Jaguars 30 – Steelers 9
Steelers Receiving Stats:
Antonio Brown: 10 receptions for 157 yards
Juju Smith-Schuster: 4 receptions for 58 yards
Le’Veon Bell: 10 receptions for 46 yards
Jesse James: 3 receptions for 24 yards
Martavis Bryant: 2 receptions for 21 yards
Justin Hunter: 1 reception for 6 yards
Le’Veon Bell: 15 rushes for 47 yards, Avg: 3.1 yards
Martavis Bryant: 1 rush for 13 yards, Avg: 13.0 yards
James Conner: 3 rushes for 9 yards, Avg: 3.0 yards
Ben Roethlisberger: 1 rush for 1 yard, Avg: 1.0 yards
Chris Boswell – 3 for 3, PCT: 100%, PTS: 9
In a game both the Pittsburgh Steelers and their collective fanbase would like to soon erase from their memory, the Jacksonville Jaguars dominated on both ends of the ball, en route to a convincing 30 -9 victory Sunday in front of a capacity crowd at Heinz Field.
The game got off to a promising start, as the Steelers’ defense forced a 3-and-out on a potent Jaguars offense which featured rookie sensation, Leonard Fournette; however, the Steelers’ offense was unable to capitalize, as the Jaguars’ defense was able to hold them to a field goal, giving the Steelers the lead early in the contest.
From a defensive standpoint, the Steelers’ defense held Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles to just 95 passing yards. On the ground, Fournette has his way with Steelers’ defense, as he accounted for 181 rushing yards, which included a back-breaking 90-yard touchdown at the end of the game to seal the victory for the Jaguars.
Some of the standouts defensively for the Steelers included Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier, who accounted for 8 total tackles and one interception; linebacker Vince Williams who accumulated for 8 total tackles and a sack, as well as rookie outside linebacker TJ Watt, who collected 6 total tackles and a sack.
Offensively, the Steelers collectively put together one of their worst performances in recent memory. The story on this day was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who came into the game with just 2 interceptions for the season and ended the game with a career worst 5 interceptions, two of which were taken back for touchdowns, courtesy of Jaguars’ cornerbacks Telvin Smith and Barry Church.
All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown led the offense with 159 receiving yards. All-Pro running back Le’veon Bell had a relatively pedestrian performance compared to last week, with only 47 rushing yards on 15 carries, and 46 receiving yards. Altogether, the Steelers’ offense was incapable of scoring a touchdown, as kicker Chris Boswell was responsible for all 9 points for the Steelers’ offense.
Post Game Commentary:
After viewing this game, it is apparent that the problems with this Steelers team go beyond the inefficiencies of the offense and the defense’s issues with stopping the run. The Steelers are simply a team that is not united. When you look at Ben Roethlisberger throughout the course of a game this season, his body language is one of a player that no longer has the passion for the game that he once had. In seasons past, even if a game was not going his way, he generally was fully engaged. From observing every game thus far this season, he does not look like someone that wants to continue play; thus much of the offseason was spent trying to convince him not to retire. His performance has had residual effects on an offense that was once one of the most dynamic in the NFL.
Simply, it is easy for fans to look at the offense and point to Todd Haley as the problem. Though his playcalling has not been ideal, the Steelers’ offense is simply not executing the way it did in past seasons. As a result, the Steelers’ defense has had to stay longer on the field; thus leaving them tired and exposed after a period of time. Even with this, the Steelers’ defense is among the top ranked units in the NFL.
At this point the solution to this team goes beyond simple Xs and Os. This team collectively has been affected by the events that took place during the anthem protest two weeks ago. Yet rather than even speculate that is what is driving a wedge through a team that was once a band of brothers, head coach Mike Tomlin needs to bring this group together as one before it is too late.
Steelers Play of the Game:
Ben Roethlisberger’s 49-yard completion to Antonio Brown on Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey