Coming off Jacksonville’s first playoff win in a decade; the Jaguar’s will have a much tougher task at hand this week taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers. TheCover3 writers are back again with another preview and what to expect.
Keys to the Game:
Offense: The Jaguars HAVE to run the ball. It’s going to be one of the coldest games, the Jags have ever played in. Leonard Fournette had 21 carries for 57 yards, averaging 2.7 yards per carry last week vs the Bills. If the Jags want to win, they must run the football.
Defense: Don’t give up big plays. The Jaguars defense has been historic this season. However, at times they have given up the big plays. If they can eliminate the chunk plays and force Pittsburgh to drive down the field, I like the Jags chances.
Offense: The Jaguars have scored a total of six points offensively in their last two games. Six points won’t win you a road playoff game so it’s time to get creative. Collectively on offense the jaguars need to come into the game with great play calling.
Defense: Create turnovers, do what you do best. The last meet up for this jags defense vs big ben and the Steelers was a total nightmare. Big Ben arguably had one of the worse games of his career, while throwing for 312 yards he finished with five interceptions, and threw zero touchdowns. With so much of the media overlooking this matchup between the jags and Steelers I expect a big day from the jags defense.
Offense: For Jacksonville Sunday’s game is all about controlling the time of possession. The Jaguars cannot afford getting into a shoot-out with Pittsburgh high powered offense. You should expect a heavy dose of Leonard Fournette.
Defense: Jacksonville has to contain Pittsburgh’s all-pro running back Le’veon Bell, if they can contain him there’s a shot. Against the pass the Jaguars have been nothing short of stellar, with a banged-up Antonio Brown I expect the all-pro duo of Ramsey and Bouye to do what they do best.
Offense: Keelan Cole. Keelan Cole has been the Jaguars biggest deep threat this season. Cole went without a catch last week against the Bills. He must have a much stronger performance this week. The Steelers will load up the box and sell out for the run, which will provide many opportunities for big plays down the field.
Defense: Yannick Ngakoue. Ben Roethlisberger is a hard guy to sack. The Jaguars will need their most explosive pass rusher to pressure, and bring him down this week. Jags could definitely use Ngakoue’s famous strip-sack this weekend.
Offense: Blake Bortles. The media is absolutely drilling Bortles. With so much scrutiny during the entire season, and his mediocre play from his first playoff performance the outsiders believe he’s the jaguars weakest link. However, Blake has developed thick skin towards it, and it’s time for him to show it on the field. If the Jaguars can win this game Blake will be one of the reasons it happened.
AJ Bouye. With so much talk surrounding Jalen Ramsey on how he’s the best corner in the league, his counter partner AJ Bouye could also be thrown into that discussion. Bouye will have the responsibilities of covering Martavis Bryant and rookie sensation JuJu Smith-Schuster. Yes, let the media hype us up on the Ramsey vs brown battle as jags we’re all here for it. However, don’t forget about AJ Bouye he’s a big play waiting to happen.
Offense: Offensive Line. As of lately the Offensive line has struggled opening up holes for the young Leonard Fournette. If they can open up holes for the running backs Pittsburgh will have a tough time on defense, Especially without star linebacker Ryan Shazier.
Defense: Telvin Smith. Once again, my key player is the leader of this Jacksonville defense. Smith registered 11 tackles and a forced fumble last week against the Bills. This week he will have to do much of the same, against another all pro back in Bell.
Tony: Steelers 27-23
Darien: Jaguars 17-6
Aaron: Jaguars 23-20 *Lambo kicks game winner.