NFL players tend to talk smack. However, wide receiver George Pickens raised eyebrows when he said the Jacksonville Jaguars defense relied on hope to stop opponents. Jaguars players caught wind of Pickens' comments and proved him how wrong he was in Week 8.
Pickens was coming off back-to-back 100-yard performances heading into Week 8. However, the Jags limited him to a measly one catch for 22 yards and one touchdown. You could make the case that he reached the end zone but cornerback Darious Williams did a job of containing him throughout most of the game.
When you consider that the Jacksonville defense limited the Steelers' offense to a paltry 261 total yards, it's fair to say that Pickens had no idea what he was talking about when he said the Jaguars had a hope defense.
It's true that Diontae Johnson had five catches for 85 yards but that the Steelers' offense lone highlight of the game. They had their first first down of the game until their fifth possession. Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubiski combined for two interceptions. Pittsburgh's running game wasn't much better, finishing the game with just 70 rushing yards and an average of 3.9 yards per carry.
Following the game, safety Rayshan Jenkins said that the team found out about George Pickens' comments and they weren't pleased. But instead of responding, they let their play on the field speak for them. The Jaguars social media department was also aware of Pickens' comments and posted this picture after the game.
In Pickens' defense, he took the "L" in stride and acknowledged that he was in the wrong. He even pinned the comment at the top of his profile on Twitter.
The Jacksonville Jaguars proved to be too much for George Pickens and the Steelers
You will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't recognize George Pickens as one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL. However, he showed he was no match for the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Following the win, Rayshawn Jenkins said he expected better.
Truth to be told, the Jaguars didn't need any bulletin board material to pull off the win. Their defense has delivered throughout this year, and kept opposing teams out of the end zone. Sure, they give up lots of yards through the air but that's mostly because they've taken away the running game and teams find themselves trailing. If Pickens had known this, maybe he wouldn't have felt tempted to make those comments about Jacksonville needing hope.
It's also worth noting that cornerback Tyson Campbell and safety Andre Cisco didn't suit up. Yet, the Jaaguars' secondary didn't miss a beat.
The bottomline is that the Jacksonville Jaguars showed the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8 that they're the team nobody wants to mess with. They'll now enter their BYE with a 6-2 record, a five-game winning streak and the second best record in the whole AFC.