Pittsburgh Steelers Rebound From Heartbreaking Loss, Defeat Winless Jaguars


The Pittsburgh Steelers, hoping to improve upon last week’s disappointing last-second loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, traveled to Jacksonville to square off against rookie quarterback Blake Bortles and the winless Jaguars.

Bortles, who was drafted third overall in this year’s NFL Draft, has been compared to Ben Roethlisberger in stature and style of play, but the rookie has a long way to go in following Ben’s footsteps. Blake was making his third career NFL start against Dick LeBeau’s Steelers defense.

While many questioned the Steelers lack of discipline as a potential reason for recent struggles, the team hoped to improve upon all aspects of play, especially the secondary. They did just that in a 17-9 victory at EverBank Field.

The Steelers defense gave Bortles some lessons, and the secondary came up big, as Brice McCain intercepted Bortles and dashed into the end zone for the final touchdown of the game. The Steelers brought pressure, causing key turnovers.

Roethlisberger completed his final 10 passes of the game, throwing for 273 yards and 1 TD on 26 of 36 passing for the Steelers (3-2). Leveon Bell finished with 82 yards on 15 carries, and Antonio Brown continued to extend his streak of 5 receptions, finishing with 5 catches for 84 yards.

For Jacksonville (0-5), Bortles passed for 191 yards on 22 of 36 passing, with 2 costly interceptions. Storm Johnson had 27 yards rushing, and Toby Gerhart only had 9 yards rushing.  Allen Robinson finished with 5 catches for 51 yards.

The Steelers began the game with the ball but were unable to manage a first down to set the tone of the game. On Jacksonville’s first possession, Bortles was able to move the ball on the Steelers, resulting in a 15-play, 43-yard drive capped off with a Josh Scobee 43-yard field goal.

At the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second, Roethlisberger and Bell strung together some key plays, resulting in a 24-yard Shaun Suisham field goal to tie the game at 3.  The Steelers had a first down and goal from the 4-yard line but were unable to get the touchdown.

On the Jaguars ensuing drive, Bortles was intercepted by Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen, but Pittsburgh could not capitalize on the good starting field position.

After Jacksonville failed to get a first down on their next possession, Roethlisberger threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Michael Palmer, capping off a 10-play, 70-yard drive to give the Steelers a 10-3 advantage.

Oct 5, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Michael Palmer (82) celebrates after a touchdown reception from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (not pictured) in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars countered with a Scobee 35-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in the half. Going into the half, the Steelers maintained a 10-6 lead, with a total yards advantage of 174-130.  Roethlisberger was 13 for 20 for 116 yards and 1 TD, whereas Bortles was 13 for 23 for 113 yards and 1 interception.  Bell had only 5 carries for 44 yards and Brown had 3 receptions for 38 yards.  For the Jaguars, Robinson, a rookie from Penn State, had 5 receptions for 51 yards.

In the third quarter, a 36-yard Scobee field goal cut the Steelers lead to 10-9.

In the fourth quarter, the Steelers drove the ball down the field, as Brown made a highlight-reel 30-yard reception, but Roethlisberger fumbled on a sack by Avery Jones on the 20-yard line.

Immediately after the Steelers turnover, Bortles threw a pick-six, as cornerback McCain recorded his first interception and ran into the endzone, giving Pittsburgh a 17-9 advantage. This turned out to be the play of the game, as the Steelers defense locked down, and the offense was able to kill the clock to end the game.


The Steelers will travel to Cleveland next Sunday afternoon, whereas the Jaguars will travel to Tennessee.