And yet Steelers cornerback Mike Mitchell is guaranteeing a Steelers' win over the Patriots in the AFC championship game. He gained more yards running than throwing vs. Buffalo in the wild-card round. It was abhorrent. One great defense, one good defense and two awful offenses squared off and we are all poorer for it. Jaguars quarterback, Blake Bortles, has never been accused of being fleet of foot, but he led all rushers in this game with 88 yards on the ground.
But a Jaguars injury may have just as much to do with Steelers' success as Antonio Brown's ability to play at a high level. The Steelers were 10th against the run. "It takes forever for him to get the ball out of his hand". "It will be a challenge for our guys up front".
Bortles had a bit of a stretch where he was putting up real quarterback numbers and helping fantasy teams win playoff games. New England is the other at 2-3.
Roethlisberger's Steelers have lost only three regular-season games this year, but their loss to the Jaguars - a 30-9 drubbing at home in Week 5 - has certainly been on his mind for the intervening weeks. The Steelers were banged up in their AFC title game loss to New England previous year, so being at 100 percent the rest of the way is key for them if they want to come out of the AFC.
"They are the best team", said former Tampa Bay Bucs QB Chris Simms. Roethlisberger won't throw a handful of interceptions again, and Bell will likely carry that offense against a D that is beatable on the ground.
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He ended the game with a season-best 181 yards rushing. Teams have loaded up to stop Fournette, and the only way to get teams to back off is to throw the ball and throw it well. Not even the best player on the planet. The two will not only be critical in preventing him from reaching the second level and breaking long runs but also containing him in the passing game. It started in Week 16, when they rushed for only 92 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. The Jaguars picked up their fifth-year option in Bortles' rookie contract, at a salary of more than $19 million, for next season.
The ROAR of the Jaguars cheerleaders and Jaxson de Ville were also at the pep rally to pump up the crowd ahead of Sunday's AFC Divisional Round matchup. We'll see how the game goes. "It could be another one of those games or it could be you go up there and throw it 50 times". Their 40 plays of 20 yards or more allowed through the air was one of the best in the league. There was some kind of record involved in that, in the playoffs, but I'm not looking it up.
Xavier Rhodes limited Thomas to 50 yards the first time they played and will be tasked once again at shadowing Thomas on Sunday. I think he's excited for each opportunity each week to go out there and get back on track and get back to playing the way he can play and the way everyone knows he can run. But doing so just three days before the biggest game of the season feels selfish. If there is a way to beat the Vikings with running backs it is in the passing game, and there Kamara is without a doubt the most dynamic receiving running back this year.
The Jags embarrassed Big Ben and the Steelers by forcing five interceptions in a shocking 26-9 victory at Heinz Field in Week 5. "So I take the approach that I'm going to live for the here and now and play this game one game at a time, one play at a time". It will be on the offense to score just enough to put the defense in easy situations against predictable plays to win.