Although he ended up putting himself back into the interception column today with his late pick in the end zone at the end of the first half, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did take another streak up to three games today, and that is three consecutive games in which he was not sacked. He took some hits, but the last time he was brought down for lost yardage was against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ upcoming opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, who got to him twice four weeks ago.
Roethlisberger dropped back to pass 46 times against the Jacksonville Jaguars over the course of today’s game. The Jaguars, like the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys in the previous two weeks, failed to sack him once. They are only credited with three hits during the game.
“It feels good”, Roethlisberger said after the game about being able to escape games without a sack. “I believe in those guys up front, and they’ve gone up against some really good defenses, dome good d-lines, some crazy blitzes and different things. I love those guys to death, and I wouldn’t want anyone else in front of me”.
This is in spite of changes upfront. Of course, in the offseason, longtime starting guard Ramon Foster retired. He was replaced by the Steelers moving right tackle Matt Feiler to his left guard spot. Zach Banner opened the season at right tackle, but after tearing his ACL in week one, third-year Chukwuma Okorafor has been filling in ably since then.
Pittsburgh has only taken 10 sacks as a team through 10 games. They entered the week with the second-fewest sacks allowed in the NFL, behind only the Indianapolis Colts, who allowed nine through nine games. The Colts are playing right now, and as of this writing, have not yet given up a sack to the Green Bay Packers, but there is still half a game to play. Update: the Steelers now share the NFL lead in sacks allowed following a Kenny Clark sack of Philip Rivers in the second half.
According to our own Alex Kozora, this is the first time in franchise history that the Steelers have ever gone through a three-game stretch without allowing a sack, since the 1982 season when sacks first became an official statistic.
According to Pro Football Reference, the Steelers’ record for the fewest sacks allowed in a single season is 19, which they set back in 1982. Most recently, they allowed only 21 sacks in 2016. They also allowed 24 sacks in both 2017 and 2018.
Right now, they are on pace for just 16 sacks, which would of course be a new record. Roethlisberger is on pace to attempt 608 passes, as well. The difference is that he is getting rid of the ball quicker than any other quarterback in the NFL.