Jaguars want to prove their performance against Steelers was no fluke
But Colvin also knows that works the other way, too. Sunday’s rematch at Heinz Field in the AFC divisional playoff round means the defense will get another crack at Roethlisberger, too.
“I think that the game was a great illustration of, if we play the way we’re capable of playing, that we can beat anybody like that,” Colvin said after the Jaguars’ 10-3 victory over Buffalo at EverBank Field on Sunday. “But we know that they’re going to come in motivated. Ben has said it earlier in the week or whenever he said it that he wanted to see us again, so we know we’re going to get their best shot.
“But at the same time, they’re going to get our best shot, too, and whenever somebody gets our best shot it hasn’t turned out too good for people.”
One of those other times was against Pittsburgh on Oct. 8. The Jaguars intercepted five Roethlisberger passes and returned two for touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell had less than 100 yards of total offense (47 yards rushing and 46 yards receiving), and the only points the Steelers could muster were three Chris Boswell field goals.
“I’m sure they’re thinking that game was a fluke,” said Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who had one of the five interceptions.
Now, the Steelers are one of the hottest offenses in the league. They’ve averaged the most points (31.3) and second-most yards (403) and passing yards (302) per game in the NFL since Week 11. Roethlisberger has thrown 16 touchdowns in that span, more than any other quarterback. The only player who has more yards from scrimmage in that span than Bell (855) is the Rams’ Todd Gurley (933).
That offense is operating at a much higher level than it was in Week 5. But you could argue that the Jaguars’ defense is, as well.
Per ESPN Stats & Information, the Jaguars allowed fewer passing yards per game in the regular season than the 2013 Seahawks, 2000 Ravens and 1985 Bears — defenses that carried their teams to the Super Bowl. The Jaguars had 55 sacks in the regular season, which was 11 more than the 2013 Seahawks and 20 more than the 2000 Ravens.
The Jaguars continued that run against the Bills on Sunday. The Jaguars held them to 263 yards, forced two turnovers and didn’t allow them past the Jacksonville 48-yard line in the second half. It marked the eighth time this season the defense has held an opponent to fewer than 10 points; no other team did that more than four times.
Cornerback A.J. Bouye, named a second-team All-Pro earlier last week and one of four Jacksonville defensive players named to the Pro Bowl, said he wants to see the unit that showed up at Heinz Field show up again.
“It’s not our best game,” Bouye said of Sunday’s performance. “I know it’s not our best game. We just have to find a way to bring the game from Pittsburgh earlier in the season. We have to find a way to bring that together and just be dominant. Things are going to happen. It’s going to be a great opportunity next week.
“We’re going against a Hall of Fame quarterback, Hall of Fame receiver. They are going to give us their best and they have a lot of weapons and that crowd is going to be amazing. We are just going to be ready for it.”