If there is one thing that you know the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to do, it’s going to be bringing the quarterback down. With today’s performance against Deshaun Watson (who entered the game tied for having taken the most sacks in the league, mind you), Pittsburgh has now posted at least one sack on defense in 60 consecutive games.
That is not only the longest streak in franchise history, it is also the second-longest streak of games with at least one sack in NFL history—and they will have a short of topping the mark later on this season. The all-time record belongs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who recorded 69 consecutive games with a sack between 1999 and 2003. Mike Tomlin was with the Buccaneers for the final three years of that stretch.
The 60-game streak with at least 1 sack is tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history. The NFL record for consecutive games with at least 1 sack is 69 games by Tampa Bay (Oct. 10, 1999 to Nov. 9, 2003)…#BertschyBits #HereWeGo https://t.co/evgwuKivLD
— Michael Bertsch (@SteelersPRMike) September 27, 2020
The last time the Steelers did not record a sack was back in the 2016 season, going all the way back to a Week Five loss to the Miami Dolphins, a game in which Ben Roethlisberger was injured.
Pittsburgh had just 38 sacks that season, with James Harrison leading the team with five, Bud Dupree in just seven games posting 4.5, but they had 15 different players contribute to that total. Since then, they led the league in sacks in three straight seasons, and are threatening to do so again.
They set a franchise record in 2017 with 56 sacks, including a career-high 12 by Cameron Heyward, the first year he was named to the Pro Bowl and the first-team All-Pro team. He has been a Pro Bowler each year since, and a first-team All-Pro twice. Vince Williams also had eight, and a rookie T.J. Watt seven.
A year later, they came back with 52, Watt posting 13 sacks, and Heyward eight. Javon Hargrave had his best season as a pass rusher with 6.5. And then there was last season, Pittsburgh’s most potent pass rush, 54 as a team, with Watt posting 14.5, Dupree 11.5, and Heyward 9. Nobody else had more than four, but they didn’t need to.
Through the first two games of the 2020 season, the Steelers were already looking like they’ll make a good run at leading the league in sacks for a fourth straight season, posting 10 in the first two games, with seven coming last week against the Broncos. Watt had 2.5 in that game by himself, with five total contributors.
By the end of the first half, Williams got his second sack of the season, while Devin Bush and Dupree split one, giving the former three on the season and the latter two. Stephon Tuitt added a key third-down sack late in the third quarter to force a three and out for their third sack of the day, though the offense couldn’t capitalize, going three and out back.
In all, they would finish with five sacks, Dupree adding a full sack later to finish with 1.5. Watt, Williams, and Tuitt all got theirs as well, plus Bush’s half-sack contribution in the first half. They now have 15 on the season. They were one behind Washington for the league lead coming into the day, and they only had two, so I’m guessing Pittsburgh will come out of this week with the most in the NFL.