Looking ahead to kickoff …
• Who: Steelers (13-3) vs. Jaguars (11-6)
• What: AFC Divisional Playoff
• When: 1:05 p.m.
• Where: Heinz Field
• TV: KDKA, CBS
• Radio: 102.5 WDVE, ESPN Pittsburgh
• Satellite: SiriusXM Channel 83 (Internet 814)
• Forecast: 18, sunny, wind 2 ENE cloudy
• Lots open: 9 a.m.
• Will call open: 11 a.m.
• Gates open: 11 a.m.
• Boxscore: NFL Game Center
• Media notes: Steelers | Jaguars
• Odds: MyBookie.AG
FOLLOW THE GAME WITH DK, STAFF
4:16: From Lolley: Jacksonville’s 45 points matches Miami in 1984 for the most points scored against the Steelers in a postseason game in their history. Only difference was Miami was at home and had some guy named Dan Marino at quarterback.
4:15: FIELD GOAL. 45-yarder for Josh Lambo. Ball game.
4:14: Fourth-and-1 for the Jaguars at the Pittsburgh 27. I’d kick.
4:09: Onside kick fails. Ball hits Tyler Matakevich. Awful all-around. But no problem here with the decision, at least upon immediate reflection. Not like the defense was going to get a stop. I could be convinced otherwise.
4:08: From Lolley: Really smart play by Roethlisberger lateraling the ball to Bell on a scramble. He knew he was past the line of scrimmage. Steelers can still kick the ball deep. They have two timeouts remaining and the two-minute warning to stop the clock.
4:07: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Roethlisberger runs to about the 8-yard line for 1 yard, then flips it backwards to Bell who takes it the rest of the way. That caps a 12-play 75-yard drive in 2:11. There’s 2:18 left and the Jaguars lead, 42-35.
3:59: Another JuJu drop. Rough game for the rookie. He’s got two catches for 1 yard, and he’s got two drops to match.
3:57: Being helped off. Zero weight on the right leg.
3:56: Rogers hurt on the far sideline. Doesn’t look good. Right knee, as best as we can tell through Dale’s binoculars.
3:55: From Carter: The Steelers’ defense looked like it was banking on winning with a 4-man rush in this fourth quarter and it backfired hard. Bortles did a solid job of reading the blitzes earlier in the game and throwing the ball behind the blitz.
3:53: From Lolley: Say goodnight, Dick, to this season. The Steelers have allowed 42 points to the Jaguars at home. This is a massive defensive failure. Two of the scores can be attributed to offensive turnovers. But 28 points? And you can’t come up with a stop when needed? Ryan Shazier meant a lot to this defense. He was the one player at the end of training camp that I felt they could least do without. But this has been a complete and utter meltdown against what is essentially a one-dimensional team.
3:52: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Bortles completes a 14-yard pass to fullback Tommy Bohanon off a play action that fooled the entire defense. That completes an 8-play, 75-yard drive in just 4:46. Jaguars 42-28.
3:50: From Lolley: The Jaguars are now 8-13 on third downs in this game. The defense has been atrocious. Few big plays. No splash plays.
3:48: No pass rush. Bortles takes five seconds to find his guy, huge play. This defense …
3:44: From Lolley: Roethlisberger now has 333 passing yards and four touchdowns in this game against a team that allowed 169 per game in the regular season.
3:43: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Roethlisberger completes a 39-yard pass on the run to Brown. That completes a five-play, 75-yard drive in just 1:29. That leaves 9:05 on the clock.
3:37: From Carter: If there’s a mercy from that drive, it’s that the Jaguars scored extremely fast and there is still 10:34 left in the game. Roethlisberger needs to conduct a touchdown drive here of course, but a longer scoring drive might have completely ended the game.
3:36: From Lolley: Where was the safety help on the deep pass to Keenan Cole? Cole basically had the middle of the field to himself one-on-one with Burns. I have to believe that was a blown assignment.
3:35: It’s difficult to describe on how many levels this performance is an embarrassment. But I guess that’s what the column will be there for.
3:33: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Fournette plunges in for a 1-yard run to complete a five-play, 61-yard drive that took only 2:10 off the clock.
3:32: Secondary lined up miles off Lee on that first down.
3:30: From Sunday at field level: Getting frigid now. Wind picking up and sun is gone.
3:28: From Lolley: Roethlisberger had Rogers underneath on a crossing route for the first down, chose to go to Smith-Schuster deeper down the field. Incomplete. Turnover on downs.
3:27: Terrible time for a rare drop by JuJu Smith-Schuster.
3:24: From Lolley: Steelers are using a three-safety package with Golden on the field in place of Artie Burns on early downs to slow the running game. Bortles has completed 2 of 6 passes in this half, both screens.
3:23: BLOCKED PUNT. Robert Golden gets a piece of it, and the Steelers have the ball at the Jacksonville 48. It’s a 15-yard punt.
3:18: From Carter: Tuitt read the second down screen pass to Fournette perfectly and limited it to no gain. But Fort gives up a 12 yard gain on another screen pass, this time to Yeldon.
3:15: Ryan Shazier shown on the big board. Place going wild. He’s urging everyone in here to rise up. It’s suddenly really, really loud.
3:12: From Lolley: Or not. Jags stand up at their own 40 and pressure from Dante Fowler forces a bad throw from Roethlisberger on third down.
3:10: From Lolley: The Steelers have the Jaguars defense on its heels with this attacking style. Possibly going in for a game-tying score.
3:08: From Carter: The Steelers’ defense made the adjustment on their last drive. They needed to force more third and long situations, they got two on the last drive and forced a punt.
3:06: From Carter: That pass defensed by Fort was a perfect example of his speed. He was an island between Bortles as a runner and Lewis as a receiver, but took away both to force a punt. Steelers ball at their own 19.
3:04: From Lolley: Bortles has not completed a pass since the 5:42 mark of the second quarter. Is now 0-5 since then. And his last completion was a 4-yard pass to Lee.
3:03: This defense …
3:02: From Lolley: That’s just the second time this season the Jaguars have allowed three or more TD passes in a game this season. The other came in a 30-24 win over Seattle.
3:01: From Sunday at field level: Cam just yelled at these guys in inspiration more than I’ve ever seen. He wants to shut this down.
2:58: From Lolley: Perfect throw from Roethlisberger to Bell for a 19-yard TD over Smith. Steelers are right back in this. We’ll see if Fournette can get going in the second half. He jogged out at halftime and looks like he’ll come back in.
2:57: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Bell beats Telvin Smith on a wheel route to catch a 19-yard pass from Roethlisberger. Ten plays for 77 yards on the drive. Jaguars, 21-28.
2:48: Gilbert declared out for the game.
2:45: From Sunday at field level: Halftime snaps …
2:39: From Lolley: There has been no talk of Fournette returning, which would be huge in the second half for the Steelers.
2:38: From Carter: The Steelers are down two scores and the Jaguars have 14 points off two turnovers. This was the exact recipe Marrone knew they needed to win the game, but the Steelers can flip the script with a touchdown drive to open the second half. Still don’t know how the Jaguars’ safeties gave up that bomb to Bryant, but if you’re the Steelers you’ll take anything at this point.
2:36: From Lolley: It seems simple, but the difference in the game is two turnovers. The first, an interception, set up an 18-yard scoring drive. The second was returned for a score. The Steelers need to score coming out with the ball to start the second half to make this a game.
2:34: From Lolley: The crowd didn’t like it, but the Steelers did the right thing running the clock down before running that final play. If they had failed, it would have left the Jaguars with little time to score from where they would have taken over.
2:32: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Bryant catches a 36-yard bomb on fourth down to score and make the game 28-14. That completes a 7-play, 51-yard scoring drive with 25 seconds left in the half.
2:27: From Lolley: JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant have combined for two receptions for one yard thus far.
2:25: From Lolley: With that scoop and score, the Jags have now outscored the Steelers 51-7 in the past four quarters with seven forced turnovers and three defensive touchdowns.
2:20: From Carter: The Steelers go from having a chance to make this game close to being down 21. Looked like Roethlisberger needed to get rid of it but kept holding onto the ball hoping for someone to break open.
2:18: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Ngakoue sacks Roethlisberger and forces a fumble which Smith returns 48-yards for a touchdown. Jaguars 28-7.
2:18: From Lolley: Well, so much for that. Roethlisberger sacked and fumbles. Telvin Smith scoops it up and returns it for a score. Smith gets an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting. But that makes it 28-7. Yannick Ngakoue forced the fumble. Controlling him was one of my keys to this game.
2:17: From Carter: Roethlisberger’s 17-yard pass to Bell gets the Steelers to their own 42. A great play action call that has Foster pull to seal the edge and give Roethlisberger time.
2:14: Fitz Toussaint being evaluated for concussion off that crazy-hard hit on the last Jacksonville kickoff. Return questionable.
2:13: From Carter: The Jaguars have been in complete control so far, but another Steelers’ touchdown would make for a one-possession game. The Steelers also get the ball to start the second half.
2:12: Fournette’s announced as having an ankle injury, return questionable.
2:11: From Lolley: Haden makes a great play on a deep ball from midfield. With Fournette out and Yeldon in, the Steelers have to be a little less respectful of play-action than they have been.
2:10: From Carter: The Jaguars convert again on third down, this time with Bortles threading the needle to Marquise Lee around three Steelers.
2:09: Fournette’s leaving the field, going to the tunnel.
2:08: Fournette’s off to the Jacksonville sideline. Looks like he’s in significant pain, too. Left leg.
2:07: L.J. Fort in there for Vince.
2:06: From Lolley: Roethlisberger got away with a bad pass that was nearly intercepted by Paul Posluszny. But it wasn’t and he throws a perfect strike to Brown against A.J. Bouye for a TD. Defense will now need to stand up without Williams at inside linebacker.
2:05: From Carter: While that was a great throw and catch from Roethlisberger to Brown, it sure looked like Roethlisberger overlooked McDonald walking all alone in the end zone.
2:04: Vince is being evaluated for a concussion, return questionable.
2:03: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Brown catches a 23-yard pass for the score to make it 21-7. That completes a six-play, 64 yard drive.
2:01: Ben’s gotten knocked down with authority on the past two snaps.
2:00: From Carter: The shovel pass to Rogers gains 10 yards and represents the team’s first third down conversion of the game. Maybe try more misdirection plays to soften up the Jaguars.
1:59: From Lolley: Bell had three carries for 20 or more yards in the regular season. He has two today. But the Steelers trail, 21-0.
1:56: From Carter: If there was ever a time you needed your superstar quarterback to step up, it’s right now. Roethlisberger is 4/7 for 32 yards with an interception while Bortles is 4/9 for 65 yards. The Steelers moved the ball well on the last drive, but they need to finish.
1:55: From Lolley: So much for stopping the run. The Jaguars now have 15 carries for 105 yards, a healthy 7.0 average. And a 21-0 lead despite Bortles being just 4-9 for 65 yards at this point.
1:54: The booing for the home team is rather intense after that PAT.
1:53: Vince trots off on his own.
1:52: Vince Williams down.
1:51: Steelers defense gives up a long drive after the fourth-down stop. Fournette’s ability to survive contact is killing them. He’s now up to 11 carries for 80 yards.
1:50: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Yeldon scores on a 5-yard run to complete an 11-play, 75-yard drive.
1:48: Gilbert is being evaluated for a concussion. Return questionable.
1:47: From Lolley: Heyward standing on the sideline as the second quarter starts.
1:46: From Carter: The Steelers are 0-3 on third downs and missed on their only fourth down attempt while the Jaguars are 1-3 on third downs and scored on their fourth down attempt. The Steelers have taken a serious punch to the mouth, let’s see how they react.
1:45: From Lolley: Fournette finishes the first quarter with 8 carries for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Bortles is 4-8 for 65 yards.
1:44: From Lolley: Steelers try to run a pitch on fourth and short. This Jaguars defense is too fast for that. Jalen Ramsey blows it up in the backfield. Marcus Gilbert helped up and going under the tent.
1:43: From: Carter: TURNOVER ON DOWNS. Bell is stopped for a 4 yard loss on a pitch to the right side. Looked like the same call that didn’t work on third down.-1:42: Good Lord. What a play call.
1:41: From Lolley: Jags only had 10 guys on the field as the Steelers lined up on fourth-and-short. Called timeout.
1:40: Need to go for it.
1:39: From Lolley: I will say this, New England started slowly Saturday, as well. Trailed 7-0 after a quarter and had done nothing offensively. Scored 21 in the second quarter.
1:38: Hey, look who woke up!
1:34: From Carter: At this rate, the Steelers cannot afford to come out in heavy packages and look to pound the ball. Come out with a set that spreads the Jaguars’ defense but keeps Bell as a rushing option and attack the soft parts of their scheme.
1:33: From Lolley: In the past three quarters, Jacksonville has now picked off Roethlisberger six times and outscored the Steelers, 37-0.
1:32: From Lolley: The defense hasn’t fared much better. Gives up a 66-yard TD drive on the opening possession and an 18-yard TD run after the Roethlisberger interception.
1:31: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Fournette runs for 18 yards around the Steelers’ left edge.
1:30: That absolutely should be a touchdown.
1:29: From Lolley: This is about the worst possible start the Steelers could have had. They have run six offensive plays. Have no first downs and a turnover.
1:28: From Lolley: INTERCEPTION. Roethlisberger picked by Myles Jack on pass intended for Vance McDonald. Roethlisberger threw into coverage on that one. Jags have the ball at the Pittsburgh 18.
1:24: From Carter: Burns’ pass defense forces a punt from the Jaguars that is downed at the Steelers’ 11. Burns trailed Allen Hurns on a deep in route to make a solid play, but there were other options for Bortles.
1:22: From Lolley: Good call on the forward pass. Bortles flipped the ball forward toward Fournette. A dangerous play, though.
1:18: From Carter: The Jaguars force a three-and-out for the Steelers after their opening score is the exact script you would want if you’re Doug Marrone. Now the Jaguars’ offense can come out and play confident after softening the Steelers up with play action and potentially run the ball.
1:16: From Lolley: Steelers go three-and-out on their first possession. Roethlisberger empties the backfield on all three plays. Chris Hubbard was in the slot on second down.
1:12: From Lolley: The Jaguars used play-action on every pass they threw on that drive. That led to some easy completions for Bortles. The Jags leaked the tight ends out on two of those occasions for gains of 21 and 19 yards.
1:11: From Carter: TOUCHDOWN. Fournette leaps over the Steelers’ line for a 1-yard touchdown on fourth and goal. That completes an 8-play 66-yard drive that took 4:20 of the clock.
1:09: The defense has completely sucked the life out of this place, almost instantly.
1:08: From Carter: Steelers come out using Mitchell as the one-high safety and have Davis patrolling along the line of scrimmage. Back to back play action passes by Bortles get them a total of 34 yards to the Steelers’ 27.
1:05 p.m.: Kickoff, 18 degrees, sunny, seriously noisy.
1:03: From Lolley: As I expected if the Steelers won the toss, they’ll put Jacksonville’s offense on the field first. Try to set the tone.
1:02: Steelers win the toss, defer.
12:59: John Oates singing the anthem. Military jets flying over. Playoffs.
12:57: From Lolley: Todd Haley is on the sideline today despite his “shattered” pelvis.
12:45: From Sunday at field level: Snap shots from so-called warmups …
12:29: From Lolley: I was wondering if Blake Bortles would go with a glove on his throwing hand today. He is not wearing one in warmups, though he does have one on his left hand.
12:25 p.m.: Our full Facebook Live video.
11:55: From Lolley: It was wickedly cold here this morning, 6 degrees when I walked over to do the pre-game radio at Stage AE. But the sun is out now, making it seem much warmer, perhaps 20. Will that affect a warm-weather team such as the Jaguars? We’ll see. Jacksonville is built to play in this kind of weather. But being built for it and executing that can be two different things. Jacksonville’s coldest game this season was 38 degrees in Cleveland. This is far colder than that.
11:38: From Carter: The biggest inactive on the list is the Jaguars second halfback on the depth chart, Ivory. Ivory recorded 382 rushing yards on 112 attempts and 175 receiving yards on 21 receptions during the regular season. That bumps T.J. Yeldon up the depth chart, whose last big game was his 122-yard rushing performance against the Colts in October.
11:37: From Lolley: The Steelers seem pretty confident Brown will both start and finish this game. Hunter being inactive leaves them with five receivers active.
11:33: From Carter: The Jaguars inactives: DT Eli Anjou, RB Chris Ivory, WR Montay Crockett, OT William Poehls, G Josh Walker, G Chris Reed, LB Deon King.
11:32 a.m.: From Carter: The Steelers’ inactives: QB Josh Dobbs, WR Justin Hunter, CB Coty Sensabaugh, S J.J. Wilcox, OT Jerald Hawkins, G Matt Feiler, DT Dan McCullers.
Dale Lolley, Christopher Carter, Matt Sunday and I are here for the official Pittsburgh opening of the NFL playoffs. We’ll pump out content this morning, afternoon, tonight and beyond, beginning on this live file with the announcement of inactives at 11:35 a.m.
Also before and after the game:
• We’ll do a Facebook Live video at noon, from out on the top of the western rotunda! Join us online or, better yet, stop up and participate!
• Dale has long been part of the Steelers Radio Network’s official pregame show, and you’ll be able to hear the hour with him and our friend Tim Benz beginning at 10 a.m. on 102.5 WDVE, ESPN Pittsburgh and the online Steelers Nation Radio.
• Dale will also be part of the panel on WPXI-TV’s ‘Subway Final Word‘ tonight at 11:35 p.m.
• If it’s pregame material you seek, I can’t recommend strongly enough Lolley’s Kickoff, which includes all our staff picks.
THE INJURY REPORT
Steelers: WR Antonio Brown (illness, questionable)
Jaguars: LB Blair Brown (ankle, questionable) , WR Jaydon Mickens (hamstring, questionable)