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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Preview and Predictions 11-18-2018

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have ripped off five victories in a row to move to the top of the AFC North while the Jacksonville Jaguars have stumbled to five straight losses to plummet to the bottom of the AFC South. Yet when the teams square off Sunday in Jacksonville, the Steelers certainly will not be overlooking an opponent that has not won since Sept. 30.

Jacksonville flexed its muscles against Pittsburgh last season, mauling the Steelers 30-9 in the regular season at Heinz Field before posting a 45-42 road victory in a return matchup in the divisional round of the playoffs. "They're a much better football team than their record," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "I think it's because they have a bull's-eye on their chest now. ... I am not looking at their record because you can't. If you do, you are going to get fooled." The Jaguars will need to make it three straight wins against Pittsburgh to keep from falling out of playoff contention, but they must slow an offense that has piled up 177 points during their winning streak and are coming off a 52-21 throttling of Carolina. "Our margin for error is zero," Jacksonville defensive end Calais Campbell said. "Our backs are against the wall but we have the ability to do something special. We have to bury the past and just look forward."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Steelers -5. O/U: 46.5 

ABOUT THE JAGUARS (3-6): Running back Leonard Fournette struggled in his return to the lineup last weekend after missing four games due to a hamstring injury, but he lit up Pittsburgh in both matchups last season. Fournette rumbled for 181 yards and two touchdowns during the regular-season romp and rushed for 109 yards and three scores in the playoff victory. The presence of Fournette allowed Blake Bortles to have one of his best games of the year in last weekend's 29-26 loss at Indianapolis, throwing for 320 yards with a pair of touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Jaguars have the league's top-ranked pass defense (200.6 yard) but they have allowed 571 yards and six TD passes in the past two games.



ABOUT THE STEELERS (6-2-1): Pittsburgh learned this week that running back Le'Veon Bell will not report to the team this season, but that news came days after Roethlisberger threw for five touchdowns and posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Running back James Conner had a string of four consecutive 100-yard games halted in the romp over Carolina, but he has scored eight touchdowns -- seven running -- in the past five games. Antonio Brown had nine of his 10 touchdown catches in the past eight games and will be matched up against Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey, although JuJu Smith-Schuster (56) has just one fewer reception this Brown. Pittsburgh ranks fourth against the run, allowing 90.8 yards per game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards and five scores in last season's playoff loss to Jacksonville.

2. Bortles threw for only 309 yards with one touchdown and one interception in both meetings versus Pittsburgh last season.

3. Conner has 488 yards from scrimmage and five TDs in four road games this season.

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Stadium

EverBank Field
Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
Capacity: 67,246

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Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars

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Last Injuries

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Andrew Wingard

    Groin
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Wingard left the last game due to a minor groin strain, and it is uncertain if he will play Sunday versus the Bengals.

  • Brandon Wright

    Groin
    I-R | I-R

    Wright has reverted to the injured reserve list after clearing waivers with a groin injury.

  • Brandon Linder

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Linder missed the last game due to a knee injury, and it is unclear if he will suit up Sunday against the Bengals.

  • Leon Jacobs

    Knee
    I-R | I-R

    Jacobs has wound up on the injured reserve list with a torn ACL in his right knee.

  • DJ Chark Jr.

    Chest
    Prob Sun | probable

    Chark Jr. sat out the previous game with chest and back injuries. It is likely that he will be available against the Bengals on Sunday.

  • Stephen Hauschka

    Knee
    Ques Sun | questionable

    Hauschka is bothered by a knee injury, and it remains to be seen if he will face the Bengals on Sunday.

  • Brandon Wright

    Groin
    day-to-day | questionable

    Wright was removed from the last game with a groin injury, and his status for Week 4 versus the Bengals s in question.

  • Josh Lambo

    Hip
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Lambo has been designated with a left hip injury, and it has yet to be established when the team will take him off of the IR.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Diontae Johnson

    Concussion
    Ques Week 5 | questionable

    Johnson left the last game and has been placed in the concussion protocol. His status for Week 5 against the Eagles is in question.

  • Derek Watt

    Hamstring
    Out indefinitely | out

    Watt sustained a Grade 2 hamstring pull and will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Marcus Allen

    Foot
    Doub Week 5 | doubtful

    Allen has plantar fascitis in his foot and is unlikely to play against the Eagles in Week 5.

  • David DeCastro

    Knee
    Prob Sun | probable

    DeCastro has sat out the previous two games with a knee injury, but it is likely that he will play against the Texans on Sunday.

  • Bud Dupree

    Shoulder
    Prob Sun | probable

    Dupree has a shoulder injury, but it is anticipated that he will play Sunday versus the Texans.

  • Tyson Alualu

    Knee
    Prob Sun | probable

    Alualu is tending to a knee injury, but he is expected to face the Texans on Sunday.

  • Diontae Johnson

    Toe
    Prob Sun | probable

    Johnson is managing a toe injury, but it is likely that he will line up against the Texans on Sunday.

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster

    Knee
    Prob Sun | probable

    Smith-Schuster is bothered by a knee injury, but it is projected that he will take the field Sunday versus the Texans.