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Sunday December 17 2017
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Steelers Breakdown: Week Five

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A breakdown of the Pittsburgh's (3-2) 30-9 loss to Jacksonville (3-2) at Heinz Field Sunday afternoon.

Stat of the Game

Pittsburgh held the ball for 13:28 of the third quarter while Jacksonville had the ball for only 1:32, but he Jaguars out-scored the Steelers 14-3 in the third thanks to two Ben Roethlisberger interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. Roethlisberger threw five interceptions in the game.

Jacksonville entered the game with 47 points off turnovers and improved to 60 points after the two pick-sixes.

“That’s the way the ball bounces sometimes. Give [Jacksonville’s] defense credit,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m not playing well enough. I need to play better.”        

Defensive Player of the Game

Jacksonville linebacker Telvin Smith had an interception and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. The Steelers had wrestled back the momentum of the game late in the first half after a Chris Boswell field goal with 3 seconds left in the half.

The Steelers took a 9-7 lead early in the 3rd quarter on a Boswell 20-yard field goal and forced a punt, however, Smith’s pick-six was the Turning Point of the Game, as it gave the Jaguars the lead back (13-9) for good. Smith also tied for the lead for the Jaguars in tackles with ten including two tackles-for-loss.

The Steelers had a chance to get back into the game late in the fourth quarter, trailing 23-9 with 3:37 left. Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown in the end zone for what appeared to be a 28-yard touchdown, but was called back by a holding call on right guard David DeCastro, who committed the Bad Play of the Game, nullifying the potential momentum-swinging score.  Two plays later, Tashaun Gipson intercepted a Roethlisberger pass on the goal line. He had two interceptions in the game along with six tackles and two passes defended.

“We needed to find a way to put the ball in the end zone. We had some opportunities in the red zone. If we could have put some points on the board early, maybe the game would have taken a different turn,” Brown said. “The penalty taking the touchdown off the board was big. We’re not pointing any fingers. It’s a team game.”

Offensive Player of the Game

Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette had 28 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes left in the game.

Honorable Mention Defender

Pittsburgh linebacker Ryan Shazier had eight tackles and a pass defense but he also had one of the best defensive plays of the game for the Steelers. Blake Bortles threw a pass to tight end James O’Shaughnessy, but Shazier picked his pocket and stole the ball in what was called an interception on the Steelers 39-yard line with 41 seconds left in the first half. The Steelers drove to the Jaguars 16-yard line before Boswell booted a 34-yard field goal and the Steelers trailed 7-6 at the break.

“We got to do a lot better job [on defense]. We didn’t do a good job in filling the gaps we needed to fill. We missed a lot of tackles and weren’t in position at times,” Shazier said. “It was definitely demoralizing when we knew [Jacksonville was going to run the ball] and we couldn’t stop them. We’re known for stopping the run and we aren’t doing that now.”

 

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