TE Martin Rucker - Jacksonville Jaguars
|6-4, 251||Born: 5-4-1985||College: Missouri||Drafted: Round 4|
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Week 5: vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Blake Bortles had an up-and-down day in his first NFL start, with 29/37 for 253 yards passing, one TD pass and two interceptions thrown, with thee sacks taken for -19 yards at San Diego. He leaned on tight end Clay Harbor the most, with eight targets for 8/69/0 receiving, while also throwing at Allen Hurns (six for 5/68/0) and Allen Robinson (seven for 5/38/0) quite a bit. Cecil Shorts III aggravated his nagging hamstring injury during the game (four for 2/25/0) and looks very iffy to play in Week 5. We'll see how Bortles handles the Steelers this weekend.
Pittsburgh brings the league's 16th-ranked pass D to this dance, averaging 239.5 net passing yards allowed per game. They have coughed up seven passing scores over four games, with just one interception to balance this (next-to-last in the NFL). However, Pittsburgh does have a respectable seven sacks (tied for 18th in the NFL) and Jacksonville is worst in the NFL with 20 sacks allowed over four games - Bortles is going to have guys in his face during this game, friends. Last week, the Buccaneers surprised the nation with a 27-24 win over Pittsburgh, engineered by Mike Glennon's 21/43 for 287 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown performance. Two weeks ago, Cam Newton and Derek Anderson managed 29/41 for 307 net yards, two TDs and zero interceptions thrown (with three sacks taken for -23 yards). Lately the Steelers' pass D has slid several notches.
This looks like a neutral matchup for Bortles, and he's got a bad rushing matchup in the other phase so Jacksonville will likely have to throw the ball to stay competitive in this game.
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