After a terrific regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers finally get a chance to play in the playoffs against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers hope to avenge one of their worst defeats of the regular season, when they lost to the Jaguars 31-9 in week 5. In that game, Ben Roethlisberger threw 5 interceptions and had one of the worst games of his career. Will we see a repeat of that, or will the Steelers make it one step closer to going to the Super Bowl? Lets look at the matchups:
Jaguars Offense vs Steelers Defense
If you think ‘wow, the Jaguars scored 31 points on the Steelers defense in their first meeting’, you’d be wrong. 14 of those points were from the Jaguars defense. The Jaguars rely on their running game but that hasn’t been going as well for them. In their first meeting, running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 181 yards but 90 of those came in a 90 yard run. They may try to throw the ball downfield as the Steelers secondary is prone to giving up big plays. The Steelers actually did a good job of containing the Jaguars offense the first time so expect that to happen again.
Steelers Offense vs Jaguars Defense
Last week when asked which team he wanted to play in the playoffs, Ben Roethlisberger said he wanted to play the Jaguars. Well he’s getting his wish and it’s he has a good reason to want to play them again – he had the worst game of his career against them in Week 5. Some of the 5 interceptions were bad luck but still, 5 interceptions is 5 interceptions. Ben will have a tough task against the Jaguars defense, ranked number 1 against the pass. The Jaguars are not as good against the run so expect to see a lot of Le’Veon Bell in this game.
In this game you have two very good defenses. The difference is the Steelers offense is much better than the Jaguars offense. Combine Ben’s desire for redemption and the Steelers push toward a Super Bowl and that should give them the slight edge in this game.
Steelers 19, Jaguars 15