The Jacksonville Jaguars have traveled well this season and it was no different when they visited the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8. Although they found a few roadblocks along the way, they managed to come out of Acrisure with a win. John Breech of CBS Sports, for one, took the good and the bad into consideration when giving the Jags a grade for their performance.
Breech assigned grades to all NFL teams in Week 8 and gave Jacksonville a B, noting that they beat the Steelers despite the fact that they turned the ball over three times. On the other hand, Breech highlighted Trevor Lawrence's performance and gave credit to the secondary for getting two interceptions off Mitch Trubisky.
"The Jaguars coughed the ball up three times and still beat the Steelers by 10 points in Pittsburgh. Making the Jaguars' win more impressive was the fact that they won the game with several injuries to their secondary. The injury-plagued unit still picked off Mitch Trubisky twice while sewing up the Jaguars' sixth win. We'd be remiss not to mention the play of Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 292 yards in the win."
Lawrence has generally made good decisions this season, which is why it was puzzling to see him throw a pass into triple coverage in the Steelers' end zone. It was intended for wide receiver Calvin Ridley but ended up getting intercepted. That wasn't the only opportunity the Jags missed, though. Tight end Evan Engram fumbled in the end zone and rookie Tank Bigsby also fumbled in the third quarter while filling in for Travis Etienne.
On the bright side, both Lawrence and Engram bounced back and went on to make plays. The former threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Etienne and the latter made a couple of clutch completions in the fourth quarter. On top of that, the Jaguars took away the Steelers' running game and held wide receiver George Pickens to one catch. Granted, he scored but he was otherwise a non-factor through the game.
The Jacskonville Jaguars showed resilience in the win vs. the Steelers in Week 8
It's true that the Jacksonville Jaguars made a handful of mistakes in Week 8 but they weren't not serious enough to overshadow all their positive plays. Had Lawrence not thrown the interception or Engram not fumbled, the Jags might've come out with at least 6 additional points, maybe even 10. But even without those extra points, they beat Pittsburgh by double digits and they did it despite the rain and Steelers fans waving little towels.
The defense deserves lots of praise as well. It took Pittsburgh five offensive drives to move the chains for the first time and they were held to a measly three points up until the third quarter. Head coach Doug Pederson made sure to credit defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and his unit after the game.
"When you keep things really simple, you got the same call, the guys understand the defense and the way they work during the week," Pederson told Bucky Brooks after the game. "Everything translates into what you see."
Heading into their BYE, the Jags rank 10th in both points scored and points allowed. Similarly, they lead the league in takeaways with 18. If that wasn't enough, they have a 4-0 record on the road this season and are riding a five-game winning streak.
The Jacksonville Jaguars won't play again until Week 10 when they face the San Francisco 49ers. However, they shouldn't stop analysts and talking heads from discussing their place as one of the top teams in the league.