Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. The Pittsburgh Steelers got their wish for a rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs. And why did the Steelers wish for a matchup with the Jags? Well, go back to Week 5 of the regular season and you’ll understand why.
The Steelers, and specifically Ben Roethlisberger, had their worst game of the season and the ugliest in some time at Heinz Field. It’s not often that you get a chance at redemption in the same season with a trip to the AFC Championship Game at stake. In early October, the Jags visited the Steel City and intercepted five Roethlisberger passes, returning two of them for touchdowns, en route to a 30-9 shellacking of the Steelers. It was a bad afternoon for Le’Veon Bell as well as he rushed for just 47 yards on 15 carries.
Mike Tomlin said the Steelers have evolved since that game and the record certainly reflects that. They won eight straight after the loss and 10 of 11 to close the regular season. If Big Ben isn’t as generous with the football and the Steelers can stop Leonard Fournette, who ran for 181 yards in Week 5, the Steelers have a good shot at returning to the AFC Championship. That’s because the defense didn’t give Blake Bortles any room, limiting him to just 95 yards passing. Antonio Brown caught 10 passes for 157 yards in that first meeting and it looks like he may be ready to play after missing the final few games with a calf injury. That should be comforting to Roethlisberger against the Jags ferocious front.
2017 Record: 13-3
2017 ATS Record: 7-9
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 6-10
Current Super Bowl Odds: +484
Current Odds to Win AFC: +210
Current Odds to Win AFC North: N/A
Current NFL Odds: Steelers -7.5
Over/Under Total: 41
Steelers vs. Jaguars NFL Preview: It is strength vs. strength on Sunday, as the Jacksonville Jaguars visit the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC Divisional Playoff game that can be seen on CBS. The Jaguars love to run the ball, but the Steelers are tough against the run, while on the other side of the ball, the Steelers feature a potent passing attack, but the Jaguars are No. 1 in the NFL against the pass. Let’s look at the game and NFL picks. Continue
Wild Card Round: BYE
Week 17: Steelers 28, Browns 24
ATS Result: Browns +5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 38.5
Playing without a number of regulars the Steelers never trailed in holding off the Browns. Pittsburgh got out to a 21-7 lead, but the Browns used a pair of scoring passes to tie the game early in the third quarter. Following Cleveland’s tying score Smith-Schuster took the ensuing kickoff 96-yards to reclaim the lead. The Browns closed the gap with a field goal and the teams didn’t score in the final quarter, leaving the Steelers shy of covering the spread.
Week 16: Steelers 34, Texans 6
ATS Result: Steelers -8
Over/Under Total Result: Under 45.5
Pittsburgh took a 10-0 lead scoring on its first two possessions and turned a pair of Houston turnovers into 10 more points before halftime for a comfortable 20-0 lead at the break. Houston’s only score came early in the fourth, but the Steelers replied with a Big Ben scoring pass for the final margin and easy cover against an undermanned Houston club.
Week 15: Patriots 27, Steelers 24
ATS Result: Patriots -2.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 52.5
Pittsburgh grabbed a 24-16 lead on Bell’s scoring run with 93 seconds left in the third, but some fateful plays in the closing seconds decided the outcome. New England scored 11 points in a three-minute span late in the fourth, but the Steelers had one last chance. A touchdown pass to James was ruled incomplete after a controversial video review and Big Ben tossed a pick in the end zone with five seconds left to seal the outcome, leaving Pittsburgh with its fourth straight ATS loss.
Week 14: Steelers 39, Ravens 38
ATS Result: Ravens +6
Over/Under Total Result: Over 43
The Steelers needed every bit of Roethlisberger’s 506 yards, coming from 11 points down in the fourth quarter to win their eighth straight. Le’Veon Bell’s touchdown run closed the gap with 3:29 left and the defense got a stop, allowing Chris Boswell to kick his fourth game-winning field goal in the last five games, though it wasn’t enough to cover the 6-point spread.
Week 13: Steelers 23, Bengals 20
ATS Result: Bengals +4.5
Over/Under Total Result: Over 42.5
The Steelers overcame the loss of Shazier and a 17-0 first half deficit to pull out the thrilling win in a vicious game. A field goal at the end of the first half gave Pitt some momentum and that carried over to the second half where they dominated and outscored the Bengals 20-3. Boswell’s third game-winning field goal in the last four games provided the victory, but not enough to cover the 4.5-point spread.
Week 12: Steelers 31, Packers 28
ATS Result: Packers +14
Over/Under Total Result: Over 42.5
The defense was gouged by several long pass plays, but Roethlisberger and Brown made sure the Steelers wouldn’t fall. Big Ben threw for 351 yards and four scores while AB and Le’Veon Bell did their thing to match the Packers offensive fireworks. The D forced a three-and-out late to get the ball back with 17 seconds left, which proved to be just enough time to get in field goal range for the game-winning Chris Boswell kick.
Week 11: Steelers 40, Titans 17
ATS Result: Steelers -7
Over/Under Total Result: Over 44.5
Roethlisberger led the team on an opening possession touchdown, but it was only a 16-14 advantage after Tennessee scored first in the second half. Then the Steelers kicked it up a notch, outscoring Tennessee 24-3 the rest of the way to easily cover the 7.5-point spread and cash the over.
Week 10: Steelers 20, Colts 17
ATS Result: Colts +10.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 47
The Steelers failed to cover the spread and needed Big Ben’s heroics to escape with a victory. Trailing 17-3 in the third, Roethlisberger started the comeback with a TD pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster and got even on a strike to Vance McDonald and a two-point conversion. Chris Boswell stroked the game-winner after Big Ben connected with Brown on a long pass play. The second-half explosion wasn’t enough to reach the total and the Steelers cashed the under for the eighth time
Week 9: BYE
Week 8: Steelers 20, Lions 15
ATS Result: Steelers -3
Over/Under Total Result: Under 44.5
The Steelers allowed the Lions to move the ball all over the field, but when it came time to defend their goal line, they were up to the task. Pittsburgh surrendered 482 yards, but held the Lions to just five field goals while cashing the under for the seventh time in eight games. Smith-Schuster put the game away with his long touchdown catch, giving the Steelers enough to cover for a third consecutive game.
Week 7: Steelers 29, Bengals 14
ATS Result: Steelers -4
Over/Under Total Result: Over 40
The Steelers were able to pull away thanks to a dominant defensive showing in the second half. They limited Cincy to 19 total yards and one first down after the intermission and scored the game’s final 15 points on five Chris Boswell field goals to cover the 4-point spread for a second straight game. The Steelers would like to see more touchdowns, but they were able to cash the over for the first time this season.
Week 6: Steelers 19, Chiefs 13
ATS Result: Steelers +3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 46
The Steelers dialed up the pressure and held the high-scoring Chiefs to just 13 points and 251 yards, easily cashing the under for a sixth straight game. The offense is still a work in progress, but the group showed signs with Bell carrying the load. Pittsburgh allowed only six yards in the first half while building a 12-3 lead and stopped the Chiefs’ last drive with the help of a James Harrison sack, giving the Steelers an outright win as a 3.5-point underdog.
Week 5: Jaguars 30, Steelers 9
ATS Result: Jaguars +7.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 41
It’s hard to score when you turn the ball over. It’s nearly impossible when you cough it up five times. The Steelers failed to score a touchdown with Roethlisberger’s five picks thwarting drives, moving the under to 5-0 on the year. Worse, the Steelers suffered a humiliating home loss as a 7.5-point favorite. The defense played well giving up just 17 points with the final touchdown coming on a 90-yard run when the group was selling out. They were put in a bad spot by Big Ben and did their best. It just wasn’t enough.
Week 4: Steelers 26, Ravens 9
ATS Result: Steelers -3.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 42
The Steelers got their running game going with Bell churning out the yards, and they held the football for more than 35 minutes in taking down division rival Baltimore. Bell scored twice on the ground, including the game-clincher late in the fourth. It was more than enough to cover the 3.5-point spread, but the Steelers are still missing the big play, which kept then below the total for the fourth straight game.
Week 3: Bears 23, Steelers 17 (OT)
ATS Result: Bears +7
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43.5
Their offensive woes left the Steelers below the closing total for a third straight game and even the additional time couldn’t break the streak. Pittsburgh managed fewer than 300 yards of offense and Bell was a non-factor as the Steelers lost for the first time this year while failing to cover the spread.
Week 2: Steelers 26, Vikings 9
ATS Result: Steelers -8.5
Over/Under Total Result: Under 43
Ben Roethlisberger got his mates involved early and the defense did the rest to get Pittsburgh a cover win. Martavis Bryant caught a 27-yard scoring pass for his first TD in over a year, and second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster scored his first touchdown early in the second quarter to give the Steelers a 14-0 lead. They wouldn’t put the ball in the endzone after that, settling for four second-half field goals. It resulted in the Steelers cashing the under for a second straight week.
Week 1: Steelers 21, Browns 18
ATS Result: Browns +10
Over/Under Total Result: Under 47
The Steelers got a glimpse of the new and improved Browns and they were able to escape with a narrow victory, but they failed to cover the 10-point spread. The offense looked out of sync with Bell missing a majority of preseason due to his holdout. He looked sluggish and carried the ball just 10 times. The teams played slow and even with a special teams score on the opening possession, they finished the contest below the closing total.
Preseason Record: 3-1
ATS Record: 3-1
Over/Under Record: 0-4
The Steelers have had plenty of success against their AFC North rival over the years, winning four straight and eight of the past nine meetings. They are 6-2-1 ATS in that span with cover wins in all five matchups that had Pittsburgh favored by at least seven points.
Week 1: Steelers at Browns, Sunday, September 10, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 2: Steelers vs. Vikings, Sunday, September 17, 1 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 3: Steelers at Bears, Sunday, September 24, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 4: Steelers at Ravens, Sunday, October 1, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 5: Steelers vs. Jaguars, Sunday, October 8, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 6: Steelers at Chiefs, Sunday, October 15, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 7: Steelers vs. Bengals, Sunday, October 22, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 8: Steelers at Lions, Sunday, October 29, 8:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 9: Bye Week
Week 10: Steelers at Colts, Sunday, November 12, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 11: Steelers vs. Titans, Thursday, November 16, 8:25 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 12: Steelers vs. Packers, Sunday, November 26, 8:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 13: Steelers at Bengals, Monday, December 4, 8:30 p.m. ET – ESPN
Week 14: Steelers vs. Ravens, Sunday, December 10, 8:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 15: Steelers vs. Patriots, Sunday, December 17, 4:25 p.m. ET – CBS
Week 16: Steelers at Texans, Sunday, December 24, 4:30 p.m. ET – NBC
Week 17: Steelers vs. Browns, Sunday, December 31, 1 p.m. ET – CBS
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