AFC Divisional Playoffs: Three things to watch in Jaguars-Steelers


He spoke publicly after last season of his contemplation of retirement, only to return for a 14th season as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers and take another shot, at age 35, at a third Super Bowl triumph.

Specifically, they'll serve Bubba Burgers - a staple at Jaguar home games. The Jags cruised to a 30-9 victory at Heinz Field and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger five (!) times. Also, in the week five matchup vs. Pittsburgh, Bortles threw for just 95 yards. Pittsburgh RB Le'Veon Bell averaged 109 yards rushing in three playoff games last season.

The Steelers are looking to beat the in Sunday's divisional round after losing to the AFC South champions 30-9 in Week 5.

Jaguars at Steelers, 1:05 p.m., TV: CBSLine: Steelers -7; Over/Under: 41 The Jacksonville Jaguars completely lambasted the Pittsburgh Steelers in October. Good group we're going against. The Steelers were still in the mix for home field advantage with the New England Patriots facing off against the New York Jets.

"They're a blitz team", offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said after practice Thursday. Though David Garrard was better that season than Blake Bortles is right now, the teams almost mirrored each other offensively, the 2017 Jags have the edge on defense, and they're going to need it going up against one of the most explosive and risky offenses in the league.

STAT THAT MATTERS: The Jaguars are one of two teams that has a winning record against the Steelers at Heinz Field since 2004 (4-1).

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The Jaguars defense isn't called "Sacksonville" without reason.

Tuitt recorded 25 tackles, 3.0 sacks and one forced fumbles this season. The unit sacked Roethlisberger twice in the first meeting between the teams, but has only gotten better since then. This Steelers team has dropped one game by three points since that loss and even that was a Roethlisberger screw up. In Andrew Villanueva, David DeCastro and Maurkise Pouncey, the Steelers have three of the top linemen in the league. However, Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler beat Alejandro Villanueva and Marcus Gilbert in Week Five.

THE DAREUS FACTOR: The Jaguars allowed 138.6 rushing yards per game and ranked 30th in the National Football League in run defense through the first seven games. If the Steeers are able to pound the Jaguars on the ground, it will open all kinds of possibilities for Todd Haley's offense. He missed the last two games. While Bortles did just enough to win against the Bills, he will have to do more on Sunday for the Jaguars to survive another week.

For the first time in a decade, the Jacksonville Jaguars find themselves in the final 8 of the NFL. Normally, there's no contact and every pass is complete.

Pittsburgh is willing this trap game into existence. Getting back McDonald and Gilbert creates a huge impact in the running game, both in the idea of schematic and depth purposes. The last time had been the Ravens' first four seasons of existence (1996-99). A couple more? Or could it be as little as one more game? It's no secret the Steelers will see a heavy dose of Fournette on Sunday.

Prediction: The game will be much closer than the Jaguars pasting against the Steelers in Week 5. It would be tough to name a better offense on paper. Roethlisberger is probably going to the Hall of Fame, while Bortles looked like a deer in headlights as a passer against Buffalo.