The Jacksonville Jaguars shut down the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, in a game that ended up a rout because of a pair of pick sixes and a late 90-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Leonard Fournette. Most of the game however, it was a close game where it felt like the Steelers were just waiting to take control of an pull away, partly because the Jaguars offense struggled to get anything done.
At halftime the score was 7-6, with the Jaguars in the lead thanks to a touchdown drive off a Ben Roethlisberger interception. In the first half Le’veon Bell had 10 carries and it felt like he was just getting warmed up to start picking up chunk plays and it left a lot of fans a bit uneasy with the second half because the Steelers got the ball first. Sure enough, Pittsburgh went right down the field and kicked a field goal to take a 9-7 lead. Bell had four carries for 24 yards on the drive, but...
...the Steelers, inexplicably, stopped running the ball.
Bell had just one carry after that field goal drive and Roethlisberger ended up throwing the ball a total of 55, which seems like an insane amount considering the defense the Steelers were facing. The Jaguars ranked near the bottom of the league in run defense and Bell was just starting to get warmed up in the second half, but instead the Steelers decided to go right at the teeth of the Jaguars defense... and it ended up in a total of five interceptions, including two pick sixes.
Monday morning listening to local radio, I found myself randomly laughing thinking about it.
Why did you do that? That was so dumb. Why would you completely abandon the run? Even when the game was 13-9, the very next drive the Steelers threw the ball five straight times after a single run, which also resulted in a pick six. After that? Seven passes to just two runs.
I was completely baffled watching the game why they completely went away from Bell, but uh... thanks Pittsburgh?