The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to play the Jacksonville Jaguars in about an hour to kick off a two game stretch in five days with the Thanksgiving night game against the Baltimore Ravens just around the corner. The Jaguars starting quarterback, Gardner Minshew, is not expected to play in this game with an injured thumb. Instead, rookie 6th rounder, Jake Luton will be behind center where he has played admirably for a failing Jaguars team. He kept the games competitive the last two weeks against the Houston Texans and the Green Bay Packers. The Jaguars also have undrafted rookie sensation, James Robinson, who was partially the reason for the team moving on from Leonard Fournette.
The Jaguars and Steelers are quite literally on the opposite end of things, as the Jaguars are on an eight game losing streak following a week one surprising victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Meanwhile, the Steelers are 9-0 with a chance to extend the streak to 10. The Steelers are also as healthy as they have been in several weeks with the likes of Mike Hilton and Chris Wormley set to return from injuries.
Steelers vs. Jaguars all time record: 12-14-0
Steelers vs. Jaguars (away): 6-7-0
Last match result: 20-16 Steelers (2018)
Notable offseason additions: LB Joe Schobert, CB Darqueze Dennard
Notable draft picks: CB C.J. Henderson, WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (OUT), LB K’Lavon Chaisson, DT Davon Hamilton, RB James Robinson (UDFA)
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Steelers Inactive Players:
DE Isaiah Buggs
QB Joshua Dobbs
OLB Jayrone Elliott
RB Jaylen Samuels
RB Trey Edmunds
Jaguars Inactive Players:
TE James O’Shaughnessy
WR Laviska Shenault
CB Sidney Jones
OL KC McDermott
TE Tyler Davis
LB Quicy Williams
QB Gardner Minshew
The Steelers have won the coin toss and have deferred. The defense will take the field first.
Jake Luton showed he is not scared to go downfield on the very first offensive play. 17 yards complete to Keelan Cole.
The next play, a run up the middle for a short gain and a similar story of 2nd down. 3rd and short for the Jaguars. A well thrown football by Jake Luton to the flats picks up the first, with some yards after the catch to follow.
James Robinson with a nice pickup up the middle as the Jaguars are firmly in field goal range now.
On 3rd and 10, Jake Luton was under pressure from T.J. Watt and company, which forced the off target ball. The Jaguars kicked the field goal and it was good. 3-0 Jaguars.
The Jaguars are not holding back any punches as they immediately attempted a surprise onside kick. The Steelers recovered after some uncertainty.
A nice crosser by Diontae Johnson picked up 7 yards on 1st down. James Conner with a nice swim move over the defender to evade the tackle and pickup the first.
Ben with yet another pass batted at the line of scrimmage, followed by another 7 yard pickup by Diontae Johnson. On 3rd down, Ben was slightly off target to Diontae Johnson and the ball fell incomplete. The field goal unit is coming out, and Chris Boswell missed his first field goal of the season, slightly wide left.
The Jaguars were able to pickup a first down, but another heavily pressured forced incompletion on 3rd down brings up 4th and the Jaguars will punt. The Steelers will be on high alert for trickery the rest of the game.
The Steelers are backed up to their own 5 yard line after a good Jaguars punt. Thankfully, James Conner was able to rip off a 25 yard run to give them plenty of breathing room.
Another first down pickup for Diontae Johnson on a curl. The Steelers offense is starting to find some rhythm as Chase Claypool picked up another first down on a 10 yard out route.
The “robber” defender almost undercut the route to Eric Ebron on 3rd down for the interception, but the ball fell incomplete. The Steelers punt was excellently placed at the 10 yard line, so at least the Steelers flipped the field.
T.J. Watt with a nice rip move around the edge and nearly got the sack, but Luton rolled out and tossed the ball away. The next play, Mike Hilton was sent on the blitz and he almost got home, the ball was then deflected up in the air, but nobody could track for the interception. The Jaguars will punt from deep in their own zone.
Ben to Diontae Johnson on 1st down for a pickup of 22 yards, and the Steelers are around midfield. James Conner should have been brought down for a 5 yard loss, but somehow found the corner and turned it up for a few yard gain.
Chase Claypool with a nice toe dragger for another first down pickup. A nice screen pass to James Conner and he picked up yet another first down. The Steelers are down inside the 30 yard line of the Jaguars.
Anthony McFarland Jr. in for a run on 1st and 2nd down, picking up a grand total of 2 yards. An incompletion on 3rd down to Diontae Johnson brings up another field goal. This time, Boswell successfully kicked the ball between the uprights. 3-3 Tie.
One of Diontae’s catches on the drive:
On first down, Stephon Tuitt and the defensive front stuffed the run and an incomplete pass on 2nd. On 3rd down, T.J. Watt clearly getting held as he nearly sacked the quarterback. The ball was deflected after the pass and Steven Nelson dropped another interception. The Steelers defense leaving some plays on the table.
The Steelers starting around the 30 yard line on this drive. Its time for the offense to get something going. Juju Smith-Schuster (the birthday boy) caught the ball on the curl and turned to the outside of the field. He plowed through the first defender before getting speared in the back, drawing a personal foul.
Every receiver getting involved today, with James Washington getting a 12 yard pickup near the left sideline.
Ben Roethlisberger connects on the deep ball. Chase Claypool in double coverage with the safety rolling over. Perfect placement by Ben. The point after attempt is good. 10-3 Steelers.
The Jaguars offense, who had a pretty good start to the game, appears to be running out of ideas. James Robinson provided a spark with a nice 18 yard run. An unnecessary roughness call on Steven Nelson tacked on an extra 15 to the end of the run. The Jaguars are in Pittsburgh territory.
DJ Chark wide open with a catch and run for 18 yards. The next play, a 13 yard completion. Minkah Fitzpatrick nearly suplexed Chris Conley on the tackle, which nearly caused another altercation.
On 1st down, the defense stopped the run for a 1 yard pickup. It looked to me like Cameron Heyward’s knee bent in a strange way, but he appears to be okay.
Minkah Fitzpatrick caught the pass that was deflected up in the air and returned it 37 yards. The Steelers defense finally got the interception that has been evading them all game.
There is 2:57 remaining in the half. On 1st down, James Conner tried to go around the edge to the left and nothing was there. He turned around and ran to the entire other side of the field, turning what would have been a 4 yard loss into a first down pickup. Ben Roethlisberger with the most half-hearted block ever.
The Ben to Diontae connection is strong today with another 20 yard pickup. over the middle of the field. Eric Ebron was stuffed at the line of scrimmage and knocked him off schedule on the route. It would have been an easy touchdown otherwise.
Diontae Johnson with another insane catch. In tight coverage the ball bounced off him and the defender twice before Johnson secured the catch. The Steelers are down to the 2 yard line. Insane catch by Johnson.
Benny Snell in on the goal line with the Touchdown. 17-3 Steelers.
Terrell Edmunds finally gets his splash play. Albeit in a meaningless situation at the end of the half. A terribly thrown pass by Jake Luton and Edmunds was there for the easy pick.
The Steelers have 00:29 to get something going. Another catch by Diontae and a James Conner 1st down run is moving them down the field. One timeout remaining with 00:15 at mid field. Ben to Chase Claypool very deep down the field. The defender basically tackled Claypool before the ball got there because Claypool would have probably caught it otherwise. Nicely placed deep ball by Ben.
Steelers have the ball with 00:09 with one timeout on the 24 yard line. Ben Stepped up in the pocket under pressure and threw an interception to end the half.
HALFTIME 17-3 Steelers.