It is the most significant trait of the Steelers defensive personality, and it has been for some time. Go after the quarterback. Pressure him, sack him, hit him, and make him as uncomfortable as possible. The Steelers did plenty of that today against the Broncos in their home opener at Heinz Field, and in fact they used that strategy to ice the 26-21 victory.
The Steelers sacked Drew Lock and Jeff Driskel seven times, they knocked them to the ground 19 times, and finished with two takeaways as a result of that pressure – a fumble recovery by Mike Hilton on a strip-sack by Bud Dupree, and an interception by Joe Haden.
Leading the pressure parade for the Steelers was T.J. Watt, who finished with four tackles, 2.5 sacks, and four quarterback hits. He is the Steelers Digest Player of the Week.
Also considered were Mike Hilton, who finished with eight tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, a pass defensed, and that fumble recovery; Diontae Johnson, who led the team with eight catches for 92 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown; James Conner, who rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries (6.6 average), one touchdown, and the 59-yard run in the final two minutes that allowed the Steelers to get into victory formation; Ben Roethlisberger, who completed 29-of-41 for 311 yards, with two touchdowns, one interception, and a rating of 98.7; Chase Claypool, who caught three passes for 88 yards, one of which was an 84-yard touchdown, and was in on three special teams tackles; Terrell Edmunds, who had four tackles, a pass defensed, and a sack on fourth-and-2 from the Steelers 15-yard line with 1:55 left in the game; and Bud Dupree, who had two tackles, a strip-sack, and three hits on the quarterback.