A funny thing happened on the way to the Steelers' much-anticipated rematch with the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
Actually, it wasn't all that funny. For the players who stepped onto the frozen turf at Heinz Field Sunday afternoon, it was a painful experience. It was an embarrassing reminder that you don't count your chickens until they're hatched.
Jacksonville's supposedly punchless offense scored five touchdowns and the defense added another as the Jaguars stunned the Steelers, 45-42, here in an AFC Divisional Playoff game, ending Pittsburgh's postseason run and denying the football world the rematch everyone wanted to see.
Everyone, it seems, except the Jaguars.
"They were mad. They were ready," said Steelers All-Pro guard David DeCastro. "It seemed like they were ready."