It’s definitely foolish to read anything at all into any preseason stats but I thought it was worth pointing out to everyone that the Pittsburgh Steelers defense did finish tops in the NFL in sacks this year with 20.
Finishing right behind the Steelers were the Cleveland Browns with 19 sacks and the New England Patriots finished third with 18 sacks.
Steelers rookie outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper finished the 2019 preseason as the NFL leader in sacks with five. Below is a breakdown of the other Steelers 2019 preseason sacks and finishing behind Skipper with two sacks each were inside linebacker Robert Spillane, outside linebacker Bud Dupree and defensive end Stephon Tuitt. In total, 14 different Steelers defensive player recorded at least a half a sack or more during the 2019 preseason. 10 in total were recorded by Steelers outside linebackers.
Last season, the Steelers 52 total sacks tied them for the most in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2017 the Steelers registered a league-high 56 sacks, which was also was a new franchise record. Will this tear’s Steelers defense ultimately be able to hit at least 50 sacks again in 2019? It certainly looks like that’s possible and the unit might even be able to hit 60 if they can keep their starters healthy.
In addition to rerecording 20 sacks during the 2019 preseason, the Steelers defense also recorded 8 total takeaways, which tied them for the second-most in the NFL with the Chiefs and the Chicago Bears. The Dallas Cowboys finished with a league-high 11 takeaways for the 2019 preseason.
Defensive backs Cameron Sutton and Marcelis Branch recorded the Steelers two preseason interceptions while Skipper recorded two of the team’s nine total forced fumbles during the recently concluded preseason. Also recording forced fumbles for the Steelers were Tyler Matakevich, Ulysees Gilbert III, Marcus Allen, Kameron Kelly, Terrell Edmunds, Jayrone Elliott, and Mike Hilton. The team’s six total fumble recoveries during the preseason were registered by Skipper, Elliott, Isaiah Buggs, Sean Davis, Tegray Scales, and Tyson Alualu.
Last season the Steelers defense registered just 15 total turnovers with 8 of those being interceptions.