Jaguars' stout defense playing big role in the playoffs

Jaguars' stout defense playing big role in the playoffs

Even though Jacksonville fans have reason to believe the Jags could potentially upset the Steelers in Round 2 - they defeated Pittsburgh 30-9 in Week 5 - an earlier season episode of The Good Place already prophesied that the Jaguars will never win the Super Bowl. "Like I said, we collectively, everyone - it starts with me to [offensive coordinator Nathaniel] Hackett to the assistant coaches to the players - we've got to do a better job". At the end of the day, I have to go with the Saints because they are the better all-around team. "When the game is on the line, we can't give up anything". The offense screeched to a grinding halt in a 15-10 loss to Tennessee that week, and that miserable offensive output carried over into the postseason as the Jaguars managed only 230 total yards and 10 points at home against a mediocre Buffalo defense.

"We're going to play [the Patriots] again", Mitchell told MMQB in a recent interview. We want to be balanced.

Jacksonville needs far better passing from Blake Bortles.

Still, there is this interesting contrast: Roethlisberger has a big edge over Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles when it comes to playoff experience.

"It meant everything in the world", said running back Le'Veon Bell. 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. "It's a little bit faster each game".

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Keita Bates-Diop continued his torrid streak with 26 points for Ohio State, hitting 6 of 8 shots from beyond the arc. The Terps were led by Cekovsky, who scored a career-high 18 points, along with five rebounds and two blocks.

-Steelers WR Antonio Brown vs. Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey. The Jaguars have won 11 total games this season. "I can care less about what happens after this season...my biggest thing I'm focused on is this team I'm on right now, playing for/with my brothers, & bringing back a 7th ring! what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals". Fournette rushed for 181 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run, in the first meeting against the Steelers. This is the type of defense that can beat the Steelers or the Patriots or well anyone for that matter. Since Ryan Shazier went on injured reserve, Williams has stepped up his game, and he will have to play a great game against Fournette if the Steelers are going to win. The Steelers are 8-8 in those games.

Surprisingly, Fournette, who ran for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns for the season, doesn't list that among his top plays as a rookie.

"They've put together a really good young team there", said a front office executive with another National Football League franchise, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to give a frank opinion of another team's roster. As for Bortles, you can view his general shoulder shrug on the phenomenon as an example of the type of thick skin necessary to survive at the game's most demanding position or, well, the response of a beaten man absent the will to fight back.

He completed 12 of 23 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Now, he leads the league in rushing attempts, is third in rushing yardage and has 655 additional yards as a receiver. Campbell plays outside in the base defense, but often slides inside in sub packages. But a close look at the tape revealed a subtle push by Brown to free himself from Ramsey as he ran the route. That loss was arguably the Steelers' worst of the season and certainly Roethlisberger's worst individual performance.

This was always part of Le'Veon Bell's business plan, the one that the Pittsburgh Steelers running back put together over the summer when he chose to skip training camp while waiting to sign his franchise tag tender.

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