‘Hungry’ Steelers defense makes splash with 8 sacks in win over Bengals
It was a party at Heinz Field on Monday Night.
A sack party.
“You put eight sacks up,” defensive end Stephon Tuitt said, “that’s when you see guys having a great time. Everybody is jumping around and smiling. It was really good to have that, good to see that.”
There was much that was good to see from the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first win of the season. But defensively, perhaps nothing was better than the eight sacks it got of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton during the 27-3 victory.
The eight sacks more than doubled the team’s total for the season. After leading the NFL in sacks each of the previous two seasons, the Steelers had six sacks through three games before Monday’s explosion.
“We were just so hungry as a defense … to make that splash,” said outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who had 1½ sacks to give him four for the season. “And we just never take our foot off that gas pedal and you saw that tonight.”
Cameron Heyward had his first 2½ sacks of the season, rookie Devin Bush had his first career sack and Javon Hargrave and Tyson Alualu each had a sack during the blowout.
Pretty much the only member of the starting front seven who did not have a sack was Tuitt, who came into the game with a team-high 3½. Tuitt, though, was credited with two of the Steelers’ 12 official “QB hits” of Dalton.
— SteelVideos (@SteelBlitzburgh) October 1, 2019
Tomlin said having a lead and being able to tee off on Dalton helped pad the Steelers’ sack total Monday.
“It’s (the pass rush) been there all season, but it showed up tonight, because of the situations, because we were controlling the football game,” Tomlin said. “So, it was able to be highlighted, and I think it’s just a lesson for all of us. In an effort for us to be at our best, it takes collaborative work in all three phases to produce an environment where your strengths get an opportunity to show, and it was able to be shown tonight.”
The Steelers are tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks with 14.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .