Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Divisional Round preview

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Leonard Fournette
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Leonard Fournette /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 08: Blake Bortles
PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 08: Blake Bortles /

The Jaguars will lose if…

…the offense continues to sputter

This one is obvious, but the most crucial factor in Sunday’s game. The last two weeks have been a disaster for the Jaguars offense, scoring only one offensive touchdown in the two games. If not for a remarkable defensive performance against Buffalo, Jacksonville wouldn’t even be in this game, and the season would be over.

In the divisional round, another game of offensive ineptitude will lead to an easy exit in the playoffs. The Steelers are not the Bills, and the defense cannot be counted on to completely shutdown all scoring like the unit did last week.

Blake Bortles has to play better, and make plays with his arm. In the first matchup, Bortles threw just 14 passes and had less than 100 yard in the air in the blowout win. But Pittsburgh is going to make Bortles beat them this time around, and another sub 100 day will not get the job done.

Bortles will need to step up his play, but it’s the run game that will be the most welcomed sight if it makes a long overdue return on Sunday. The rushing attack has been nonexistent in recent weeks. Bortles was the leading rusher versus Buffalo, with 88 yards on the ground. The QB leading the rushing category is not usually a sign of a potent run game. In week five, Leonard Fournette ran wild for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Letting him loose in Heinz Field again will be imperative.

The Jaguars got away with a no show from the offense last week in the wild card. But this week against the Steelers, the offense continuing to get stuck in the mud will lead to a thud of a season-ender in the divisional round.