Who will be first to 525 sacks, Steelers’ Ben or Bucs’ Brady?

Allison Koehler
·2 min read

ESPN staff writer Jeremy Fowler compiled an extensive analysis of the most-sacked active quarterbacks in the NFL, Steelers’ own Ben Roethlisberger and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady.

It’s certainly not a distinction either quarterback wants to be known for.

The 525 record currently belongs to Brett Favre, but Big Ben and Brady are uncomfortably close at 511 and 508.

Who relished in taking Big Ben down the most? It should come as no surprise that former Baltimore Raven Terrell Suggs did — 21 times over 12 games.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Logically, as Fowler points out, being the most-sacked quarterback is a longevity stat. Big Ben and Brady have been around the block more than a few times in this league.

Their propensity for taking sacks is about all the two future Hall of Famers have in common. They both approach their pocket presence differently. Ben’s style is to hold onto the ball (distressingly long for Steelers fans), waiting for a man to get open. Partially for this reason, between 2006 and 2008, he was sacked at minimum 46 times, and, in 2009, a career-high 50.

Roethlisberger has had success improvising to avoid being taken down, as was the case connecting with tight end Eric Ebron on Sunday.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As for Brady, he’s never been sacked more than 41 times in a year — he makes quicker decisions at the line of scrimmage. However, this season, per Fowler, he’s holding onto the ball a little longer at 2.60 seconds per dropback than Ben’s 2.27.

Ben has been sacked eight times this season (1.3 per game), but thanks to solid play from his offensive line and quicker decision-making, he took no sacks versus the Titans. The last zero-sack game was Oct. 14, 2018. Brady also has eight sacks but recorded zero in four of seven games this season.

In Roethlisberger’s last full season, he was sacked 24 times. Brady was sacked 27 times last year. Reaching 525 is certainly not out of the question for either of them in 2020.

Favre reached 525 in 2010. Should Roethlisberger and Brady surpass him before they retire, it could be another decade until they’re dethroned.

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