Monday, 23 July, 2018

AFC Divisional Playoffs: Three things to watch in Jaguars-Steelers

SA man threatened mass shooting at NFL playoff game, affidavit says AFC Divisional Playoffs: Three things to watch in Jaguars-Steelers
Rita Gibson | 13 January, 2018, 12:05

He spoke publicly after last season of his contemplation of retirement, only to return for a 14 season as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers and take another shot, at age 35, at a third Super Bowl triumph. That was the Jaguars' first victory in the series since beating the Steelers, 31-29, in an AFC wild-card game after the 2007 season. On that note, here are three X-factors in Sunday's game - the second postseason encounter for these franchises.

The Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills 10-3 at EverBank Field last Sunday in the wildcard round.

Ben Roethlisberger is putting thoughts of his future to one side as he prepares to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers into an National Football League playoff battle against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

You could really say the quarterback is critical in every game, but this game the Steelers will need Ben to play like he has at the second half of the season.

The biggest issue that hurt the Steelers was running back Leonard Fournette keeping the ball out of Blake Bortles hands. We want to be balanced. Obviously offensively we didn't play the way we wanted to play.

Bell proved to be a clutch playoff performer in his first postseason exposure a year ago, rushing for 167 and 170 yards against the Dolphins and Chiefs.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have taken an unlikely route to the playoffs. Getting back McDonald and Gilbert creates a huge impact in the running game, both in the idea of schematic and depth purposes. A couple more? Or could it be as little as one more game? "Your performance on Sunday, that's going to be who you are for that week until you change it or you sustain what you're doing well".

Streep shines in timely political tale 'The Post'
He pursues the story with the purest, strongest force known to journalism - that of the scooped trying to scoop their scooper. But years later the government was still sending soldiers to Vietnam, not to win, but to forestall a humiliating defeat.

Against San Francisco and Tennessee, Bortles threw a combined two touchdowns and five interceptions. And today, Ramsey responded to something Mike Mitchell said when he said the Steelers would beat the Jaguars. However, during that off game, Brown would be one of Pittsburgh's more productive players that week-catching 10 passes for 157 yards.

The Steelers are heavy favorites for a reason. Jacksonville is 4-1 when Fournette surpasses 100 yards rushing. Fournette rushed for 181 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run, in the first meeting against the Steelers.

If the Steelers' defense can pressure him, Bortles will continue to struggle and it will likely cost his team the game. The Jaguars held their opponents to 15 points or less in six of nine games they played outside of Jacksonville.

Offensively, the Jaguars averaged 27.1 points and 375.1 total yards (229.8 in passing and 145.3 in rushing) per game. Curry reminded the room packed with people wearing teal and black that the Jaguars can defeat the Steelers, pointing to Jacksonville's 30-9 win over Pittsburgh back in October. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 337 yards, two touchdowns and three picks in a loss to the David Garrard-led Jags.

Roethlisberger has turned it around since then, helping lead the Steelers to a 10-1 record the rest of the regular season. Each game plan must have balance and each play must set up the next. More than that, he actually rushed for more yards than he passed for, 87.

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING: Jacksonville's wide receiving corps consists of three rookies (Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Montay Crockett), a first-year pro (Mickens), and two fourth-year vets (Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns).

And rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster said Brown looked, "amazing, like he hasn't skipped a beat". But Bell and Brown should step up this time, leaving Jags with surprising matchup challenge for the talented Jags secondary against up-and-coming TE Vance McDonald. "I was yelling "clock it" because I felt like that was the thing to do, was clock it and get yourself one play".

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