As the Jaguars put the finishing touches on their defensive slug fest 10-3 playoff win over Buffalo, attention immediately turned to the opponent waiting, the Steelers.
So, next Sunday in Pittsburgh the Jaguars and the Steelers will do this, again. And a certain veteran QB has been waiting for second chance against Jacksonville.
Earlier this year, the Jags went into the “Steel City” and took it to QB Ben Roethlisberger specifically, to the tune of five interceptions, in a devastating 30-9 performance on October 8, 2017. It was a humbling day for “Big Ben,” and it clearly announced to the rest of the NFL that their menacing defense was legitimate.
Now, the Jags get a chance to validate that regular season victory over the potential Hall of Fame QB and his team. A win that helped catapult the Jaguar season into 10 wins and eventually, an AFC South Championship.
However, it’s a Steelers team and Roethlisberger that has been almost lethal ever since that Jaguars loss. He’s had at least a 90 QBR in eight games after the Jaguars loss (7 wins). And at 13-3, Pittsburgh sent a message to the rest of the AFC down the stretch that they are a force to be reckoned with before this post season is done.
Oh, and Roethlisberger made it no secret earlier this week that he wanted another crack at Calais Campbell, Myles Jack, Tevin Smith and Jalen Ramsey coming up. “Obviously any game that we’re going to play in the postseason, its’ going to be a difficult opponent,” Roethlisberger told the media Tuesday. “Just for me personally, I’d love to just prove that five interceptions wasn’t me in that game.”
Oh, and if you are wondering, Big Ben has only had one other game all season, where he threw more than a single pick in a game. That was week 11 in a Sunday Night Football win over Green Bay.
Now, one big variable is that his top target, WR Antonio Brown is battling back from a calf injury late in the year and may not be 100% healthy next Sunday.
But, bottom line is Roethlisberger is 6-3 all time at Heinz Field in the post season, and now, he’s even more motivated to “right a wrong” from October against the Jaguars.
Good luck with that.
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