For whatever reason, the Pittsburgh Steelers talked trash heading into their home playoff game with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Then they trailed 21-0 in a flash and lost, 45-42.
In hindsight, the brash, cocky, we-want-Jacksonville talk might have been a mistake.
“I don’t really take anything personal,” Jaguars defensive tackle Marcell Dareus said on Reiter Than You. “I just never really been a part of a team and another team really talked trash to you. I just really haven’t been a part of that. But to experience it, it felt good, but why would you give another team (motivation and) add fuel to the fire? We understand that you’re confident and you’re ready to play, but you don’t have to talk trash. Like, why? There’s no need. Just play the game and get going. Let’s focus on what we got to do.”
Jacksonville beat Pittsburgh, 30-9, in Week 5 thanks in large part to five Ben Roethlisberger interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Apparently the Steelers felt the Jaguars’ win was somewhat of a fluke.
Well, it wasn’t.
“We’re in the playoffs right now, and it doesn’t even really matter about what happened during the season,” Dareus said. “Right now, the only thing that matters is the next step. We’re trying to get to the next one. It just threw me off. But it felt good. It felt good to pull the victory out (in Pittsburgh) twice in one year. That was a power move.”
Indeed, it was, and now the Jaguars are one win from the Super Bowl. They will face the Patriots in Foxboro this Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET.
While Jalen Ramsey has promised Jacksonville fans a win – and a Super Bowl – Dareus is focused on the next task: stopping Tom Brady and the New England offense.
That won’t be easy.
“We have to go out here and do the best we can,” Dareus said. “It’s tough to win on the road and at the same time, it’s tough to win against a team (this good at home). To go into Foxboro and say we’re (definitely) going to pull out a victory, you just can’t really say that. You want to, but this team is a tough team we have to face, and we’re going to do the best we can and try to pull out a victory.”