Marcus Gilbert: 2
Chukwuma Okorafor: 1

And the year-by-year totals since 2015.

Villanueva: 5-5-6-1
Foster: 3-0-1-3
Pouncey: 5-3-2
DeCastro: 3-6-11-2
Gilbert: 2-1-5-6

If we’re looking at just numbers, Pouncey didn’t have a great year (he still played well though if you’re looking at the tape). Highest number of penalties and sacks. DeCastro saw a drop in penalties along with his sacks while Foster was flagged the most since 2015.

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