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Jaguars vs Steelers: Game Ball for Week 8

Injuries in the defensive secondary stress Jacksonville’s depth

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 29, 2023.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers was a true team win, and energy was an important factor during the game.

The Jaguars, despite three turnovers, handled business thanks to a smothering defensive performance. The absence of two of the unit’s biggest names — corner Tyson Campbell and safety Andre Cisco — made the outing even more impressive.

Next man up is always a motto for Jacksonville, but one of the fill-in starters brought a lot more than just his boisterous personality to the field Sunday. A sound all-around performance makes him my week eight game ball recipient:

S Andrew Wingard

Back-up safety. Special teams ace. Captain. Absolute dawg.

Dewey made the defensive play of the game Sunday with his interception of Steelers quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the fourth quarter.

Even though the play itself was great, it’s the celebration after that had everyone hyped up. Wingard took a fan’s Terrible Towel and waved it around like a man possessed. The act would’ve been talked about heavily any week, but after the “little towels” became a storyline it was an even greater celebration.

As for the pick, Wingard jumped an errant pass from Trubisky. The thow was sent deep down the field and intended for wide receiver Allen Robinson. Cornerback Darious Williams and linebacker Devin Lloyd were also in coverage.

The interception was Dewey’s first of the season and fifth of his career. It resulted in a Jaguars field goal that stretched their lead to two possessions, effectively clinching the win.

Wingard also made several key stops throughout the game. Most of the Steelers offense consisted of dinks and dunks to the flat. Wingard and company kept true to their brand, flying to the ball and making open-field tackles with consistency.

My week seven game ball recipients, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and Lloyd, led the team in tackles — to no surprise — but Dewey racked up six total to slot in third.

Cisco had been averaging just under five per game, so Wingard really held his own as a replacement. However, with a bye on the horizon, it is likely Cisco plugs back into the starting line up when the San Francisco 49ers roll into town on Nov. 12.

Despite that, Wingard will hope to stay busy with special teams duties and making opposing fans throw fits online. He said it best himself postgame… “You don’t fire up a hungry dog.”