Sack Breakdown: Steelers Vs Titans

Breaking down the three sacks allowed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 15 win over the Tennessee Titans.

1. 2nd and 9, 6:55 1st. 11 personnel. Six block vs. five rush.

Failed RPO out of pistol. Ben Roethlisberger pulls the ball at the mesh point and wants to hit Ray-Ray McCloud to the top in the slot. But it’s well-defended by the safety rotating down to replace the nickel blitz. The corner is free to rush Roethlisberger and Ben doesn’t have many options left, though maybe he could’ve hit Diontae Johnson on the slant.

Up front the blocking is just as bad, and both DTs burst through. Roethlisberger is dead to rights and taken down. This is just a mess all around. But it’s clear Roethlisberger’s post-snap picture is different than what he thought he was getting pre-snap. He had to hold onto the ball because of it and absorb the sack. Probably should’ve handed it off though to be honest, this play wasn’t going anywhere no matter what he did.

Blame: Ben Roethlisberger


2. 1st and 10, 11:26 3rd. 12 personnel. Play action. Six block vs. four rush.

Steelers trying to sell play action here, but false-keying and pulling RG Trai Turner to influence the LBs and safeties. They aren’t fooled. Turner is asked to pull and reach EDGE Bud Dupree, a difficult task made even tougher by Kendrick Green losing ground on the snap and bumping into Turner, slowing him up. Pittsburgh tries to use play action and the Chase Claypool jet motion to hold and freeze Dupree, but it doesn’t work.

Dupree runs in free, Turner unable to reach him, blows up Najee Harris, and sacks Ben Roethlisberger before he can even turn around. The Steelers don’t use play action for a very good reason. They are bad at this. This is proof as why.

The blame is trickier. There are layers to it. Turner can’t execute the block, Green bumps him, and the scheme isn’t sound. It’s asking a lot out of Turner. I’m putting this on Canada for just bad scheme and asking a guard who can’t really pull to take on Bud Dupree on the edge. I know they tried to hold him with Claypool, but the way it looks on paper can be much different once you put names to the X’s and O’s.

Blame: Scheme


3. 3rd and 5, 8:11 4th. 11 personnel. Five block + RB check/release vs. four rush.

Last one. Like the Minnesota Vikings did, the Tennessee Titans “mug” both A gaps with their ILBs before bailing both on the snap and just bringing four. The line forms a good pocket for Roethlisberger, who is trying to step up and fire downfield to Zach Gentry running behind the linebacker against a two-high look. It’s a tighter throw, but there’s real estate here.

But Roethlisberger runs himself into a sack, stepping into the rush and pressure as Trai Turner’s man brings Roethlisberger down. Roethlisberger could’ve stayed in the pocket, took one hitch, and made the throw. But he’s trying to find a cleaner lane and instead just found pressure.

Blame: Ben Roethlisberger


Sack Breakdown (Game)

Ben Roethlisberger: 2
Scheme: 1

Penalty Breakdown (Game)

Trai Turner: 2
Chukwuma Okorafor: 1

Sack Breakdown (Season)

Dan Moore Jr.: 7
Trai Turner: 5
Ben Roethlisberger: 5
Coverage/Scheme: 4
Joe Haeg: 3
Kendrick Green: 2.5
Wide Receivers: 1.5
Zach Gentry: 1
Kevin Dotson: 1
Chukwuma Okorafor: 1
Chase Claypool: 1
Najee Harris: 1

Penalty Breakdown (Season)

Chukwuma Okorafor: 7
Kevin Dotson: 5
Kendrick Green: 5
Trai Turner: 5
Dan Moore Jr.: 2
John Leglue: 2

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