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2018 NFL playoffs: 6 bold predictions for Jaguars vs. Steelers game

How does the Big Cat Country team think Sunday’s playoff game will go?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) are facing the Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3) for the chance to go to the AFC Championship game and we’ve got BOLD PREDICTIONS.

Here’s how the Big Cat Country team thinks about the Jaguars’ chances in Pittsburgh this Sunday.

Alfie Crow

It’s been an interesting week leading up to the rematch between the Steelers and the Jaguars and I’m not sure why, but I feel really good about the game. It just feels like a good matchup for the Jaguars, regardless of how the offense has been performing. The Jaguars ran the ball pretty well against the Steelers last time and that was with Ryan Shazier making a ton of plays. On defense Ben Roethlisberger kind of plays into their hands in that he can get pass happy, he holds the ball really long and he will force passes into dangerous windows. I think the game will go a lot like the first time.

Score: Jaguars win 20-16

Ryan Day

I think the Jaguars will cover the spread. They opened as 7-point underdogs and it’s been bet down but I think they do it. As far as winning, why not? The Steelers do not have a very good third down defense, allowing 7.1 yards per carry on third downs and a 61 percent conversion if the opposing team runs the ball. They don’t blitz often on third downs (only 14 percent of the time) and they’re allowing near 40 percent conversions, according to ESPN’s NFL Matchup.

Score: Jaguars win 17-16

Laurie Fitzpatrick

As everyone knows, the last time these teams saw each other was Week 5 of the regular season and yes, the Jaguars came out on top. We also know that keys to that victory was because of two pick-six touchdowns and Ben Roethlisberger decided that he wanted throw three other interceptions to show how manly he really is standing in the pocket forever with his big, burly, ugly face. Can you expect the same thing? No, it’s the playoffs and none of that really matters anymore. But I would assume a lot of the same recipe on Sunday.

Ben is the third-most sacked quarterback in the NFL and it’s because he wants to make plays which has to have Sacksonville foaming at the mouth. This is gonna take another strong game from Leonard Fournette who broke a 90-yard touchdown on his way to 180-yard game in Week 5. But really… as long as Blake Bortles doesn’t go into Bad Blake and the defensive continues to cause problems, the Jaguars can “shock the world” and all of the Steelers fans who decided not to sell out their own stadium in a divisional playoff matchup.

Score: Jaguars win 23-17

Zach Goodall

I’m worried about this game, y’all. The Steelers are a hot team, whereas the Jaguars ended the season on a bit of a cold streak. But the regular season is behind us, and in terms of team strengths, iron sharpens iron when it comes to the Jaguars defense and the Steelers offense.

If the Jaguars can repeat their defensive performance from Week 5 and Leonard Fournette can finally re-find his groove, this should be a winnable game for Jacksonville. The pessimist in me says Pittsburgh narrowly pulls this one out though.

Score: Steelers win 17-13

Ryan O’Bleness

I think the Jaguars offense finally wakes up enough to put up a couple of touchdowns, but I also expect an extremely close, hard-fought game. It seems as if nobody is giving the Jaguars a chance to win this game, and Jacksonville’s chip on their shoulder mentality is going to bode well for the road team. Again the offense has to get moving, but the defense cannot let Le’Veon Bell gash them on the ground.

If Pittsburgh becomes one-dimensional, as it was in Week 5, the Jaguars will come away with a victory. I believe!

Score: Jaguars win 21-19

Jimmy Siettmann

The Jaguars roll into Pittsburgh for the second time this season, hoping they can yet again come away with another victory. Earlier this year, they picked off Ben Roethlisberger five times, including two pick-six interceptions that helped lead them to a 30-9 victory. This defense is primed to make its mark, and they have the ability to carry them to to Super Bowl if they execute well enough. This game will come down to whether or not the offense can do its part, because I don’t think 10 points will do it this week. The Jaguars need to at least attempt to throw the ball downfield, especially early on in the game. Bortles has been best when throwing on first down all season, and they need to get him in a rhythm.

As far as how the game goes, the running game gets going a little more with more of a dynamic look, but ultimately, the offense isn’t gifted as many turnovers by the defense this time around. With the game on the line, Bortles is unable to move the ball downfield to win the game. The magical season unfortunately comes to an end.

Score: Steelers win 20-16