Jaguars vs. Steelers: 3 defensive keys to victory


DE Yannick Ngakoue and the Rams' DT Aaron Donald are only players in National Football League with at least 10 sacks (12 for Ngakoue) and five FF (6) ...

Here are five reasons the Steelers will beat the Jaguars this time.

As has been the case with Steelers teams over the last few seasons, this team goes as the offense goes.

On that play, Brown ran a go route and it turned into a 49-yard completion. He has since said his talented offensive line could extend his career, and his 58 sacks from 2015-17 is one of the league's lowest totals. So the Jaguars still could move on from Bortles at quarterback if they choose. Miami did it scoring 30 points in a 30-15 win, where Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had a miserable game. So maybe there's no reason to talk about the Patriots right now but also, maybe, perhaps Blake Bortles was so incredibly bad last weekend that opposing safeties just aren't interested in pretending like they're anxious. Nor should any team with a defense as fast and furious as the Jaguars.

It could be worse for the Steelers, but it obviously could be much much better.

The Jags have a plus-10 turnover differential, which is better than the Patriots, Steelers, Saints and all playoff teams. Davis fired Jack Del Rio a week later and the team officially hired Gruden on January 6 after the team interviewed two minority candidates. Now, Smith-Schuster is a legitimate threat in this offense. Since then the Jaguars have shored up the middle of their defense with Marcel Dareus. "There's no need for more talking". Theismann said. "That would make sense for them". Dareus against David DeCastro will be a terrific battle. He ran for 181 and 130 yards in consecutive weeks against the Steelers and the Rams, respectively, and broke off long touchdown runs in both games. The Jaguars picked up their fifth-year option in Bortles' rookie contract, at a salary of more than $19 million, for next season. On the contrary, the Steelers love to take shots, especially on first down. "They got a bye week, so they're probably feeling really confident". Targeting Ramsey is playing with fire. We just have to find a way to bring the game from Pittsburgh earlier in the season. These corners don't get beaten. They are that good.

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There will be some window dressing and Pittsburgh will do what it can to dictate matchups. Juju has the same when he goes to the slot. "I think everybody in Jacksonville hung on that moment thinking, 'I think he can do it, but will he?' And of course, yeah, he did do it - in a big way".

The biggest weak point of either team is Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles. Since Pittsburgh will not have Ryan Shazier, Jacksonville needs to split Fournette out to exploit any matchup. Everyone was flowing to the ball and making gang tackles. The wild-card game is the only time these two teams played in the postseason. One, it makes him very inaccurate. Bell had 10 catches but was limited to 46 yards. Expect the Steelers to be able to put the ball in the end zone in the rematch. They were second in sacks with 55 and second in interceptions with 21. The Titans are ready to exploit them and do what it takes to win. "We'll see who gets the better of the two, but my money's on Jalen".

Roethlisberger has faced plenty of quality defenses in playoff games over the years. Something has to give.

He will have his hands full this weekend playing against Calais Campbell. I'm not saying that. Jacksonville has done a good job of mixing up looks and using Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue from different launching points.

Field goal kicking is always an issue at Heinz Field thanks to the open end of the stadium and swirling Pittsburgh winds.