Now that the Steelers 2019 season has concluded, the long off-season has begun. As we move through the remainder of the NFL postseason and beyond, it’s time to look back at some of the numbers the Steelers put up (or failed to put up) this past season. There are some numbers that are great, while others are definitely short of the mark. Either way, let’s put some context behind a few of the statistics for 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers produced during the season.
For the third straight year, the Pittsburgh Steelers led the NFL in sacks during the regular season. After posting 56 sacks in 2017 followed by 52 sacks which had them tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for tops in the league in 2018, the Steelers finished with 54 sacks in 2019. Finishing with over 50 sacks for the third straight season, it’s the first time the Steelers have accomplished the feat in franchise history. Additionally, the last time any team has finished three season with 50 or more sacks in the NFL since the St. Louis Rams from 1998 to 2000. If the Steelers can manage to get another 50+ sacks on the season in 2020, it will be only the eighth time in NFL history a team has had four or more seasons of hitting the 50-sack mark and it would be the first time since 1988.
As for individual sack numbers, T.J. Watt finished tied for fourth in the NFL with 14.5 sacks for the season. Teammate Bud Dupree was tied for ninth with 11.5 sacks as it was his first double-digit season in his career. For Watt, he had back-to-back years with 10 or more sacks in 2018 and 2019. Third on the Steelers list for sack leaders in 2019 was Cameron Heyward with nine sacks.
The Steelers also have the longest consecutive streak of games with at least one sack in the NFL. The last time the Steelers did not record a sack in a game was Week 7 of the 2016 season against the New England Patriots. With a consecutive game streak of 57, the Steelers are ninth all-time in the NFL and are 27 ahead of the next closest current streak by the Carolina Panthers with 30 consecutive games.
If the Steelers are hoping to keep their impressive streak of sacks going, both by recording them in every game and by reaching 50 on the season, it may be of upmost importance to find a way to re-sign Bud Dupree. Beyond Watt and Dupree, the only other outside linebacker on the Steelers’ roster to record a sack in 2019 was Anthony Chickillo who only had 0.5 on the year. But if Cam Hayward continues with his All-Pro play on the defensive line along with the return of Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers should continue to get to the quarterback in 2020.