The Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars will tangle for the second time this season, but this game will be for the future of their season. Win, or go home.
While the breakdowns and analysis have been going on all week, and longer for the Steelers who had a first round bye, and now it is time to make our picks for the Divisional Round game in the AFC Playoffs.
I asked my staff to give me their predictions for the upcoming game, and you can see those predictions below. I will be posting my prediction separately on game day before kickoff, but check out who the BTSC staff likes, and how they see the game unfolding.
HERE WE GO!
With Jacksonville’s defense working hard to shut down the Steelers’ top weapons in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell early, big days are had by JuJu Smith-Schuster, Vance McDonald and Jesse James. As the Jaguars begin to sell out to the pass, Bell picks up steam in the second half and the Steelers pull away.
Steelers - 31 / Jaguars - 16
Bell stars as the focus of the offense, Martavis hauls in a 40+ yard touchdown pass. T.J. Watt’s interception of a screen pass and return for touchdown seals the game late.
Steelers - 27 / Jaguars - 16
Driven and motivated, Steelers defense proceeds to force 3 turnovers. Vance McDonald ends with a 100-yards and 1 TD.
Steelers - 27 / Jaguars - 13
Ben Roethlisberger uses the short-passing game to get Le’Veon Bell going on a very productive day both running and catching the ball out of the backfield. Expect the Steelers defense to keep Leonard Fournette in check and force Blake Bortles to throw the football.
Steelers - 27 / Jaguars - 23
With a stifling Jacksonville defense, Antonio Brown not 100-percent, and soem players looking ahead to New England, the Steelers are in serious danger of a letdown. But this is a true team of destiny, and Chris Boswell kicks them to the AFC Championship Game.
Steelers - 19 / Jaguars - 17
Shazier’s inspiring return to practice, coupled with Roethlisberger’s desire to atone for his five-interception showing, is a recipe that spells success.
Steelers - 24 / Jaguars - 20
Defenses battle it out early, but the Steelers superior offense opens it up in the second half.
Steelers 24 / Jaguars - 9