The Jacksonville Jaguars are winners of a playoff game for the first time in 10 years and will play the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in the divisional round of the NFL postseason.
The Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills 10-3 at EverBank Field last Sunday in the wildcard round. It wasn’t a pretty win, with quarterback Blake Bortles finishing the game with more rushing yards than passing yards. But a win is a win, coach Doug Marrone reminded the media following the game, and the Jaguars will play on.
“Really at the end of the day it was just a hard-fought game and that’s what playoff football is, and we were able to get the win at home, which was big,” said Marrone, who elaborated upon that point later in the press conference. “Playoff football is about you going out there to win. No one is trying to win a beauty contest.”
In Jacksonville’s first home playoff game since 1999, the Jaguars’ offense struggled, but produced a scoring drive late in the third quarter that was enough to put the team over the top.
The Jaguars will have to be more productive offensively this Sunday against the Steelers, whose high-powered offense featuring wide receiver Antonio Brown, running back Le'Veon Bell and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is likely to put more points on the board than Buffalo.
Jacksonville defeated Pittsburgh 30-9 in October of this season, a game in which Roethlisberger threw five interceptions. The Jaguars also beat the Steelers 31-29 the last time the teams faced off in the playoffs in January 2008. Players like Jacksonville wide receiver Allen Hurns, however, are not expecting that history to faze Pittsburgh.
“We know it’s going to be a dog fight,” said Hurns following the win against the Bills. “They are going to plan their revenge for what we did to them earlier in the year. But it’s playoff time, those guys will be rested and refreshed and ready to go.”