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Steelers set to play Jaguars

Posted Jan 7, 2018

The Steelers will host the Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Round on Sunday.

The Steelers will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 1:05 p.m. in an AFC Divisional Round Game at Heinz Field. The Jaguars, the No. 3 seed in the AFC, defeated the Buffalo Bills, 10-3, in the AFC Wild Card Game, and as the highest advancing seed will play the Steelers.

It will be a rematch of the Steelers 30-9 loss to the Jaguars on Oct. 8 at Heinz Field.

“They were the better team that day,” said Artie Burns. “We weren’t executing right. We were missing tackles. We didn’t make enough plays. They made more plays than we did.”

Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions, the most of his career, including two in the third quarter that were returned for touchdowns, wiping out a 9-7 lead. The two interception returns, combined with two fourth quarter interceptions, were two costly for the Steelers to overcome.

“We turned the ball over. We didn’t take care of it,” said Coach Mike Tomlin after the game. “Over the course of the game they were able to play in the manner in which they like to play, grind the clock and maintain possession of the ball. It produced the outcome it did. They played a heck of a ball game. They executed their game plan really well.”

To a man, the Steelers know they didn’t play well, and looking back now know the key is plain and simple.

“We played so terrible but we were still in that game,” said Le’Veon Bell. “There isn’t anything different we have to do than protect the football.”

Bell was quick to point out that the offense has found a new weapon since then in rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had four catches for 58 yards in the game.

“JuJu (Smith-Schuster) hadn’t even emerged then,” said Bell. “Now they have to game plan for that.”

Jaguars’ running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 181 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown with under two minutes to play in the game.

“We just have to continue to tackle. Don’t guess,” said Cameron Heyward when asked about Fournette last week. “There were three plays we got beat on in that game, we need to clean that up. We can’t guess. He is going to make you pay in any situation. Just stay in the game with our execution. Continue to focus in on it. Understand it’s a 60 minute game, it can’t be 58, and it can’t be 59. If we do that we will be in a more successful position.”

This will be the second time the Steelers and Jaguars have met in the postseason. The Jaguars defeated the Steelers, 31-29, in an AFC Wild Card Game on Jan. 5, 2008 at Heinz Field.