Steelers fall to Jaguars, 45-42

The Steelers season came to a disappointing end when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 45-42, in the AFC Divisional Round.

The Steelers fell behind early, down 21-0 in the second quarter, and were never able to dig out. 

"Not a lot to say," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "Really don't plan a lot for these moments. But these moments do exist. I appreciate the efforts of the guys, not only today but over the course of the journey. We didn't get it done. We didn't play well enough today. We didn't coach well enough today. The effort was there, the resolve was there. But not enough execution to win versus very good people in January football. That is the only way to cut it."

Ben Roethlisberger completed 37 of 58 passes for 469 yards and five touchdowns, while Antonio Brown had seven receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and Le'Veon Bell had 88 yards receiving and 67 yards rushing and scored on a receiving and rushing touchdown.

The Jaguars moved the ball down the field on the opening drive, with Blake Bortles completing three of four passes for 53 yards, and Leonard Fournette carrying the ball four times for 13 yards. The Steelers stopped the Jaguars on third-and-goal at the one-yard line, but they went for it on fourth down and Fournette took it in for a one-yard touchdown and early 7-0 lead.

Game action photos from the Pittsburgh Steelers' AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars

The opening series for the Steelers wasn't as productive, going three-and-out on three straight passes.

The next series didn't get any better. On third down Roethlisberger's pass, intended for Vance McDonald, was intercepted by Myles Jack at that Steelers' 18-yard line. The Jaguars cashed in fast. Fournette broke around right end for an 18-yard touchdown, extending their lead to 14-0 in the first quarter.  

The offense moved the ball on the next series, with Bell rattling off a 20-yard run to get things rolling. Roethlisberger hit Brown for 11 yards and Eli Rogers for 13. But they stalled when faced with fourth-and-one, and on the pitchout Bell was stopped for a four-yard loss, turning the ball over on downs at the Jacksonville 25-yard line.

Jacksonville's offense remained hot on their next drive, moving the ball down the field on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a four-yard touchdown run by T.J. Yeldon, extending their lead to 21-0 in the second quarter.

Fitzgerald Toussaint gave the offense nice field position with a 34-yard kickoff return to the 36-yard line. Roethlisberger hit Rogers for seven yards, and Bell took it up the middle for 21 yards. Roethlisberger connected with Bell for three yards, and on third-and-seven hit Rogers for 10 yards. Brown then did what he does, pulling in a one-handed grab while covered in the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown, getting the Steelers on the board and cutting the Jaguars lead to 21-7.

After the defense held, Roethlisberger and company looked to cut further into the Jaguars lead. That was quickly thwarted when Roethlisberger was sacked by Yannick Ngakoue, forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Telvin Smith and returned 50 yards for a touchdown, giving the Jaguars a 28-7 lead.

A taunting penalty on Smith on the touchdown gave the Steelers the boost they needed on their final drive before the half. Cameron Sutton fielded the kickoff at the 27-yard line, returning it 22 yards to the Steelers 49-yard line. Roethlisberger hit Brown for 13 yards, but they quickly found themselves in a fourth-and-11 situation. Roethlisberger let loose, hitting Martavis Bryant in the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown, sending the Steelers into the half down 28-14.

The Steelers got the ball to start the second half and made it count. Roethlisberger hit Bell for seven yards, and then dumped it off to McDonald for a first down. Bell grabbed a four-yard reception, and was hit out of bounds, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct call. Roethlisberger went back to McDonald for 15 yards, and Jesse James extended a reception to a 12-yard gain by staying in bounds along the sideline. Roethlisberger went back to Bell, hitting him in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 28-21.

The Steelers had a golden opportunity to get on the board after Robert Golden deflected Brad Nortman's punt, allowing it to travel only 15 yards. Bell took it for six and three yards, but was stopped for no gain on third down. On fourth-and-one, Roethlisberger went 20 yards deep to JuJu Smith-Schuster, but couldn't connect with him and they turned the ball over on downs.

It opened the door for the Jaguars to take it down the field themselves. Bortles led them on a five-play, 61-yard drive, highlighted by a 45-yard pass to Keelan Cole at the three-yard line. Fournette took it from there, extending the Jaguars lead back to 14 points with a three-yard touchdown run.

There was no quit in this team, though. Roethlisberger hit Brown who ran out of bounds after a 27-yard gain. And then, the Killer B's did what they do. On fourth-and-five Roethlisberger went deep, hitting Brown in the end zone for a 43-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 35-28.

The Steelers kept fighting back, cutting the lead to seven again after Roethlisberger rushed for one-yard, then lateraled it to Bell who took it eight yards for the touchdown to cut the lead to 42-35.

After the Jaguars recovered an onsides kick, Johh Lambo hit a 45-yard field goal to give them a 45-35 lead.

A detailed look at today's scoring:

First Quarter: Steelers 0, Jaguars 7
Scoring Play: Leonard Fournette one-yard run.
Scoring Summary: 8-66-4:20

First Quarter: Steelers 0, Jaguars 14
Scoring Play: Leonard Fournette 18-yard run.
Scoring Summary: 1-18-0:05

Second Quarter: Steelers 0, Jaguars 21
Scoring Play: T.J. Yeldon four-yard touchdown run.
Scoring Summary: 11-75-4:36

Second Quarter: Steelers 7, Jaguars 21
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger 23-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.
Scoring Summary: 6-64-3:11

Second Quarter: Steelers 7, Jaguars 28
Scoring Play: Telvin Smith 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown. 

Second Quarter: Steelers 14, Jaguars 28
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger 36-yard touchdown pass to Martavis Bryant.
Scoring Summary: 7-51-1:55

Third Quarter: Steelers 21, Jaguars 28
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger 19-yard touchdown pass to Le'Veon Bell.
Scoring Summary: 10-77-5:51

Third Quarter: Steelers 21, Jaguars 35
Scoring Play: Leonard Fournette three-yard touchdown run.
Scoring Summary: 5-61-2:10

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 21, Jaguars 35
Scoring Play: Leonard Fournette three-yard touchdown run.
Scoring Summary: 5-61-2:10

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 28, Jaguars 35
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger 43-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.
Scoring Summary: 5-75-1:29

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 28, Jaguars 42
Scoring Play: Blake Bortles 14-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Bohanon.
Scoring Summary: 8-75-4:46

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 35, Jaguars 42
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger lateral to Le'Veon Bell for touchdown. Roethlisberger one-yard rushing, Bell eight yards.
Scoring Summary: 12-75-2:01

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 35, Jaguars 45
Scoring Play: Josh Lambo 45-yard field goal.
Scoring Summary: 4-9-0:33

Fourth Quarter: Steelers 42, Jaguars 45
Scoring Play: Ben Roethlisberger four-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Scoring Summary: 10-75-1:44

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