The Jaguars shocked the Steelers in Week 5, and they shocked them again Sunday, racing to a 21-0 lead in the AFC Divisional Playoff and winning 45-42. Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns, and Blake Bortles was an efficient 14-of-26 for 214 yards and a touchdown.
Jacksonville is now win away from the Super Bowl.
“Everybody is just stunned,” former NFL tight end and Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan host Dorin Dickerson said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “You’re stunned in Pittsburgh right now. They came in here and October, Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions – that was one of the worst games of his career. You didn’t think that Ben was going to have a game like he did before, but there was not enough air in the stadium. The players, they looked a little rusty. Maybe they had too much time off. They had 17 days off without playing a game. It just looked like they were just a little flat.”
Overall, the Steelers went 13-4 this season – and two of those losses came at home to Jacksonville. So much for their rematch with the Patriots. So much for the AFC Championship. So much for a run to the Super Bowl.
Their season is over.
Roethlisberger finsihed 37-of-58 for 469 yards and five touchdowns, but he also had an interception that gave the Jaguars the ball in the red zone, and he also had a fumble that Telvin Smith returned 50 yards to the house. Throw in a couple of stuffs on 4th-and-short, and Jacksonville is headed to the AFC Championship.
“The Jaguars, they knew what they had to do,” Dickerson said. “They came in the last time, they beat their you-know-what, they left, and they came back today and they did the same thing. They made a statement. They were the dominant team today.”
Some are wondering if Mike Tomlin, who has coached the Steelers since 2007, should be fired.
“I don’t think that Tomlin needs to go,” Dickerson said. “Who else better is going to take over that role besides him? Look at his track record. He’s one of the winningest coaches in franchise history – and they’ve only had like three of them. So I don’t think he needs to go. Maybe some coordinators. I didn’t like the way the offense was going today and some of the decisions Todd Haley was making.”
Haley made some curious calls in key situations. Instead of sneaking Big Ben or rushing Le’Veon Bell up the gut to convert key first downs on 3rd-and-short or 4th-and-short, Haley called pass or asked Bell to beat the Jags to the outside.
It didn’t make sense.
Dickerson added that there are rumblings that Haley and Roethlisberger don’t have the greatest relationship.
“Maybe you explore some options there,” Dickerson said, “but I can’t see them getting rid of Mike Tomlin because of his track record.”
The Jaguars play the Patriots in Foxboro this Sunday. Kickoff is at 3:05 p.m. ET.