Watch: Stephon Tuitt’s 7th sack of the season keeps pace with Watt, Dupree
Steel City Underground will pick a play of the game from each side of the ball each week of the Steelers 2020 season. Stay tuned as we hand-select the very best from the Black and Gold!
While a lot of the focus has been placed, deservedly so, on the play of T.J. Watt, a serious contender for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, and Bud Dupree on the other edge for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Stephon Tuitt has come back this season to keep pace at his spot on the defensive line.
“The guys are playing hard, and playing fast and collectively well,” said head coach Mike Tomlin about the defense after the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11. “I think the catalyst for it all is the guys are playing extremely hard and fast. That as a collective. I think that creates the frenzy that provides the wave that we ride.”
In the third quarter of Sunday’s game, Pittsburgh turned up the heat a bit more on Jaguars quarterback Jake Luton when Tuitt powered through the line to earn the Steelers’ first sack of the day; the takedown extended the Steelers’ streak to 67 consecutive games with at least one sack, just two sacks shy of the all-time NFL record.
Tuitt played in just six games in 2019, recording 2.5 sacks (a single-game career high) against the Seattle Seahawks, before he was placed on injured/reserved. That he dealt with that adversity by taking advantage of every moment on the field this season shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Through 10 games, Tuitt has logged 31 total tackles (22 solo), 7.0 sacks, two pass defenses, and two forced fumbles. Comparatively, Watt has 30 total tackles (24 solo), 9.0 sacks, six pass defenses, and an interception while Dupree has 26 total tackles (18 solo), 8.0 sacks, two pass defenses, and two forced fumbles. Add on the number of quarterback hits and pressures these three Steelers defenders have applied, along with teammates Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu, and a complimentary corps of depth behind them, and the secret to why Pittsburgh has become the top defense opponents are concerned about facing becomes apparent.