Taking a look at the four sacks allowed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills.
1. 2nd and 5, 8:18 3rd. 11 personnel. Five block + RB & TE check/release vs four man rush
Only three into the route initially. Trying to hit Diontae Johnson on a double-move, a stop ‘n go, to the left side. CB bails right before the snap, safety rolls that way, and it doesn’t work. Doesn’t give Devlin Hodges much to work with. He tries to climb the pocket but Bills’ LDE Shaq Lawson is able to work back to him and absolutely crush Hodges.
Hodges didn’t show great ball security here either, holding the ball down and away and fumbling it upon getting hit. Alejandro Villanueva thankfully falls on it to avoid the turnover.
Tough one to assign blame here. Not going to give it to the offensive line. Just nice coverage by Buffalo to counter Pittsburgh’s attack that doomed the play from that moment.
2. 3rd and 9, 7:28 3rd. 11 personnel. Six block vs five man rush
One of the plays we referenced in breaking down the Steelers’ pass protection debacle. So be sure to check that article out.
Six man protection, RB reading inside/out, and James Conner keys and is ready to pick up the DB off the edge. Matt Feiler, for the second time this game, comes off his assignment, the LDE, to block the blitzing DB. Why would he do this? I have no idea. It’s not his job and he just makes the problem worse.
If it wasn’t for Feiler, this probably isn’t a sack. But coming off his man let Trent Murphy run free who nails Hodges for the second sack in as many plays. This one is clear. 100% on Feiler.
Blame: Matt Feiler
3. 2nd and 15, 2:59 4th. 11 personnel. Five block + RB check/release vs four man rush
Hodges is largely a mess here. Ball has to come out. Has a couple options. Nick Vannett on the curl or he can come off that to hit Deon Cain on the curl with the corner playing the deep 1/4.
He does neither. Drops his eyes as he climbs the pocket and he’s looking to run instead of scanning the field. Doing his best Mark Sanchez impression, he runs into Maurkice Pouncey’s butt and stumbles before NT Jordan Phillips sheds and falls on top.
End of the game, pressure getting to Hodges all game. He was puddy at this point. And it showed.
Blame: Devlin Hodges
4. 1st and 10, :39 4th. 11 personnel. Five block vs four man rush
Not a lot going on downfield for Hodges here. Stunt pickup is the real problem. Bills running an “Otto” stunt with both DTs swapping spots. Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey aren’t on the same level and don’t pass this off correctly. Foster can’t slide back to his left to take the looper, his limited athleticism comes into play here, and Phillips flies in for his second sack of the game.
Hodges doesn’t hear the spike call, tries to run a play, throws a pick, and the game’s over. What a mess.
Going to put this one on Foster.
Blame: Ramon Foster
Sack Breakdown (Game)
Devlin Hodges: 1
Matt Feiler: 1
Ramon Foster: 1
Sack Breakdown (Season)
Devlin Hodges: 4.5
Matt Feiler: 3.5
Mason Rudolph: 3
Coverage/Defensive Scheme: 3
Alejandro Villanueva: 2.5
Ramon Foster: 2.5
Wide Receivers: 1.5
David DeCastro: 1.5
Chukwuma Okorafor: 1
Randy Fichtner: 1
Mike Tomlin: 0.5
Maurkice Pouncey: 0.5
BJ Finney: 0.5
Penalty Breakdown (Game)
Alejandro Villanueva: 1
Penalty Breakdown (Season)
Alejandro Villanueva: 7
Maurkice Pouncey: 4
Matt Feiler: 3
David DeCastro: 3
Zach Banner: 2
BJ Finney: 1
Chukwuma Okorafor: 1