Sizzle is back.
After what seemed to be a lost 2012 season in which he missed the first half of the year due to a torn Achilles, Terrell Suggs is back to 2011 form.
Just like 2011, Suggs may be on track to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award for the second time in three years.
With seven sacks through five games, Suggs looks as good as ever as a pass rusher, and at his current pace, he would be primed to tie or even break Michael Strahan’s record of 22.5 sacks in a season.
Three of Suggs’s seven sacks came on Sunday in Miami.
Let’s take a look at each of his three sacks from Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.
Q4, 2nd and 2, 11:36 remaining
Here is where Suggs uses his speed to simply run right past the lineman.
Suggs is lined up on the outside shoulder of the tight end, with left tackle Jonathan Martin on the inside to block.
Capitalizing on the fact that Martin is playing the inside move, Suggs turns up field to evade him on the outside.
Suggs simply uses his speed to beat Martin on the outside and easily hits quarterback Ryan Tannehill from behind.
Last year, an injured and overweight Suggs doesn’t make this type of speed play. But now that Suggs is in as good of shape as he has ever been, plays like this will be routine this season.
Q4, 1st and 10, 5:25 remaining
In this instance, Suggs is again matched up against Martin, but this time it’s Suggs’s power that gets the best of the tackle.
Suggs lines up wide of Martin. Running back Lamar Miller is lined up in the backfield, but not to block; he is a receiver on this play.
Instead of going around Martin, Suggs engages him straight on, directly in the sight of Tannehill.
Suggs simply shoves Martin several yards back into Tannehill, creating a logjam that allows him to easily get the sack.
Not only is Suggs faster than last year, but he also has the inherent strength that is needed to be a dominant pass rusher. Multidimensional rushers like Suggs are the NFL prototypes, and Suggs continues to show why he’s one of the best in the business.
Q4, 3rd and 14, 4:53 remaining
On this play late in the game, Suggs’ awareness is what earns him the sack.
This time, Suggs is lined up on the outside shoulder of right tackle Tyson Clabo.
Off the snap, a gap opens between Clabo and the right guard, which gives Suggs and defensive end Pernell McPhee an easy path to Tannehill.
Both Suggs and McPhee instantly react to the opening, and Suggs uses his speed to easily get past Clabo.
Tannehill tries to move up in the pocket, but it is too late as the closing speed of Suggs gives him his third sack of the day.
On each of the three plays, Suggs uses a different maneuver from his arsenal of pass rushing techniques to come up with the sack.
Did you also notice a trend throughout the article?
All three of Suggs’s sacks came when he was lined up as a defensive end with his hand in the dirt, not standing up.
That’s something to keep an eye on for the rest of the season as Suggs attempts to keep pace with the sack record.