The Pittsburgh Steelers march into Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars and while the Florida sun is usually hot, the Jaguars have been the exact opposite. The ice-cold Jaguars have lost five in a row as they welcome a Steelers’ team that will be looking to avenge their post season loss last January. A matchup with a variety of storylines, here are all the numbers you will need to know for Sunday’s matchup.
14-1-1 – The general misconception surrounding Mike Tomlin’s Steelers is that his team typically struggles on the road. That does not seem to be the case anymore as the Steelers have a record of 14-1-1 over their last 16 road games. In those 14 victories, the Steelers have averaged a margin of victory of 9.2 points. With the 3-6 Jaguars next in their crosshairs, the Steelers would like to improve their impressive road record with another victory.
19 – After finishing last season with 55 sacks, the Jaguars have just 19 this season and have struggled to create pressure all season. Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue had 26.5 sacks combined last season but have just 10 between the two this year. There are also others like Malik Jackson, who has seen his sack totals drop from eight to just one so far this year and the departure of pass rusher Dante Fowler, who has been traded to the Los Angeles Rams. The decrease in pressure has resulted in a decrease in turnovers as the Jaguars’ interception total has also dropped from 21 last season to just five so far this year.
21 – Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles is never going to scare anyone with his arms but he is agile and quick enough that his legs might inflict some fear. Bortles this season has 42 rushing attempts for 269 yards with 21 of those rushing attempts resulting in a fresh set of downs. Keep an eye out for Bortles scrambling on third down this Sunday, as he has 10 rushing attempts on third down that have moved the chains. The Jaguars’ quarterback is smart and quick enough to escape the pocket when he feels an impending collapse. The Steelers will have to keep a close on eye on him once again as Bortles had 35 rushing yards on just five attempts against them last January.
128 – Steelers’ defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt has been ruled for this Sunday after hyperextending his elbow against the Panthers last Thursday. His absence could spell trouble for the Steelers’ run defense as in the eight games that Tuitt has missed in his career, the Steelers are allowing an average of 128 rushing yards per game. The Steelers have allowed over 100 yards in four of those eight games and have allowed over 200 rushing yards twice in Tuitt’s absence. The Jaguars currently have the 26th ranked rush offense but Sunday’s game will be interesting to see if the Steelers can hold the fort without Tuitt in the trenches.
373 – If there is one player who has had the Jaguars’ number it is Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown. Over his last three games against the Jaguars, Brown has recorded 22 receptions for 373 yards and two touchdowns. In two matchups last season, the veteran wide receiver had 17 receptions for 289 yards against the likes of cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. If there is any player who could torch the Jaguars’ stout secondary Sunday, it could very well be Brown again.