NFL Point Spread: Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers Divisional Playoffs
I love watching a good offense match up against a good defense. Most people would rather watch two offensive teams shoot it out. Not me, I want a good defense that takes pride in banging bodies against a swagger-filled offense that thinks it’s invincible. And that’s what we have this Sunday.
Pittsburgh is the home team and the favorite, by a touchdown. I like Pittsburgh, but I wouldn’t bet against the spread. This is one of those games I can see coming down to a field goal in the last few seconds of regulation or overtime. Or even a big special teams play down the stretch.
I like the home team to take care of business. In a tight game like this, they’re the ones who have the ability to drive the football down the field, even against a great defense, and do what they have to do. I can’t say the same for Jacksonville.
Prediction: Pittsburgh Steelers at Bodog
This Jacksonville defense is hard not to love. All swagger, no fear. All gas, no break. The Jaguars gave up 286.1 yards per game, which was second in the NFL. They also held teams to 16.8 points per game (also second), and forced the second most fumbles in the NFL.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers scored 25.4 points per night, good enough for 8th in the NFL. But they were third in the NFL in passing yards, as Big Ben continues to flip off father time and put up good numbers at age 35. He was also only sacked 24 times this year, tied for third fewest in the NFL. So his line is giving him the time he needs to pick apart the D. Which is good, because you know those 35-year-old knees scream every time he asks them to move laterally.
We mentioned these two teams met earlier this year. It wasn’t pretty, as Jacksonville walked into Pittsburgh’s house and handed them a 30-9 beat down. Ben Roethlisberger was frustrated, as he went 33/55, with 5 picks and zero touchdowns. He was also sacked twice. Antonio Brown caught 10 balls for 157 yards, but didn’t reach the end zone once. On the other side of the ball, rookie Leonard Fournette looked beastly and rushed for 181 yards on 28 carries and 2 touchdowns, the best game of his young career.
We mentioned Antonio Brown. He will be a big X-factor, as a game-time decision on whether or not he plays Sunday. By the way, a game-time decision in the second round of the playoffs means they will play. Bet on it. I am. He’s proven he can work against the best secondary in football, even though he didn’t score the last time these two teams met. 157 yards against this D is definitely not nothing. He just needs to turn one of those into a game-breaking play this weekend. And I predict he will.
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