Jacksonville Jaguars Intercept Roethlisberger FIVE Times

Randolph Lopez
October 9, 2017

It may not be a dominant defense play in and play out, but the Jaguars' defense has shown in five games it has special elements that could carry this team through a lot of this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Le'Veon Bell quieted concerns about his offseason groin surgery and training camp holdout with his biggest game of the season during a victory over Baltimore last week.

The Jaguars used the short field to take a 7-3 lead on a 2-yard dive into the end zone Leonard Fournette with 12:19 remaining until halftime.

On the drive that began the fourth quarter when the Jaguars took half the time off of the clock, Fournette churned out yards and bullied the Steelers defense. On third-and-20, an eight-yard run by Chris Ivory wasn't enough to convert a first down and the Jaguars were forced to punt. Antonio Brown will see plenty of balls, but look for JuJu Smith-Schuster to be a prime target underneath.

Sunday's 30-9 loss to the Jaguars punctuates a five-game sample from which troubling trends are emerging about this once-high-powered attack.

Opposing defenses continue to stack the box and dare Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to beat them, likely a major factor in Fournette's low average.

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At their best, the Jaguars should be able to hold their own against the Steelers. Brown already has a pair of double-digit reception games that produced triple-digit yards. However, the defense is playing above expectations when the Steelers face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday (10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, CBS, DirecTV).

Bryant has 86 career receptions for 1,497 yards and 15 touchdowns in 25 regular-season games since being drafted in the fourth round in 2014.

However, things didn't start off well for the Jaguars on the team's first two offensive possessions. They would look good driving down the field, but on three separate occasions the offense had to kick field goals from within the redzone.

The Steelers have the third-ranked defense in the NFL. On one, Fowler ran down Jets RB Bilal Powell from behind and prevented him from gaining a first down late in the game. Artie Burns and Joe Haden should have a nice day, with the possibility of an interception or two between them. Shazier and Williams play the two inside linebacker spots. They produced seven total last season.

Receiver Jaelen Strong (hamstring) and safety Jarrod Wilson (shoulder) also are questionable. It was the first time a Steelers quarterback has thrown five interceptions since 1987, when Mark Malone did so in 34-10 loss to the Browns on September 20, 1987, at Cleveland's Municipal Stadium.

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