Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
|Date & Time||Sunday October 5, 2014, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Jacksonville Jaguars +7 -- Over/Under: 46.5
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars play Sunday afternoon at EverBank Field.
The Pittsburgh Steelers need to quickly shake their embarrassing loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they begin a two-game road trip. The Steelers defense hasn’t exactly been playing up to par this season, as it’s allowing 352.8 yards per game and has forced only three turnovers and seven sacks. The Steelers aren’t coming up with those big defensive plays that we’re used to seeing and are kind of playing a less aggressive style. Lawrence Timmons leads the Steelers with 34 tackles and Steve McLendon has three tackles for loss. Offensively the Steelers are in great shape, as Ben Roethlisberger is completing 68.1 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and two interceptions, while the ground game is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount have combined for more than 500 yards and three touchdowns, as the Steelers have regained their physical ground attack that has been missing the past couple of seasons.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to prove they’re the worst team in the NFL, as they’ve been outscored 152-58 in the first four games. The Jags are getting very little production on either side of the ball, especially their secondary that’s allowing more than 320 passing yards per game. Offensively, Blake Bortles is completing 70.5 percent of his passes for three touchdowns, but he’s also thrown four interceptions in two games. Jacksonville's ground game is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry and it’s even worse from the starter Toby Gerhart, who is averaging just 2.6 yards per touch. Allen Hurns is a bright spot offensively as he has more than 60 receiving yards in three of the four games and three touchdowns. Defensively, the Jacksonville Jaguars are allowing 451.3 yards per game and have forced three turnovers and 12 sacks. Paul Posluszny leads the Jaguars with 41 tackles and Andre Branch has three sacks.
The Steelers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games in Week 5. The Jaguars are 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 home games and 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall. The Steelers are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 meetings in Jacksonville, while the underdog is 8-0 ATS in their last 8 meetings.
The last eight meetings between these two teams have been decided by nine of less points. While this may be the worst Jaguars' team we've seen in a while, the Pittsburgh Steelers did just lose at home to Tampa Bay. The Steelers defense is no longer scary to other NFL teams, and Bortles has shown promise in his first two games. While I don't love this pick, I'll go ahead and take my chances with Jacksonville and the points.