The Jaguars quarterback has always been a punching bag for NFL fans, players and media who consider him on of the worst starters in the league. That's the big difference, and the main reason why Pittsburgh is favored by about a touchdown.
The Steelers are big home favorites in this one, and rightfully so, as they should be able to take care of business against the Jaguars.
Few people would have predicted that the same two teams would meet again, on the same field, in the second round of the AFC playoffs.
The last time the Jaguars made the playoffs, they beat the Steelers at Heinz Field, 31-29.
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles humorously brushed aside his critics ahead of this weekend's playoff clash with the Steelers. In last meeting, registered a 28-yard pick-six; S Barry Church added a 51-yard pick-six and S Tashaun Gipson did not score, but grabbed two interceptions.
With Bell potentially facing free agency in 2018 and quarterback 's future status uncertain, Pittsburgh feels the urgency as it sits two wins from a Super Bowl berth.
The offensive line of Jacksonville has been solid. Campbell had the most sacks in the AFC this season with 14.5 sacks - a Jaguar record. The rookie intercepted or knocked down each one. "We're going to win".
"It only becomes more important".
5 things we learned about Jaylen Brown from his eye-opening interview with "The Guardian": Celtic forward Jaylen Brown gave an expansive interview with Guardian reporter Donald McRae earlier this week as the team is in London for an worldwide matchup with the 76ers. But he set career-lows in the opener against Houston when he was 11-for-21.
Antonio Brown's calf is good to go. "So hopefully we can use that experience to my advantage". The Steelers' defense let Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette run all over them so it is a given that the defense focuses on him more. Over the last seven weeks of the season, Roethlisberger threw 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions while averaging 325.5 yards per game.
They might not fear Bortles like they do the game's best, but there's respect. The Jaguars led the National Football League with a 68.5 opponents' passer rating, and Jimmy Garoppolo is the only quarterback to post a passer rating in triple digits against Jacksonville. The Steelers are healthy, rested, and should take care of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. This is the first time Jacksonville has qualified for the postseason since the 2006 season. Since that loss to the Jaguars the Steelers have gone 10-1. They can not let the Jaguars sustain drives even they don't all turn into points.
"I don't think anybody can say that [about the Jaguars' defense]", said Tomlin. "We saw an example of that obviously earlier in the season with Ryan [Shazier, the Steelers linebacker who suffered a spinal cord injury during a game in early December]".
What's dope, at least judging by a 17-game sample size, is the 2017 Jaguars' defense potentially tracking toward being mentioned in the same breath with some of the NFL's legendary units - the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, the 2015 Denver Broncos, the "Legion of Boom" 2013 Seattle Seahawks, and yes, maybe the gold-standard 1985 Chicago Bears. Appearing on a local radio show in Pittsburgh, the Steelers quarterback had this to say when asked about which team he'd like to face in his team's divisional playoff game. "We don't know if everybody is going to be back or if we're going to be that special next year". I think both teams will do a little damage, but not enough to massively shift the tide of the game. Bouye to offer his response.
"Everything is a concern when you want to play better, when you don't play well", Marrone said. He just wants to know what he has to do, what he has to improve on, what he's got to do to help the offense and just go to work.
Bortles comes into this game after another mediocre performance against Buffalo, in which he ran for 88 yards and only passed for 87. The Jaguars could repeat that success from 2007 on Sunday.
Jacksonville's defense hasn't waned in its intensity since then and will be the No. 1 obstacle to the Steelers reaching the AFC championship game for the second year in a row.
The interest in Fournette has increased to the extent that Fournette is ranked No. 8 overall in jersey sales this week on the DICK'S Sporting Goods Jersey Report.