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Will Ben Roethlisberger Help Terrell Suggs Heat Up?

Posted Nov 26, 2013

Terrell Suggs hasn’t had a sack in his last three games. But he almost always gets Ben Roethlisberger.

It was the very first play from scrimmage as the Ravens faced off against the Browns in Cleveland.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs came crashing down on Browns quarterback Jason Campbell and dragged him down with one arm. It looked like the start of another hot day from the man called “Sizzle.”

But since then, Sizzle has cooled down in the sack department.

After logging nine sacks in his first eight games, Suggs has zero in the past three contests. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF) snap counts, Suggs has gone 129 straight pass-rush snaps without a sack.

“I was thinking about that too,” Suggs said of his streak.

“It wasn’t like I wasn’t winning. … I can’t get down on myself. I’ve still got games left and I’m going to continue to play.”

Suggs explained the main issue in the three sack-less games.

First it was Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth and the Bengals: “Me and Whitworth, he and I have had some battles together and he just happened to win when we played Cincy. But we won the game, so I’ll take that,” Suggs said.

Then there was Chicago: “I don’t think anybody can count Chicago. It was just a terrible field to play on,” he said.

Last week it was the Jets: “I didn’t get one last week, but facing Rex Ryan and not giving up a touchdown, winning 19-3, I’ll take that too.”

Suggs had a lot of success against the Jets with two quarterback hits and four hurries. It was the second-most combined pressure he’s had on a quarterback this season (Week 2 vs. Cleveland).

Over the past three games, Suggs has averaged as many pressures (four) as he did during his first eight contests. He's just not getting the sacks.

“He’s being very, very disruptive as a football player and you’re not going to see that on the stat sheet all the time,” defensive end Chris Canty said.

If Suggs is going to get on a roll, Thursday’s game could help.

Suggs has sacked no quarterback more times over his 11-year career than the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger. Suggs has brought him down a staggering 16.5 times over regular season and postseason games.

The Ravens outside linebacker added one more to the total in Week 7 in Pittsburgh. Suggs went around the edge and grabbed Roethlisberger by the back of his jersey before ripping him down with one hand.

“He is the hardest quarterback to sack in the league,” Suggs said. “It’s something I really take pride in.”

Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil has now taken over the Ravens’ sack lead. He notched one to end the game against the New York Jets, giving him 9.5 for the season compared to Suggs’ nine.

According PFF, Dumervil has the best pass-rush productivity of outside linebackers in the NFL. Pass-rush productivity is a measure that combines sacks, hits and hurries relative to how many times they rush the passer. Suggs ranks 10th on the list.

“Sacks are going to come when they come,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

“[Suggs is] getting a lot of pressure, we’re hitting quarterbacks, we’re flushing quarterbacks out of the pocket, we’re forcing them to throw before they want to throw. Our pass rush has been good. Terrell Suggs and Elvis – all of our guys – they’re all part of that. But [Suggs] is rushing the passer just fine.”

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