The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers defense does two things better than any other team in the NFL heading into Week 15. Sack the quarterback and take the football away.
With the black-and-gold the clubhouse leader in both sacks and turnovers, you would think their sack rate would be the best in the league, but you’d have to think again. But first, let’s explain what a sack rate actually is...
According to NFL Matchup on ESPN’s verified Twitter page, sack rate is the percentage defensive sacks per opponent dropbacks.
In this case, the Steelers have the second best sack rate in the league with 9.8%. Take a look at the top 10 in the image below:
Through Week 14, these teams have the highest defensive sack rate. #GoNiners #HereWeGo #KeepPounding #DUUUVAL #HTTR #GoPats #LARams #Saints #GoBills #Browns #FlyEaglesFly #Skol @gregcosell | @MattBowen41 pic.twitter.com/wIvzxMOblp— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) December 11, 2019
It should come as a surprise to no on how the Steelers’ Week 15 opponent, the Buffalo Bills, also finds themselves on this list of defenses who get after the quarterback. The Bills come in tied for 9th in the sack rate standings, which means Devlin Hodges and company will have to be prepared for the pressure Buffalo will bring on Sunday Night Football.
While stats are tremendous, and great for truly assessing a team’s identity, so much of it comes down to individual matchups on a week-by-week basis. As stated earlier, the Steelers ability in Week 15, not what they’ve done previously, to harass Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen will ultimately set forth a path to the postseason.
If they get to Allen, and force him into bad positions, the Steelers could find themselves catapulted in front of Buffalo to the No. 5 seed in the AFC Playoff Picture. Fail to contain Allen and suddenly the Steelers will be looking at tie breaker scenarios and wondering what will come of this magical 2019 season.
In any way, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they prepare for the Bills to invade Heinz Field in Week 15 on Sunday Night Football.