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Steelers vs. Jaguars Key Matchup: Andre Branch vs. Marcus Gilbert and Kelvin Beachum

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The Pittsburgh Steelers showed some flaws in their pass protection against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss. Protecting Ben Roethlisberger will certainly be crucial for the Steelers' success in Jacksonville.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

On paper, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a far superior roster than the Jacksonville Jaguars. But that doesn't mean there aren't positions and aspects of these two teams that might make this game much more interesting than most think.

The Steelers' offensive line has been inconsistent throughout this season, showing flashes of brilliance and shades of mediocrity throughout the first quarter of the schedule.

Run blocking seems to be a strength for this offensive line, but pass protection has been a question mark for them during the past few weeks.

Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 11 times through four games, and many of those have been due to the offensive tackles losing contain on the perimeter. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert had a rough game against the Baltimore Ravens, and left tackle Kelvin Beachum looked equally as bad last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Heading into the Jacksonville game, a key matchup to watch for is Andre Branch, who rushes from both sides and leads the Jaguars with three sacks, facing the Steelers' tackles.

Branch has the ability to flush the passer out of the pocket, as well as to drive the pocket into the quarterback and force a tackle for a loss.

Granted, the entire offensive line has responsibility for keeping Roethlisberger healthy and upright, but there are occasions where the tackles are put on an island without help, and those are the plays where the Steelers need to win the one-on-one matchups.

If the Jaguars are able to get consistent pressure on Roethlisberger, similar to how the Buccaneers attacked the offensive line in Week 4, then you can expect a rough offensive performance for the passing game.

If the Steelers can protect Roethlisberger and give him the time needed to make plays downfield, then the Steelers could certainly have a field day with the Jaguars' porous secondary.

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