After a week of rest, playoff time is finally here and Steelers football is back! This also means that bold predictions are back in session. This week, the Steelers have a rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but this time the stakes are a lot higher. It's a "win or go home" game at Heinz Field in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
During the regular season, I was close on some of my bold predictions and way off on others. With that being said, here's to hoping these predictions come true.
Ben gets his revenge
Last time Ben Roethlisberger faced the Jaguars, it was a disaster. Roethlisberger threw five interceptions and zero touchdowns in that game, which led to a 30-9 loss.
When asked who he wanted to face last week, Ben said that he wants a rematch with the Jaguars.
As we all know now, he is getting his wish.
This time around, I believe things will be a lot different. With All-Pro wide receiver, Antonio Brown back in action, I look for Roethlisberger to throw for between 250-300 yards and two touchdowns, one of those being thrown to AB. I also believe that mistakes will be limited in this game and Roethlisberger will only throw one interception.
Steelers run the ball more
Former Steeler, DeAngelo Williams had a point when he criticized Todd Haley for not running the ball enough in the last matchup with Jacksonville.
In that game, Le'Veon Bell only carried the ball 15 times for 47 yards. As I already mentioned, Roethlisberger struggled tremendously in that game, so running the ball may have changed some things.
Now that we know how good this Jacksonville secondary truly is, but I believe Bell sees more action. I predict that Bell will get at least 25 carries for 100+ yards and two touchdowns.
Steelers defense stops the run
The last time the Steelers faced the Jaguars, rookie running back Leonard Fournette had a huge game. Fournette ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90-yard touchdown run.
If the Jaguars want to win this game, I believe they will need the same type of performance from the running game. I don't see that happening this time around. My prediction for this game is that the run defense will come to play. They will hold Fournette to under 100 yards and only one touchdown.
If the Steelers shut down the running game and make the below-average quarterback Blake Bortles try to beat them, this game could get out of hand quick and the Steelers will be moving on to the AFC Championship Game.
Steelers get revenge win, move on to AFC Championship game
The regular season game at Heinz Field against this Jaguars team was ugly. However, I think anyone who has watched the Steelers faithfully can agree that they have improved tremendously since that loss.
This game will be a lot different and I believe the tables will turn in favor of the Steelers. My prediction is that the Steelers will feed off an electric crowd at Heinz Field and win this game 31-10.