Steelers Versus Bengals Sack Break Down

By Alex Kozora

Breaking down both sacks allowed by the Pittsburgh Steelers vs the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night. Both of these fairly simple but still worth pointing out as I break down each sack allowed throughout the regular season.

1. 2nd and 10, 12:02 1st. Shotgun, 11 (1 RB, 1 TE) personnel. Four man rush by Cincy with the Steelers blocking with six if you include RB Felix Jones on a block/release (he never chips or blocks anyone). LE Carlos Dunlap briefly shows an outside rush before planting and cutting inside.

Steelers Bengals Sack Animated GIF 1



Marcus Gilbert doesn’t have the ability to move laterally and gets beat to the inside.

Domata Peko has his way with David DeCastro, getting under the second year guard and pushing him into Ben.



Ends up knocking DeCastro to the ground and he rolls into Mike Adams leg. Luckily avoided a serious injury.


Blame: Marcus Gilbert and David DeCastro responsible for .5 a sack.

2. 3rd and 20, 11:53 3rd. Shotgun, 11. Bengals fake a cornerback blitz and ultimately rush four, dropping seven into coverage with two deep over the top. Steelers only have a three man route downfield but block with just the OL. Good coverage downfield, predictably so on 3rd and long, and nothing available for Ben.

Steelers Bengals Sack Animated GIF 1


DeCastro walked into the pocket a little bit and Ben Roethlisberger flushes out to his right. Ben does what he is known for best, scrambling around, reversing field once and nearly again before Geno Atkins wraps him up.

This sack is on Ben. From snap to sack, the play lasts approximately 10.5 seconds. Obviously, no offensive line will be able to hold their blocks that long, especially with Ben running East/West.

I get trying to make a play, especially after the crushing, questionable tripping penalty on Marcus Gilbert. But there isn’t anything available downfield. By this point in the picture that follows, Ben needs to check it down to one of three options I’ve highlighted.


No, it’s unlikely any of those options pick up a first down. But better than taking a sack. Get the ball to around your own 40 and hope Zoltan Mesko can pin the Bengals deep.

Blame: Ben Roethlisberger

Sack Counter (Game)

Ben Roethlisberger: 1

David DeCastro: .5

Marcus Gilbert: .5

Sack Counter (Season)

Marcus Gilbert: 3

Ben Roethlisberger: 1

LaRod Stephens-Howling: 1

Mike Adams: .5

Defensive Coverage: .5

David DeCastro: .5

Ramon Foster: .5

*NOTE: The commentators were correct. I wrongly gave David DeCastro half the blame on the second sack allowed vs the Titans. It should have gone to Marcus Gilbert. That change is reflected in the seasonal sack counter.


Just one this week. Marcus Gilbert’s “trip”. Agree or not, it’s still the call that was made.

Marcus Gilbert: 1 (1 trip)

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • kev4heels

    Watching Gilbert in the 1st sack is downright scary. Guy gets beat like a drum with basically a change of direction move. Gilbert is practically straight upright. I’m thinking he needs to get deeper in his pass pro stance and bend at the knees…of course, his side to side lateral movement is not one of his specialties.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    All five guys move laterally like an ocean liner. On sack #2, Ben runs right and all five disengage, when Ben cuts back all five throw a shoulder towards a Bengal and all five pretty much whiff and knock each other to the ground…some worse than others. Yes, sack is on Ben, but a little better effort and Ben makes a throw.


    the first one is a scary watch, Gilbert and DeCastro simply getting owned awful…

    i can’t hep but laugh at the second one…can we shoot ii in black and white and put over a high tempo piano soundtrack please…

  • HopalongCassidy

    Steelers o-linemen look like they wear cement shoes. It’s funny, some linemen that the Steelers have cut in the past went on to play with other teams and play better than linemen that the Steelers kept. I’m kind of thinking that maybe Tomlin is a poor judge of talent or is prejudicial in his evaluations of certain players.

  • chris ward

    Gilbert and Adams have struggled protecting the inside rush the first two games.

  • chris ward

    In Decastro’s defense, he was up against some real good defensive lineman, but they had him on roller skates on some of these plays.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yes the Bengals front four is scary. But if you want to compete and win, you’re going to need to win those battles.

  • dgh57

    Come on Big Ben! He had a chance to dump it off to Redman when moving to his right. Moving to his left he had a chance to run with it, move to where he could’ve thrown the ball away. It was 3rd down so do anything to avoid a 15 yd loss on top of the penalty yards!

  • charles

    Ben missed many of his longer passes BADLY. This line on MANY occasions gave him ample time to throw.

  • Menace_501

    Dave can we get a gif of the Gilbert trip, I missed it live and have not had luck looking since.

  • chris ward

    Yeah definitely they have to start winning the battles upfront.

  • Mike.H

    DL when playing Steelers, they seem to stun, shuffle and shift, causing open lanes to QB… our DLlinemen rush straight-line and are cleanly blocked CONSTANTLY.

  • steeltown

    Its getting more and more evident, we need a stud LT, we need to move Adams over to RT and get Gilbert off the field. Gilbert will serve better as a backup swing OT
    For the time being, if no improvement is shown by the bye week, they have to strongly consider starting Beachum

  • cencalsteeler

    DeCastro was definitely getting pushed back, but Dunlaps momentum pushed DeCastro off balance and into the qb. The way I see that play, it is all on Gilbert. Gilbert seems to be cheating too far out to me, inviting Dunlap to cut back in.
    Ben needs to check down to his back more! I never see him look in that direction. Maybe a few designed check down throws might cause Ben to be more aware of his backs when his pocket is starting to break down.