Jaguars host the Steelers: Predicting Sunday’s winner
By David Levin
In the midst of a five-game losing streak, the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday from TIAA Bank Field.
This wasn’t how Week 11 of the NFL was supposed to go. Both Jacksonville and Pittsburgh were supposed to be leading their divisions, fighting for home-field advantage heading toward the playoffs. The Steelers have held up their end of the bargain. The Jaguars are still trying to find their way, sitting at the bottom of the AFC South.
To say the air has been let out of this balloon of a game is an understatement. Jacksonville needs this win to salvage some pride and keep whatever little playoff hope that it is alive. The Steelers need this win to continue momentum heading toward the postseason.
This still has the makings of a slugfest as these two teams could play a game decided in the final minutes.
Our writers here at Black and Teal weigh in on the game and make our predictions for Sunday.
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Lorenzino Estrada – While the presence of Leonard Fournette was a huge offensive boost for the Jaguars last week, the team will need more than that to beat a hot Steelers team.
The Jaguars’ defensive inconsistencies won’t bode well against the explosive Steelers offense. This game feels like one that will start off close, and slowly escalate out of control. Steelers win 27-13.
David Levin – I was talking with a national sports writer this week about how the Jaguars have to play for pride with their playoff chances sinking faster by the minute.
This past week after the loss to Indianapolis did not sit well with the fan base.
Jalen Ramsey’s comments about being missed when he leaves and then trying to explain himself later in the week did not help totally end the debate of whether he wants to remain in Jacksonville.
I think Jacksonville will come out and play inspired football in front of the home crowd. Bortles once again looks better with Fournette behind him. The secondary lives up to their billing.
Finally, the losing streak is over. Jaguars 23 Steelers 20.
Kathy Clark – Jacksonville has a history of playing well against the Steelers. The offense looked better with Leonard Fournette.
Blake Bortles had a good game last week. A.J. Bouye will return to the lineup. Jalen Ramsey has silenced his critics. Sadly none of that will be enough. Steelers 28. Jaguars 17.
Williams Frost – The Jaguars have lost five games straight, against much worse opposition than they face this weekend. The Pittsburgh offense is now in full flow after the team got off to a shaky start to the season and will be hoping for as much blown coverage as Todd Wash’s defense gifted the Colts just last Sunday.
It’d take a Herculean effort to upset the Steelers this weekend as all of the things which got Jacksonville the win in Heinz Field (sacks, turnovers, a run game) seems to have eluded Jacksonville through the first nine games of the season. It’s not going to be pretty. Pittsburgh 35 – 14 Jaguars.