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The very first time the Pittsburgh Steelers satisfied the Jacksonville Jaguars this season, they were ashamed 30 -9 on their house field.
The Steelers rebounded to rattle off 8 successive wins and clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs. Now their postseason starts with a rematch versus the Jaguars at Heinz Field.
If Pittsburgh is to go back to the AFC National Championship, the group has to find out a couple of lessons from its very first date with Jacksonville.
Bell requires more touches
Le’Veon Bell just carried on 15 times for 47 backyards because very first conference. When a group goes away from the run in a blowout loss, the common reason is that it turned to the pass in an effort to capture up. That wasn’t the case for the Steelers in Week 5.
Pittsburgh tracked 7-6 at halftime and took a 9-7 lead midway through the 3rd quarter. In such a low-scoring affair, the Steelers would have been a good idea to rely on their client running back. Jacksonville’s pass defense is the very best in the league, while its run defense ranks 21 st.
Pittsburgh supplemented Bell’s brings by tossing to him 10 times for 46 backyards, however 25 touches still isn’t really enough for a gamer who ended up second in the league in versatile backyards.
After Pittsburgh got its 9-7 lead, Bell touched the ball 5 times. Several Steelers share the blame for that oversight – as does Bell, who made 0 backyards on those 5 touches – and the Jaguars should have some credit for requiring the ball from his hands.
Nevertheless, going away from the run is a dish for defeat, and it’s an error the Steelers cannot make once again in their 2nd match.
Make Jaguars rely on Bortles, not Fournette
Recently, the Jags won a championship game with Blake Bortles tossing for 87 backyards. Amusing?
Well, Bortles finished simply 8 passes for 95 backyards and an interception in Jacksonville’s taking apart of Pittsburgh. The offense can be found in the type of the defense, unique groups, and novice running back Leonard Fournette going off for 181 backyards and 2 goals.
Pittsburgh’s required is clear: Stack package and force Bortles to toss. That strategy worked for Buffalo in the wild-card round. The Expenses held the Jaguars to 10 points and, if not for their own godawful offending output, would be playing in the divisional round.
In apparent running circumstances throughout their very first conference, the Steelers mainly adhered to their base defense. Now, they need to fill up versus the run and require the Jaguars to take off in the January cold.
Bortles has actually tossed 7 interceptions in his last 3 video games. Till he restores his self-confidence, the offense will go through the ground video game, and the Steelers need to be prepared.
Regard their challenger
The Steelers have a propensity to play down to inferior challengers (they lost to the Bears and squeaked out wins versus the Browns, Colts, and Aaron Rodgers-less Packers), and in early October, they might have categorized the Jaguars. Jacksonville was going into the video game off a loss to the New York Jets.
Pittsburgh found out the difficult method that Jacksonville is not to be marked down.
Ben Roethlisberger tossed the ball an impressive 55 times versus a secondary that includes the Pro Bowl duo of A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. Huge Ben’s penalty was 5 interceptions, 2 which were returned for game-breaking goals. The Jaguars’ terrifying front 7 likewise broke through for 2 sacks.
The entire experience left Roethlisberger questioning whether he still had it. Recently, he stated he ‘d like another chance at the Jags and a chance to redeem himself.
He got his dream. On Sunday, we’ll see if the Steelers have actually discovered their lesson.
( Photos courtesy: Getty Images)