DP Notes - Jaguars at Steelers
January 12, 2018
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Back in Week 5, the Jacksonville Jaguars effectively announced their arrival when they crushed the Pittsburgh Steelers 30-9.
The Steelers have been stewing on that loss for the last three months, and they're getting their chance to avenge said defeat when these two teams meet in the Divisional Round of the playoffs on Sunday afternoon.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
When teams meet in the regular season then again in the playoffs, the betting lines are often vastly different. In the case of the Jaguars and the Steelers, though, the more things have changed, the more they've ultimately been the same.
Back in Week 5, the Steelers were 7.5-point favorites against Jacksonville alongside a total. Should the over/under recover the half-point it lost in early betting, we'll have an exact replication of the Week 5 betting line three months later in the playoffs.
It's an interesting week in the NFL in that, the highest total of the four games is just 47. The Steelers and Jaguars have the lowest total of the four, a number that opened at 41 and dipped to 40.5.
Should this game slip into the 30s, it would be the first time a Divisional Round playoff game featured a total in the 30s since the Texans and Ravens met on January 15, 2012. That game featured T.J. Yates at quarterback for Houston in place of the injured Matt Schaub.
The bigger story, though, is that this is the first year since the 1998 playoffs that none of the four playoff games in the Divisional Round of the playoffs featured a total of 48 or higher.
Putting the 'L's in Jacksonville
When the book is closed on Ben Roethlisberger's career, there's no doubt that he's going to have a bust in Canton. He's been one of the best quarterbacks of our generation, and there are only two teams who he has posted a losing record against here at Heinz Field.
One of those teams isn't surprising. New England has owned the Steelers in the Roethlisberger/Tom Brady era, going 5-2 in that span in Pittsburgh.
The other is Jacksonville. The Jaguars are a whopping 4-1 against Roethlisberger in his career here in the Keystone State, including handing Big Ben and company a 31-28 loss in the '08 playoffs.
Going All the Way Down
The Jaguars were built on their defense all season long, but Wild Card weekend was defense personified in Duval County. "Sacksonville" was all over Tyrod Taylor all game long until he was finally forced out with a head injury on the final drive. The Jags won the game 10-3 in what was tied for the sixth-lowest scoring postseason game in NFL history and the lowest since 1997 when the Steelers and Patriots combined to score just 13 points.
How bad were things for the Jacksonville offense? The Jags became the first team since the 2000 playoffs to win a game with fewer than 100 passing yards. Blake Bortles also became the third quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win a playoff game with more rushing yards than passing yards.
Jaguars vs. Steelers Playoff History
2008 (at Pittsburgh): Jaguars 31, Steelers 28 (Steelers +2.5 / Over 40)
Jaguars vs. Steelers Opening NFL Odds
Jaguars at Steelers (-7, 41)
Jaguars vs. Steelers Current NFL Odds (Updated 1/7)
Jaguars at Steelers (-7.5, 40.5)
(Odds courtesy of BookMaker.eu)
9-2 Totals, 11-4 Picks, +1,096 TY
7-3 L10, 23-7 Run, 13-3 G-Plays
8-3 Picks, 13-4 GPlays, 13-5 Totals
6-1 Totals, 10-2 This Season
10-0 Record Sunday, 7-2 G-Plays
6-0 L3 Thurs., 6-3 Sun., +965 TY
7-2 Week 3, 19-7 L26 Selections
5-0 Last Sunday, 7-1 L8, 14-5 Run
6-0 L6 G-Plays, 10-4 L14 Picks
4-1 Last Sunday, 3-1 L4 G-Plays
6-2 Week 3, 3-1 L4 G-Plays/Totals
8-4 Record, 3-1 Guarantees TY
5-2 Week 3, 14-5 L3 Sundays
4-0 G-Plays TY, 7-3 L10 Picks
4-1 Last Sunday, 10-6 Overall TY
3-0 L3 Picks, 3-1 L4 Totals/G-Plays
3-1 L4 G-Plays, 5-2 Sunday
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