The Jaguars and Steelers battle in the trenches will be one of the more interesting matchups, on paper, for the Jaguars all season long. The Jaguars pass rush enters their week five matchup with the Steelers as the best in football - they have a league high 18 sacks and are on pace to tie the NFL's all time record. Their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, also have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL - they've gotten opposing QBs to the ground 15 times in 2017, good enough for second in the NFL. The two teams have a combined 33 sacks in just eight total games - an average of over four per game. All signs point to a sack party, right?
While both teams have highly productive pass rushes, both teams also protect the passer with ease. The Jaguars have allowed just three sacks in 2017 and have come away with a clean sheet in two of their four games this season. The Jags O-Line has done so against some of the better defensive fronts in football - the Texans, Titans, Ravens, and Jets. The Steelers offensive line has been nearly as good themselves. Their three interior offensive lineman have yet to give up a sack in 2017 and as a whole the Steelers have only allowed 7 sacks. The seven sacks given up have come mostly from edge rushers, so Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue could have a nice day..
So the Jaguars and Steelers both have elite pass rushes AND great pass protection. What gives? Both teams will look to run the ball early and often. The Steelers boast one of, if not the best, running backs in football Le'Veon Bell, while the Jaguars will deploy their own beast, rookie running back Leonard Fournette. Both team's have highly impressive secondaries in terms of coverage and yards allowed. I believe this game will be reminiscent of the Jaguars and Steelers matchups of old - a low scoring slug fest dominated by the running game. The winner may be the team that hits the big play on offense or comes up with a well timed turnover (or two) on defense.
How do you think things will shake out in this one? Let us know in the comments below.
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