Jaguars lead series, 13-11, and beat the Steelers, 30-9, during the regular season. The opportunity for redemption has now presented itself. That's the big difference, and the main reason why Pittsburgh is favored by about a touchdown. Not even the best player on the planet. He registered 39 tackles and a career-high 4 sacks.
The Jaguars would definitely prefer to force five interceptions and let Fournette carry the ball 28 times for 181 yards.
Since that loss, however, Roethlisberger has rediscovered the sureness of touch that has made him one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks for more than a decade. Pittsburgh was held to just three field goals.
Jaguars at Steelers, 1:05 p.m., TV: CBSLine: Steelers -7; Over/Under: 41 The Jacksonville Jaguars completely lambasted the Pittsburgh Steelers in October. To the Steelers' credit, they are aware and prepared.
With that in mind, we take a look at three players that need to step up if the Jaguars want to pull off the upset. The forecast calls for a calmer day, but the temperature also is expected to be in the teens, perhaps not the best conditions for a quarterback who has played his entire pro and college career for teams in Florida. Pass rush, linebackers, secondary, their stats. They're contract gazing. They're looking everywhere but at Jacksonville. "All I can think about and worry about is this defense that we are playing". Big Ben promised things would be different and actually hoped to see the Jaguars in this game.
Mickens injured his hamstring during the Jaguars' wild-card round win over the Buffalo Bills.
Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell was asked about his contract situation.
There have been changes to Jacksonville's offense, as well. The receiving corps has repeatedly been hit with injuries throughout the year. Even the last time out against the Steelers, Bortles only had 95 yards passing, nine yards rushing and threw an interception. Last week against a Buffalo defense that ranked far below the Steelers, Bortles managed just 87 yards on 12-of-23 passing. A lackluster offensive performance was mitigated by Jacksonville again showing up defensively. Jaguars have only won multiple playoff games in same postseason once (1996). Shazier has been an emotional touchstone for the Steelers in their playoff preparations - he was on the sidelines for Wednesday's practice, as well. "It was cool seeing how many people at the game recognized [Jacinto], because his optimism is very representative of their fanbase".
But the Steelers' rookie, JuJu Smith-Schuster, was right behind. He was sent home from Friday's practice with an illness but his calf injury is also on the report as he is listed as questionable for Sunday's game with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Two-time Super Bowl victor Roethlisberger has yet to confirm whether or not he intends to return for the Steelers next season, but hinted this week he was not ready to call time on his career.
Even though the Jaguars are a win away from advancing to the AFC Championship game, they have hardly resembled the team that led the National Football League in rushing this season. With the way Pittsburgh's offense has been performing as of late, it's conceivable that Roethlisberger can get the redemption he's after.
That win put Jacksonville above.500 and matched their win total from the previous season. This whole year has been a redemption story for the Jaguars. They are great guys it's going to be a tough matchup.