Plays of the Year: Spillane’s sack extends Steelers streak, ties NFL record at 69 consecutive games

Steel City Underground presents “Plays of the Year” featuring the top runs, catches, hits and everything else in-between from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 season.

Entering yet another rescheduled game during the 2020 season (this time against the Washington Football Team) the Pittsburgh Steelers defense not only led the league in sacks, but as a league-leader over several seasons, they had an opportunity to keep an amazing 68-game streak live in which they’ve sacked an opposing quarterback at least once in each of those contests.

A 69th sack would tie an NFL record – and it didn’t take long for the Steelers put their names alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who set the NFL record over a five-season span (1999-2003).

On Washington’s second possession of the game, QB Alex Smith would go down by the hands of Steelers LB Robert Spillane.

Following their first play of the drive, a 13-yard run by rookie RB Antonio Gibson, Smith would step back to pass before being drilled for a nine-yard loss.

According to Steelers.com:

The Steelers streak began in Week 8 of the 2016 season against the Baltimore Ravens. James Harrison sacked Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco for the first of three sacks that day. Ryan Shazier and Anthony Chickillo also each added a sack.

The record-tying sack by Spillane also helps cement his name in the history books. While 29 different players contributed to the streak, it was the underdog Spillane, an undrafted linebacker who jumped into the Devin Bush‘ starting role this season, who will forever have this play known as the tying sack.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, they would drop their first loss of the 2020 season, snapping a different streak: their 11-game unbeaten run, with a 23-17 loss to the “Football Team”.

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