Steelers get another opportunity to hunt down Jaguars
Pittsburgh v Jacksonville
If the Pittsburgh Steelers are to reach the AFC Championship Game, they’ll first have to prove their humiliating defeat to Jacksonville earlier this season was a fluke.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will seek redemption tonight when they square off with Jacksonville in the divisional round, more than three months after being humbled in a 30-9 loss in Week 5.
In that contest, Roethlisberger was intercepted a career-high five times, with the Jaguars defence returning a pair for touchdowns.
Afterwards, the Steelers quarterback, whether sarcastically or not, wonder if he doesn’t “have it anymore”.
In the lead-up to the rematch this week, Roethlisberger praised Jacksonville, saying they have “one of the best defences I’ve ever played against”, but ahead of the playoffs admitted he wanted another crack at the AFC South winners.
The Jaguars, however, have warned Roethlisberger to be careful what he wishes for.
“I would want to play us again too,” said All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey. “He threw five picks and was contemplating retirement saying whether he had it or not after playing us.
“They had a good season after our game. But, sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for.”
Jacksonville’s defence allowed the second-fewest yards and points in the league, with 286.1 and 16.8 per game, respectively. They also had the second-most takeaways with 33 – 21 interceptions and 12 fumble recovers.
The good news for Pittsburgh’s offence is they’re expected to get star wide receiver Antonio Brown back tonight (UAE: 22:05) after he’s missed almost one month to a partially torn left calf muscle.
Brown, who led the NFL with 1,533 receiving yards in only 14 games, practiced in full on Wednesday and Thursday before sitting out Friday with an illness.
“This is one of the best defences I’ve ever played against” – Roethlisberger
Big cat: Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey.