The Pittsburgh Steelers will take to the road with a chance to move to 10-0 for the first time in franchise history. They will visit the lowly 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars, who have been competitive but have been able to muster wins. The Steelers have struggled with the Jaguars the past 20 years despite usually being the heavy favorite in most of those games. Can the Steelers buck the trend and knock off the Jacksonville Jaguars? Reading this story will have you prepared for Sundays game.
1 PM EST Sunday, the Steelers will take to the grass at Jacksonville’s TIAA Stadium for the first time since 2018. History actually favors the Jaguars in this matchup. The Jags hold a 14-12 advantage in the all-time with the Steelers winning the last match up back in 2018 by a score of 20-16
Jaguars Best Player
This was a challenge to single out one Jaguars player as the best. Not because they are brimming with talent but because they don’t have any premier type players. I considered DJ Chark jr, Keelan Cole, and Joe Shobert for the designation but this week it goes to undrafted free agent running back, James Robinson. Robinson has been the heart beat of the Jaguars offense since taking over the job from Leonard Fournette. The Steelers might opt to stuff the run much like they did against the New York Giants in Week 1 to shut down the Jaguars rushing attack.
Weakest position group
Not one member of the lethal 2017 Jaguars secondary is still on the team. A completely different unit awaits the Steelers on Sunday and with corner, Sidney Jones questionable to play the Steelers should be able to find holes in the Jags defensive backfield. D.J. Hayden is returning from the injured reserve for this matchup but his health will be something to watch. Tre Herndon might get the start at corner, with Luq Barcoo being the primary back up. At safety the Jaguars are rolling out the duo of Jarrod Wilson, and Daniel Thomas. The Steelers should be able to roll out there five wide spread formation and be successful all day.
Who is Doug Marrone at this point. The veteran Jaguars bench boss has been able to get a lot out of his team despite its obvious flaws. But, he seems destined to be fired at seasons end. With a 1-8 record and almost no chance of making the playoffs, it will be interesting how long Marrone can keep his guys playing at 100%. Getting a big early lead might be enough to shatter the Jaguars confidence.
How will the Jaguars attack the Steelers defense
The Jaguars offense will come down to four players primarily. Juke Luton, DJ Chark, Keelan Cole, and James Robinson. The Jags are going to try to get their running game going before they turn to the play action and attempt to hit Chark and Cole down the field. Without rookie Laviska Shenault in the lineup the Jaguars are a much worse offense, and will play a pretty vanilla style of offense. The Steelers front seven stopping the run and the secondary playing good man coverage are keys to the game.
How will the Jaguars defend the Steelers offense
The strength of the Jaguars defense starts from its linebackers, Joe Shobert and Myles Jack are high volume tackle guys that fly all over the field. Those two guys are relied upon to stop the run and limit short throws over the middle. The Jaguars banged up secondary will face challenges against the Steelers deep receiving unit, and will need pass rushers like Josh Allen to keep Ben Roethlisberger from standing in the pocket. Problem is the Jaguars only have nine sacks on the season (T.J. Watt has 9 sacks himself for reference). It really feels like Roethlisberger is destined for a big game in the air.
The only way the Jaguars are going to have any chance in this game is if rookie quarterback, Jake Luton has a solid game. The 2020 sixth round pick has looked fine in limited time replacing an injured Gardner Minshew, but he hasn't played a defense with the level of talent the Steelers have. The question comes down to if the Steelers can shut down a rookie quarterback that didn't win a heisman, or was a first overall pick...
Sunday, 1PM EST. We will see if the Steelers can take care of business.