Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers — AFC Divisional Sunday

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers — AFC Divisional Sunday

The Jaguars ended that season as the No. 6 offense and a No. 10 defense, whereas the Jaguars ended this season as the No. 5 offense and the No. 2 defense, according to Pro Football Reference.

And, the Steelers hope, run all the way to the AFC title game in the process. Jason Mendoza's Jaguars face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC divisional-round playoff at 1:05 p.m. EST on Sunday, Jan. 14 in Pittsburgh.

Brown did not play in Pittsburgh's final two regular-season games after suffering a calf injury in Week 15. The weather in this game should benefit the Steelers, who are used to playing in colder weather.

Three seasons ago, the Steelers beat the Ravens by 20 points when Roethlisberger threw six touchdown passes. Pittsburgh finished 6-2 at Heinz Field this season, with their road loss coming at Soldier Field to the Bears.

The only players carrying an injury designation headed into the weekend are linebacker Blair Brown, who is questionable with an ankle injury and wide receiver Jayden Mickens who is questionable with an ailing hamstring. Roethlisberger sat out the regular-season finale, but has still scored 16 total touchdowns while turning the ball over just four times and averaging 325.5 yards per game since Week. 11. In nine games after the arrival of defensive tackle Marcel Dareus from Buffalo, Jacksonville allowed 98.9 yards per game on the ground and ended up No. 21 in run defense.

But Jacksonville might want to play a better overall game on offense if it really wants to extend the season. His 500 yards against the Ravens salvaged a win and his heroics almost knocked off the Patriots despite a lapse of judgement on their last play of the game.

Roethlisberger didn't mean it. Call it a visceral reaction to having two of his 55 passes returned the other way for game-deciding touchdowns.

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Bortles comes into this game after another mediocre performance against Buffalo, in which he ran for 88 yards and only passed for 87. WR Marqise Lee's 56 catches led the team and WR Keelan Cole was fourth among league rookies with 748 yards receiving.

Ben Roethlisberger gave a hint that his hot play might continue into 2018. This Steelers team has dropped one game by three points since that loss and even that was a Roethlisberger screw up.

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

Running back Le'Veon Bell said of Brown, "It doesn't look like he's missed time".

Roethlisberger flirted with retirement at the end of last season, only deciding to return after discussions with his family. Jacksonville, a team who's beat Pittsburgh earlier this season.

Although the Steelers might not view the AFC South champions as a tough opponent, the Jaguars understand that looking ahead to the next round could prove to be Pittsburgh's downfall. And now that Roethlisberger's wish has become a reality - the Steelers host the Jaguars on Sunday - he must, in the words of Jacksonville cornerback A.J. Bouye, "be careful what you wish for". They aren't afraid to ride him all day, and that's a strong possibility for Sunday.

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