Jaguars vs. Steelers Preview

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 5 — Sunday, October 5th, will have the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) against the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2).   The game is being played at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida and will be televised on CBS at 1:00 PM EST

Jaguar woes

  • The Jaguars are going into this game having lost it’s last 7 games in a row dating back to last season including losing their last 3 games at home by a combined score of 91-50 in those home games
  • Jacksonville is being outscored 38-14 so far this season
  • Toby Gerhart leads all rushers on the team with 114 yards……this season.  That is an average of 28.5 yards per game
  • The defense ranks last in opponent’s passing yards per game with 320.8 yards
  • Jacksonville’s overall defense is…..not good

Last Meeting

October 16, 2011 — As the defending AFC champions, The Steelers jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead in the first half against the Jaguars and then tried to let the Jaguars win the game on a hail mary with no time on the clock.   The final in the game was 17-13.

Rashard Mendenhall was the only person who had a great game that day.  The Steelers running back ran for 146 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown.

The Jaguars scored on two Josh Scobee field goals and the lone touchdown came from the historic combination of Blaine Gabbert-to-Jason Hill.

What will it take to win

The secondary showing up?  I am really not trying to make it a joke but it would be nice to have a 3rd and 10 and actually get off of the field without any major damage.

With the waiving of Winston Guy, finally, hopefully there will be a difference.  I am not saying they will turn into an elite defense on Sunday, but I think the major cause of some of the biggest plays will not be in the way this weekend.

If Safety Jonathan Cyprien and the linebackers can do the same job on TE Heath Miller as they did on Antonio Gates last week (3 catches for 30 yards, no TDs) that will eliminate a big part of the Steeler offense.

As for the other big part, Antonio Brown, the Jaguars only hope is that the defensive front can get enough pressure on ‘Big Ben’ that he does not have time to look for him.  Everyone knows the Jags are going to give up passing yards just try to elevate the big play and keep them out of the end zone as much as possible.

Now for the offense — play like you did in the first half of the Chargers game last week minus the errors.  The O-Line needs to let Blake Bortles view the field and look downfield to open up the passing game.  With that being said, if we can get a running game established early and often, the play-action pass will open up the passing game just fine.

Who is Playing?

Jacksonville will be without WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) for the third week in a row and TE Mickey Schuler (illness) will be out again for the offense.  Dwayne Gratz (concussion) and Cecil Shorts III (hamstring) are also ruled out.

Good news is that with the two receivers down we at least get one back.  Ace Sanders is coming back from his 4 game suspension and will be available.  Our hope is that this makes a difference in the punt return department so we can get a little momentum on that side.

Also, Austin Pasztor is ready to go and is expected to start.

The Steelers will be without CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and the rookie LB Ryan Shazier (knee)

My 6 Keys to the Game

  1. Rush the passer — don’t say “duh”.  This needs to happen as it is the only defense the Jaguars have against any team’s passing game.  Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 11 times this year and 5 of those came in the loss to Tampa Bay last week.  The Jags have 12 sacks this year and should be able to do well if they can implement the Tampa Bay game plan
  2. Run, run, run — Blake Bortles (7 carries for 54 yards) can NOT be the answer to the run game.  Although exciting, Gerhart needs to show us he deserves to be a #1 back.  My opinion, as I sit in front of my computer and have never played professional football, is use Denard Robinson more.  It seems with the zone blocking scheme, a faster running back can hit the holes quicker.  Rumor has it, ‘D-Rob’ is pretty fast…let us see it more.
  3. Catch, catch, catch — A wide receiver’s primary job is to catch the ball.  When an oblong shaped object comes at you during the game, do not let it hit the ground.  Catch it, turn up field and make something happen.
  4. Punt return touchdown — I know it is a lot to ask for but Ace is back.  He is exciting and has great ‘eye discipline’ for the position.  Stop the Steelers on 3rd down and make them kick to Ace.  He can flip the field and maybe just get the Jaguars points AND momentum!
  5. Take the ball away — Turnovers lead to momentum.  Momentum leads to the home crowd being in the game.  Intercept the ball, force fumble on a sack and you will have the crowd.
  6. Get the tight ends going early — Marcedes Lewis is out for a couple more weeks.  My bet is that every team on the planet sees the tight end position with the Jaguars as a no worry position.  Clay Harbor is a player who can catch and knows to go towards the end zone.  Nic Jacobs only NFL catch is a touchdown.  Just saying.

Prediction

I truly believe all of the above (maybe not #4) will happen.  The Steelers lost a heartbreaker at home last week allowing a touchdown to a winless team with 15 seconds left.  They were embarrassed and I think it will still be on their mind.

Also, they are playing the Jaguars.  Steelers, like the Jaguars, have a divisional foe next week.  You hear the NFL is a ‘week-to-week’ league and that any team can win on ‘any given Sunday.’  I think teams still look past a poor team (i.e, Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay last week).  I think Pittsburgh does it again.  I feel the defensive line of Jacksonville will make their presence felt and disrupt the Steeler offense.  Blake Bortles has a career defining game and scores points.

Yes, I am doing it.  See that limb???  I am on it.  Jaguars win their first game of the season.  At home.  Blake Bortles, your time his here.

Jacksonville 24, Pittsburgh 23

 

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