The difference between a sack, and a QB tackle for a loss ...

Steelers Q&A with Ed Bouchette

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Q: Early in the third quarter, Troy Polamalu tackled Joe Flacco at the Ravens' 27 for an eight yard loss. Why wasn't Polamalu credited with a sack? Who decides whether a tackle of the QB for a loss is a sack and, which players get the credit when the QB is sacked?

Ken Simon, Washington, D.C.

BOUCHETTE: Statisticians in the press box determine that, but they are not official until the NFL statisticians at the Elias Sports Bureau certify it so. They change stats during the season, sometimes turning a forward pass into a lateral and thus a run or vice versa. The stats guys got the Polamalu tackle correct, in my opinion. Flacco pulled a bootleg, tucked the ball and looked as if he were going to run when Polamalu tackled him. If statisticians determine that he was not going to pass, then it's not a sack. If one player sacks the QB, he gets the sack. If two get to him, they each get a half. If three get him, they have to pick two because there's nothing less than half a sack.


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