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This win was necessary

Posted Oct 4, 2017

A look back at a memorable win over the Jaguars in 1995.

Steelers 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 7
October 29, 1995
Three Rivers Stadium

While it wasn’t classified as a ‘must win’ game, it definitely could have been called a, ‘there is no way we can afford to lose this’ game.

Just a few weeks prior the Steelers went to Jacksonville to play the expansion Jaguars, and the Jaguars picked up just their second win in franchise history, shocking the Steelers and winning, 20-16.

A talent-laden Steelers team couldn’t let the upstart Jaguars get the best of them again, as pride was on the line. Going into the game with a 3-4 record, and coming off two straight losses, the Steelers were determined to turn the season around. They were in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC Central, but Coach Bill Cowher had his team motivated for what he called a nine-game season that still remained.

The Steelers jumped out to a 21-0 lead by halftime and never looked back. Erric Pegram got the Steelers on the board first with a six-yard touchdown run. Neil O’Donnell then hit Yancey Thigpen for a 15-yard touchdown and John L. Williams for a six-yard scoring strike.

Jacksonville added a third quarter touchdown, but the Steelers closed it out on Norm Johnson’s fourth quarter field goal for the 24-7 win.

The defense stymied the Jaguars offense, limiting Mark Brunnel to 18 completions for 189 yards. Brunnel was sacked seven times, with seemingly everyone getting in on the act including Ray Seals (2), Brentson Buckner (1.5), Carnell Lake (1), Jerry Olsavsky (1), Kevin Henry (1) and Kevin Greene (.5).

Lake was a key component in the win, and for the remainder of the season, when he made the change from strong safety to cornerback because the team was without Rod Woodson, who tore his ACL in the season-opener, and nothing seemed to be working at the position. In addition to the sack, Lake had four tackles and a pass defense.

The Steelers would go on to win the next seven games, earn a playoff berth, and make it all the way to Super Bowl XXX, where they lost to the Dallas Cowboys.

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Listen to the original radio broadcast of this game. Steelers Time Machine debuts on SNR each Wednesday at 1 p.m. Click here for more information.