EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two series into Friday night’s preseason opener, Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie outside linebacker T.J. Watt already had two sacks of New York Giants’ quarterback Josh Johnson. Since Watt lined up over much-maligned Giants’ left tackle Ereck Flowers, the alarm bells — and the Flowers hate — started quickly.
Ereck Flowers allows his first sack on third play https://t.co/vte48AsPZM— Dan Pizzuta (@DanPizzuta) August 11, 2017
Thing is, while Watt lined up over Flowers neither of those sacks was the left tackle’s fault. Let’s look.
Sack No. 1
Beware of @_TJWatt at all times! #PITvsNYG pic.twitter.com/bEi812PssN— NFL (@NFL) August 11, 2017
This sack is on quarterback Josh Johnson. Flowers has good position on Watt until Johnson steps up in the pocket and passes Flowers, basically walking right into Watt. Nothing the left tackle can do there. If you don’t want to pin it on Johnson, blame the pressure up the middle that caused him to move right into Watt.
Easy to blame LT Flowers because of narrative.@CarlBanksGIII & @BobPapa_NFL hit it perfectly.— Ryan Smith (@PFF_Smith) August 11, 2017
Pressure on Richburg causes sack. #PITvsNYG pic.twitter.com/L4sADxJupg
Sack No. 2
Wow.— NFL (@NFL) August 11, 2017
This is @_TJWatt's 2nd sack of the night! #PITvsNYG pic.twitter.com/sK3vObnYKV
It looked like this was supposed to be a wide receiver screen because Flowers never tried to block Watt. Instead, he moves out to get in front of a play that never happened. Can’t pin that one on Flowers since he wasn’t blocking Watt on the play.
Coach Ben McAdoo said after the game that “there was a mistake on the outside” that caused the sack.