This is your ultimate gameday guide to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Our Three-Point Stance is sponsored by ‘Nail the Number’ which should return later this month!!
What: Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: 1pm Eastern on Sunday, October 8th, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny and 81 degrees
Line: Steelers -8
Last Week: The Jaguars lost an overtime game in New York to the Jets 23-20 while the Steelers defeated the Ravens in Baltimore 26-9.
TV: CBS Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Head Official: John Parry
Key Injuries: JAX: OUT: Lerentee McCray (knee) QUEST: Jalen Strong (hamstring), Marqise Lee (ribs), Jarrod WIlson (shoulder), Brandon Linder (illness) PIT: OUT: None QUEST: None DOUBTFUL: Marcus Gilbert (hamstring) Game-Time Decisions will be updated when available.
2017 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 20th JAX. 17th Passing Offense: PIT 15th JAX 29th Rushing Offense: PIT 21st JAX 2nd
Total Defense: PIT 3rd , JAX 13th Passing Defense: PIT 2nd JAX 1st Rushing Defense: PIT 23rd, JAX 32nd
AFC North Rankings: Pittsburgh 3-1, Baltimore 2-2, Cincinnati 1-3, Cleveland 0-4
What You Need to Know: The Steelers have won three straight games against the Jaguars and are 6-4 all-time at home… Mike Tomlin is looking to go 61-21 in his career at Heinz Field… Le’Veon Bell is currently tied with Rashard Mendenhall for fifth in career rushing TDs with 29… Antonio Brown is currently tied for third with Lynn Swann for all-time touchdown receptions with 51…
What’s at Stake: The Jags are tied at 2-2 with Houston and Tennessee for the top spot in the AFC South. The Titans travel to Miami while the Texans host the unbeaten Chiefs Monday night…. The Steelers hold a game and half lead over Baltimore as they have a better record and a victory in hand. The Ravens play at Oakland while the 1-3 Bengals host the surging Bills.
All-Time Series: Tied 11-11 in the regular season. Jacksonville holds a 1-0 advantage in the postseason.
Series Highs: PASSING: Steelers Kordell Stewart 317 yards Oct 26th, 1997, Jaguars Mark Brunell 308 yards Dec 2nd, 1999… RUSHING: Steelers Rashard Mendenhall 146 yards Oct 10th, 2011, Jaguars Fred Taylor 234 yards Nov 19th, 2000… RECEIVING: Steelers Yancey Thigpen 196 yards Oct 26th, 1997, Jaguars Jimmy Smith 164 yards Sep 22nd, 1997
Last Meeting: Steelers 17 Jaguars 9 in Jacksonville October 5th, 2014
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Here’s Your Gameplan Todd. As all of you know, there is no offensive coordinator in the NFL that overthinks things quite like our Todd Haley. While it usually takes the first half of the season for statistical trends to take hold, Haley has to recognize that the Jags have the worst run defense in football. While this doesn’t mean he should completely abandon the pass, it does mean Le’Veon Bell should be featured prominently. Off of that, the infusion of some play-action pass would be nice. We’ve seen very little of it in the first quarter of the season. So what’s the gameplan? Run the damn ball, get the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage and then go with some play-action. Ya, I know… Easier said than done.
Make Blake Beat You. Have to give Jags’ Head Coach Doug Marrone some credit; he went with Blake Bortles despite a brutal preseason and so far his team is 2-2. The problem is that Bortles is still not playing all that well. His completion percentage of 54.1% is “bettered” only by DeShone Kizer’s 51%. Therefore Keith Butler need not make this difficult. Put the clamps on the run game and force Bortles to beat you. The Steelers’ defense currently ranks fourth in terms of opponent QB rating with 70.6. That success has been built on pressuring the quarterback and contesting receivers on thrown balls. This needs to continue and will again start with the interior line of Stephon Tuitt, Cam Heyward and Javon Hargrave. They are the engine that makes this defense go and on Sunday it should be firing on all cylinders.
Special Teams Needs to Be Special Again. Danny Smith’s unit got off to a terrific start in 2017 but it has been a struggle over the last couple of games. Enter Jacksonville who has the 25th worst kick return average and the 31st worst punt return average in the NFL. The Steelers cannot let the Jags out of that box. What any fan looks for in special teams is mistake-free football. I take it a step further though because I believe special teams units need to come up with a big play every week. This could be a big return, a punt or kick block and the creating of a turnover. I believe the Steelers, whose offense is still struggling, could use this from the ‘third phase’ of football. So there Coach Smith, the gauntlet has been thrown!
Predictions The SCB Crew is chiming in this week with their selections! Everyone is 3-1 except Marc who is 2-2.
Marc: Steelers 27 Jaguars 16
Cnic: Steelers 24 Jaguars 13
Chrissy: Steelers 34 Jaguars 17
Ben: Steelers 28 Jaguars 20
Ian: Steelers 27 Jaguars 13