Could they be in the running for prospective free agent Kirk Cousins, assuming he is not franchise-tagged again by the Redskins? On the surface, the answer is yes, because this is how the Jags are built to win. He may finish third and at least warrant a nice montage at the NFL Honors ceremony in February, but the second half of the first-rounder's season did not match what preceded it.
Jacksonville will face Bell, an All-Pro who was given a double bye going into the divisional round, with the No. 26 DVOA run defense. He said the Jaguars are as good as any of them. If Pittsburgh can get Bell going, the passing game will open up for Roethlisberger to carry the momentum he has gained over the last two months into the playoffs. If those interceptors had been tackled, are we sure the Jags' offense even scores points? But Roethlisberger, in between talk of retirement, seems to have managed to maintain his desire.
The fourth-year quarterback outdid his miserable 2016 season, but the Jags still can not count on him in big spots.
The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver was sent home from practice Friday with an illness, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters. Look for Bortles to attack the Steelers in the middle of the field where linebacker Ryan Shazier used to be. They are a matchup problem for anyone.
Brown torched Jacksonville the last time the teams faced each other in Week 5, hauling in 10 passes on 19 targets for 159 yards.
Bortles won't get a chance to make a momentum-changing mistake because he either won't have the ball in his hands or the Steelers will get to him before he releases a pass. WR Antonio Brown led National Football League with 1,533 yards receiving and ranked fifth with 101 catches, becoming only player in National Football League history with at least 100 receptions in five consecutive seasons ... He has thrown 22 touchdowns to seven interceptions since the Jacksonville loss.
Bortles will have full complimentary of receivers when Jacksonville's travels to Heinz Field.
Tennessee didn't have any one player who finished with more than 7 1/2 sacks, but the defense as a whole ranked tied for fifth with 43. The Jaguars forced Ben Roethlisberger into five interceptions - including two pick-sixes - and running back Leonard Fournette rumbled for 181 yards. To be fair, he also had a four-game stretch in December that saw him average well over 300 yards while tossing nine touchdowns with just three picks. "It's always good to see him". That was the Jaguars' first victory in the series since beating the Steelers, 31-29, in an AFC wild-card game after the 2007 season.
The answer to Roethlisberger's potential struggles will come from running back LeVeon Bell, who had 357 rushing yards on 65 carries over three games in the postseason a year ago.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles is used to criticism from fans, and it's actually gotten worse since he picked up his first career playoff victory last weekend. You just never know when it could be your last.
From that point on the Steelers responded by winning 10 out of their last 11 games including eight straight with the lone loss being against the New England Patriots in Week 15 in a controversial finish. He followed it up by spending the better part of the next 10 weeks playing like it.