Sorry, I can’t take that Jacksonville team seriously.
That won’t be the cool thing to say this week, but the Steelers themselves are the ones who need to focus on the Jaguars, not the rest of us. And the rest of us watched that three-hour quagmire Sunday and, at least speaking for myself, I couldn’t stop cringing. Blake Bortles isn’t an NFL quarterback. Leonard Fournette is a fine back but hardly a star. There were no meaningful threats of any kind on offense. And the defense, while dynamic in the secondary, can be beaten by an ordinary NFL offense that’s got some semblance of diversity.
If the Steelers lose in this coming round, they will have lost to the Steelers and no one else.
• Man, this league needs more quality quarterbacks. Imagine being a casual football fan, tuning in that Bills-Jaguars game, reasonably expecting to see two contenders go at it … then watching Bortles and Tyrod Taylor fall all over themselves.
• The Titans have a better shot of winning in Foxborough than the Jaguars have of winning here.
That won’t be cool to say, either, but here’s one highly specific reason why: Derrick Henry has never run the way he just did in Kansas City, with those 156 yards on 23 carries. Momentum matters in football, but especially with the ground game. And with the Patriots ceding 4.7 yards per carry — second-worst in the NFL — that affords Tennessee’s coaching staff a real chance to keep Tom Brady off the field, same as the Steelers did in the first half a month ago.
I’m not predicting anything. Just saying the Titans have a better shot at the upset than the Jaguars. Obviously, neither one should win.
• The schedule’s going to stir up a lot of fuss …
… if only because the Patriots get that extra half-day on the Steelers to prep for a potential AFC Championship rematch. Remember, Mike Tomlin himself pressed that button a year ago in the infamous Antonio Brown Facebook Live capture from the locker room.
Well, forget it. That’s the perk of being the No. 1 seed. The Patriots and Eagles are exactly that in their respective conferences. To winners go the spoils.
Besides, what are we talking about here, a few bonus hours of rest/recuperation? Or a tiny bit more time for fresh film study?
Whatever. Kick the ball and do what’s supposed to be done.