Steelers player already guaranteeing playoff win against Patriots

Steelers player already guaranteeing playoff win against Patriots

If they beat the Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans upset the top-seeded Patriots, the Steelers would host the AFC championship game.

Last week the Jaguars won their first playoff game since defeating Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in 2007. The Jacksonville Jaguars are where they are due to their defense.

Mendenhall said so far, they've filled one bus and are working on filling up two more. A lackluster offensive performance was mitigated by Jacksonville again showing up defensively. And now that Roethlisberger's wish has become a reality - the Steelers host the Jaguars on Sunday - he must, in the words of Jacksonville cornerback A.J. Bouye, "be careful what you wish for".

Are The Steelers Distracted?

- A lot of drama going on. It started last week when Roethlisberger said in an interview that he wanted to play the Jaguars.

Why the Jaguars could have the edge: Last week, Hurns went without a catch for only the second time in his 53-game career (regular season and playoffs). The Steelers were still in the mix for home field advantage with the New England Patriots facing off against the New York Jets. Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell should find running room against a Jags defense that ranked 21st in rushing yards allowed and 26th in yards per carry allowed. They're navel gazing. They're New England gazing.

"I feel great, especially not playing these last two weeks, not going to camp earlier in the year", Bell said Wednesday.

"You have to treat every game like it could be your last because you never know when it is", Roethlisberger said. Less than 100 yards passing and averaging 3.4 yards per rush is not way to win a playoff game. The Jaguars walked out of Pittsburgh with a 30-9 victory that left many shocked. He is rated as PFF's 15th best interior defensive lineman in the league.

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Bortles had been much more productive through the air during a three-game stretch from December 3 through December 1, when he completed a combined 71.4 percent of his passes (65-for-91) for 903 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. Byard intercepted two of Bortles' passes in the regular-season finale in Nashville. Do you think Brown plays on Sunday? Also, Jacksonville will pass more often on first down to loosen up the defense. How will he fare at Heinz Field, infamous for its swirling winds? That's what happens when injuries hit. DE Cameron Heyward led team and tied for 3rd in AFC with career-high 12 sacks ... The Steelers will load the box and dare Jacksonville to pass. NBC's immensely amusing, incredibly clever afterlife comedy has taken an absurd amount of joy in poking fun at both the city of Jacksonville and the historically hapless professional football team that calls the southern hamlet home. That's exactly the type of game they want to see this Sunday. It's doubtful the Steelers will turn the ball over a ton, and therefore the Jaguars offense will have to sustain some drives. Case Keenum has put together a superb stretch of games since replacing the injured Bradford. He had 28 touchdown passes, 14 interceptions and a passer rating of 93.4. And then he's got that big stud behind him. But- but it's not- he had four 300 yard plus passing game.

Jacksonville also appears to be relatively healthy. So he can be better, and the Jags need him to be this week.

Of the two top-tier wide receivers playing this week, I prefer to go with Jones over Antonio Brown based on matchup and the fact that Jones is not coming off a severe leg injury. But he had 19 targets as Big Ben forced to him time and time again.

"Maybe I don't have it anymore", Roethlisberger said after the loss, which included five interceptions. Blake Bortles looked like he'd forgotten how to hold - let alone throw - a football.

None of it seemed to bother Bortles, who has been sullied all season.

Fournette and Bell don't lose fumbles often.

Bortles has remained consistently even-tempered responding to the blowback regarding his strengths and weaknesses, but it's hard to ignore when there's so much of it going around.

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