The Little Yellow Towels: A Week Eight Preview

The Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2) will visit the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) this Sunday at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. Kickoff is at 1:00 pm EDT.

The Jaguars are riding a 4-game winning streak, and hope to get a number of injured players back on the field healthy for this matchup with Pittsburgh. The Steelers have won their past two games, and have been finding ways to win despite their below-average statistical numbers on both sides of the ball.

Below are the NFL ranks, both offensively and defensively for the Jaguars and Steelers:

Passing Yards

Rushing Yards


Jaguars Defense




Steelers Offense




Jaguars Offense




Steelers Defense




Both teams are +6 in turnover margin for the season, which is tied for second-best in the league. The Buccaneers have the best mark in this area at +8.

On paper, the Jaguars appear to have the advantage in most statistical categories over the Steelers, with the lone exception being passing yards allowed, where the Jaguars are ranked 31st. This feels like a game the Jaguars should win, as they are two-and-a-half point favorites on the road, with an over / under total of 40.5.

However, Mike Tomlin-coached teams are always tough, physical, and efficient with the ball, and usually have a really good pass rush. This year is no exception, with T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith wreaking havoc off the edge and getting their share of sacks and quarterback hits. But the Steelers have been struggling to score points on offense with Kenny Pickett under center, averaging only 17.2 points per game.

Prediction: Jaguars 31, Steelers 16

The Jaguars just seem like the better team here, and should be able to win this game, and head into their bye week at 6-2. Wouldn’t that be great?

The weather forecast for Pittsburgh on Sunday calls for a high of 59 degrees and a light-to-steady rain throughout the day. The Steelers are pretty bad at running the ball, at just 3.3 yards per carry, and the Jaguars have been really good at stopping it. Additionally, Kenny Pickett has small hands for a quarterback, and might struggle even more in the passing game with a wet ball. This is being said with the utmost caution, however, after witnessing that fumble-fest by Trevor Lawrence last year in the rain at Philadelphia. Nobody wants to see a repeat of that debacle. So, hopefully, the proper precautions will be taken to ensure much better ball security from Trevor this time around.

One final note:

During a media session this week, someone asked Trevor Lawrence about the "terrible towels", which are a beloved and apparently sacred prop, utilized by the Steelers’ fan base at their home games. Lawrence replied that he knows what they are, "The little yellow towels they swing around."

This simple, accurate, and harmless comment led fans in Pittsburgh, and even some journalists, to flock to social media and express their outrage. They warned the Jaguars that those who speak ill of the towels shall live to regret it, or some such nonsense. Some of them even resorted to name-calling. This was all purely manufactured drama, and it smacks of desperation. And after this kind of snow-flakey reaction by such a purportedly tough city, it’s going to be even more satisfying now if the Jags go in there and give those fools a good curb-stomping.

Of course, everyone probably remembers when, years ago, Jaxon DeVille held up a sign at a Jaguars home game against the Steelers that said, "Towels Carry Ebola". While that was hilarious, we can’t say the Jaguars have had a lot of good fortune on the football field, in the years since. Maybe the towel curse is real. Probably not though.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.