Today's game was all about defense. A true to form battle. On September 18, 2006, the Jaguars played host to the defending Super Bowl champions, the Steelers, on Monday Night football. The stadium was absolutely electric, as; the Jaguars had one of the best defensive units in the league. This was the height of the "yeah but" in reference to the Jaguars. Nevertheless, the Jaguars showed up for this primetime game, and gave the national audience one of the most physical displays in recent history.
At the time, both teams were off to a quick start to the year at 1-0. Unfortunately, both teams were also destined to miss the playoffs, but at his point, this is the only game from that season that I remember vividly. Roethlisberger threw for just 141 yards, and the Steelers players combined for just 26 yards on the ground. The Steelers defense wasn't quite as unforgiving. Leftwich threw for 260 yards, and the Jaguars ran for 110 yards on the ground.
At halftime of this game, the two teams had popped each other square in the jaw, and the score remained deadlocked at 0. The Jaguars were finally able to penetrate far enough into Steelers' territory in the 3rd quarter to kick a chipshot 31 yard field goal. The kick squeaked inside the right upright, and it gave the Jaguars the first points of the game.
One would have thought that the Steelers offense would've came out of the halftime break fired up and ready to go, but that wasn't the case. The Jaguars manhandled the defending champs but were themselves unable to pull away. The Jaguars were able to tack on another three points, but the lead remained vulnerable when Rashean Mathis saved the day.
The Steelers were beginning to get near midfield when Big Ben threw a dart that was snagged by Mathis. The interception gave the Jaguars ball deep in Steelers' territory. The ensuing drive only netted 5 yards, but it was enough for Josh Scobee to deliver a 42 yard dagger that would give the Jaguars a 9-0 lead, and it was the eventual final score. The win set the tone for the rest of the year for that young Jaguars team. They would later obliterate the Jets 41-0, but for some reason, that 9-0 victory felt like the crowing achievement of the 2006 Jaguars.
If you'd like to see the highlights of the game, click here.