Just thinking about the game this morning, and one of the things that I was thinking about was how many sacks the Steelers can realistically get in this game. Last year we finished tied for 17th in the league (with the Jets), with only 35 sacks. In 2010 we were #1 with 48 sacks, and in 2009 we were second overall with 47 sacks.
Last year was just terrible with all the injuries to the front 7, mainly the Linebackers, so it's no wonder the sack total dropped. This year isn't starting out all that better with Harrison out and probably limited the first few games of the season.
Anyway, this unit has got to get after Manning. You don't beat him by sitting back and dropping extra players in coverage all day long. You've got to get up and get in his face, make him throw sooner than he wants and get him thinking about the pass rush. It won't be easy but our defense is a pressure defense, sitting back in coverage and waiting for a pass isn't how you draw it up.
Ed Bouchette had an interesting stat in his column this morning:
It's not easy getting to Manning. He's been sacked just 231 times in 13 seasons. He's attempted 7,210 passes. The most he's been sacked is 29 times in 2001.
For perspective, Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 314 times in eight seasons. He's attempted 3,313 passes, fewer than half as many as Manning. Roethlisberger has been sacked fewer than 30 times once, in 2005 when he missed four games with injuries.