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Week 19 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 45, Pittsburgh Steelers 42
What you need to know
A week after scoring 10 points against a porous Bills defense at home, the Jaguars offense exploded and scored five touchdowns on the road against Pittsburgh. It wasn't always pretty, especially in a third quarter where they barely moved the ball, but the Jaguars offense took advantage of opportunities given to them and kept their foot on the pedal. They looked balanced and much more creative and aggressive in terms of design and execution.
The Steelers season came to an end with a 45-42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Steelers quickly found themselves down 21-0 after an interception and turnover on downs on 4th and inches after a sweep was quickly snuffed out. The offense battled back from early mistakes and turnovers and closed the gap late in the game, but it was not enough. Ben Roethlisberger
, LeVeon Bell
, Antonio Brown
, and Vance McDonald
all finished with exceptional stat-lines as the offense was forced to produce points while playing from behind.
|QB Blake Bortles, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 26 - 214 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 35 - 0|
Bortles did not have an efficient day by any means, but it did not matter. He was worlds better than he was last week against the Bills, and for all the downs he had vs the Steelers, he came through big for the team when they needed him. He was a perfect 3/3 on the opening drive, perfecting play-action and distributing the ball to his tight-ends for their only catches. Throughout the game he struggled to hit vertical passes off of play action, but the heavy dosage of it proved effective anyways on Bortles' biggest pass of the game, a deep shot down the seam to Keelan Cole
for a 45-yard gain. Bortles put the ball in the perfect spot and did it while under pressure and after missing several throws of similar nature earlier in the game. Bortles also was effective on third down, frequently utilizing his running back's positions in space. Bortles was late on a couple of throws across the middle of the field but on one of the games most crucial plays, he found Marqise Lee
on a third-down slant. Bortles day was up and down, littered with good and bad decisions, but he was a big part of the victory.
|RB Leonard Fournette, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 25 - 109 - 3, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (4 targets)|
Before going down with an ankle injury in the second quarter, Fournette was the best player on the field. The line in front of him got some movement for the first time in weeks and Fournette took complete advantage. He wasn't making people miss, but his insane acceleration lead to several chunk runs, both inside and outside of the tackles. He was not going down on first contact and his power would lead to yards after every tackle. The first of his three touchdowns game on an incredibly athletic play, where he took off the ground and then adjusted his body in the air to score. His second touchdown featured a hurdle over a defender and terrific straight-line speed and balance to score down the sideline. His third touchdown, his only one after the injury, showing good vision and power. It is a shame we did not see him at 100% for the whole game, because it looked like he was putting together a classic.
|RB T.J. Yeldon, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 20 - 1, Rec: 3 - 57 - 0 (3 targets)|
Yeldon had potentially the biggest game of his career and played so well that he might have saved his roster spot for next season, with Chris Ivory
a healthy scratch. For starters, he gained 5-yards a pop when he was utilized as a runner, showing good vision and burst. He scored one of the Jaguars four rushing touchdowns and ran with a purpose. As a pass catcher, he lead the team in receiving thanks to his work on screens and third-down dump-offs. His biggest catch came on a dump-off to the left flat, where he took the pass into space and turned it into a 40-yard gain with his vision and speed.
|RB Tommy Bohanon, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 14 - 1 (1 targets)|
Bohanon will always be a candidate to score one of these random touchdowns because he is on the field so much as a lead blocker for Fournette. His score against the Steelers came off a pop-pass as Bohanon released into the middle of the field on play-action. Bohanon showed great concentration to bring the ball, his only target, in for a score.
|WR Marqise Lee, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 28 - 0 (6 targets)|
Lee led the team in targets with six, but only turned three into receptions. He had one poor drop on a crossing route that should have lead to a big gain, but other than that he was a victim of poor downfield throws by Bortles. With that said, two of Lee's three catches came on third down, with one coming in the fourth quarter. Lee released off the line too quickly for the corner and was able to secure the bullet pass before advancing it for extra yards.
|WR Keelan Cole, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 45 - 0 (2 targets)|
Cole was ignored for the majority of the game, but he continued the trend of the Jaguars entire season and became the lone recipient of one of their downfield shots. After Bortles had missed deep pass after deep pass, he connected with Cole to put the team at the goal-line. Cole ran a great vertical route down the seam, splitting two zone defenders, and came back to the ball to secure it. He showed great ball skills and vertical ability.
Westbrook finished the game with one catch for eight yards. He was not featured much in the game plan and was largely ignored by Bortles, including no deep targets.
|WR Allen Hurns, 17 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (2 targets)|
Hurns only saw two targets in the game. He did not gain much separation, having trouble with the Steelers' coverage schemes for whatever reasons. On the plays he was targeted, he dropped one pass on third down that would have been a first down if caught. It was thrown behind him and required a major adjustment, but it did hit him in the hands. It was a bad pass that should have still been caught. On his other target, again on third down, he ran an out route against man coverage and got easy separation, leading to a big gain.
|QB Ben Roethlisberger, 78 offensive snaps, Pass: 37 - 58 - 469 - 5 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - 16 - 0|
passed for a franchise postseason record 469 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. On the Steelers second possession, Roethlisberger was intercepted by Myles Jack, when he jumped an out-route on the right sideline. Mid second quarter with the Steelers trailing 21-0, Roethlisberger found Antonio Brown
in the left corner of the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown. Late second quarter, Roethlisberger was hit from behind and fumbled as the Jaguars returned the ball for a 50-yard defensive touchdown. With 32 seconds left in the second quarter and the Steelers down 28-7, Roethlisberger threw up a Hail Mary pass on 4th and 11 to Martavis Bryant
for a 36-yard touchdown. Roethlisberger put the pass right on target and kept the Steelers in the game. On the first possession of the third quarter, Roethlisberger delivered another clutch touchdown pass on a 3rd and long. On the play, Roethlisberger placed the 19-yard touchdown pass in a perfect spot for LeVeon Bell
. With the Steelers down 35-21 and facing another 4th and 5, Roethlisberger went deep with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Brown. On the play, Roethlisberger moved up in the pocket and threw the ball up for Brown, who was in man-to-man coverage. Late fourth quarter, Roethlisberger once again moved forward in the pocket before throwing a lateral to Bell, who ran for an 8-yard touchdown. As time expired, Roethlisberger threw his fifth touchdown of the afternoon, a four-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster
|RB LeVeon Bell, 78 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 67 - 1, Rec: 9 - 88 - 1 (13 targets)|
finished with 155 total yards and two touchdowns. With the Steelers falling behind 21-0 early in the game, Bell didn’t have an opportunity to shine on the ground with only 16 rushing attempts. Bell did most of his damage quickly running up-the-middle often gaining chunks of yardage. Bell was a major factor in the short passing game as he was able to keep the chains moving. On the first possession of the third quarter, Bell lined up out wide and caught a 19-yard touchdown pass. On the play, Bell displayed great concentration coming down with the reception while bobbling the ball in tight coverage. Late fourth quarter, Bell caught a lateral and quickly accelerated for an 8-yard touchdown.
|WR Antonio Brown, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 132 - 2 (11 targets)|
returned from his calf injury and did not disappoint with seven receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Mid second quarter with the Steelers trailing 21-0, Brown ran a post-route and made a spectacular one-handed 23-yard touchdown reception in the left corner of the end zone. Brown displayed amazing concentration while fighting off the tight coverage. Early fourth quarter on a 4th and 5, Brown ran a deep route for a 43-yard touchdown reception. On the play, Brown made another amazing play securing the pass as he fell to the ground.
|WR Eli Rogers, 23 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 42 - 0 (5 targets)|
After finishing the regular season with only 18 catches, Eli Rogers
had five receptions for 42 yards. Mid first quarter, Rogers ran a crossing-route and “climbed the ladder” for a 13-yard reception. Rogers was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter in what looked to be a right hamstring or knee injury.
With Antonio Brown
back in the starting lineup, JuJu Smth-Schuster had a quiet afternoon with three receptions for five yards. Smith-Schuster did score a four-yard touchdown on the final play of the game. On the play, Smith-Schuster ran a quick slant and completed the touchdown reception.
caught two passes for 78 yards and one touchdown. Late second quarter on 4th and 11, Bryant ran a deep route and got behind the defense for a 36-yard touchdown reception. Bryant did a good job splitting the defensive coverage and making the over-the-shoulder reception.
finished with a career-best ten receptions for 112 yards. McDonald was a weapon in the short-to-intermediate passing game by picking up chunks of yards after receptions. McDonald was a reliable safety valve for Ben Roethlisberger
as the Jaguars did not play him tight.