AFC Divisional Playoff At A Glance

By Mike Ashcraft

The Steelers (13-3) look to take a step closer to achieving the ultimate goal of hoisting a seventh Vince Lombardi Trophy when they play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Sunday (Jan. 14) at Heinz Field. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. ET. The contest will be nationally televised on CBS Sports, with Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn on the call. The game will also be broadcast on 102.5 WDVE-FM and the Steelers Radio Network, with Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley calling the action.

Pittsburgh is set to play in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game for the 26th time in franchise history. The Steelers own a 16-9 record in the divisional round of the playoffs. Pittsburgh posted an 18-6 win at Kansas City in last year’s AFC Divisional Playoffs. Pittsburgh last hosted an AFC Divisional Playoff Game on Jan. 15, 2011 — a 31-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers are a perfect 4-0 in AFC Divisional Playoff Games hosted at Heinz Field.

The Steelers face the Jaguars in postseason play for the second time. Jacksonville escaped Heinz Field with a 31-29 win in the 2007 AFC Wildcard Playoff Game on Jan. 5, 2008. Pittsburgh rallied from a 28-10 deficit with 19 points in the fourth quarter, but Josh Scobee nailed a 25-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining to end Pittsburgh’s season.

Pittsburgh will be looking to avenge an embarrassing 30-9 loss to the Jaguars in week five of the regular season on Oct. 8 — a contest in which Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a career-high five interceptions — including a pair of picks that were returned for touchdowns by linebacker Telvin Smith and safety Barry Church for the Jaguars.

Pittsburgh is 10-13 all-time against a non-divisional opponent in the second matchup of the season.

The battle in the trenches promises to be a great one when the Steelers and Jaguars match up on Sunday

The Steelers boast an offensive line with three Pro Bowl selections in center Maurkice Pouncey, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva and right guard David DeCastro. Pittsburgh’s line has permitted Roethlisberger to be pressured less than any other quarterback in the NFL.

Pittsburgh’s o-line will have its hands full once again with the Jaguars, though, who sacked Roethlisberger twice and hit him five other times in the regular season meeting between the two squads. Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue have combined to tally 43.4 of Jacksonville’s 55 sacks, which ranks second in the NFL only to the Steelers’ 56 sacks. Campbell alone has accounted for 14.5 sacks, which is the most among AFC players. That kind of pressure helped Jacksonville lead the NFL in pass defense and will present the Steelers with a tough challenge as they look to advance to the AFC Championship Game for a 17th time.


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