The Pittsburgh Steelers played their most complete game of the season against the Baltimore Ravens. Le’Veon Bell shook off the remaining rust, Cameron Heyward was a terror, and Ryan Shazier continued to amaze. The Steelers are in complete control of the AFC North through the first quarter of the season, finishing with three wins. They look to sustain that momentum against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Week five Pittsburgh Steelers keys to victory looks at what the Steelers must accomplish to record their fourth win.
The Jeckyll and Hyde-like Jaguars might be the most talented team the Steelers have faced. Quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Leonard Fournette, clearly the backbone of their success, lead the Jacksonville offense. Defensive end Calais Campbell, linebackers Paul Posluszny and Myles Jack anchor their front seven on defense. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and safety Tashaun Gipson lead the Jaguars secondary.
Week Five Pittsburgh Steelers Keys To Victory
The Steelers trail the all-time series against Jacksonville 12-11. Additionally, they lost the only postseason meeting between the two teams. However, the Steelers have won six out of the last 10 games, including the last three. Getting four wins in a row won’t be easy. The Jaguars have upgraded tremendously despite their inconsistent play thus far. Jacksonville has rebuilt their defense, and bolstered their pass rush with the signing of Campbell. They have taken pressure off of Bortles, on offense, by drafting Fournette, giving him a power running game. The Steelers will have their hands full with the Jaguars, but they’ll be alright if they take care of business.
Steelers Keys to Victory Number One: Control Calais Campbell
The Jaguars signed Campbell to bolster their pass rush, clearly a good move thus far. He has been a force during their first five games, collecting 19 tackles and five and a half sacks. Four of those sacks, however, came in week one. The first of the Steelers keys to victory is controlling Campbell, making sure he is a non-factor this Sunday. He’s still as equally dangerous to Ben Roethlisberger, as he is shutting down Bell. The Steelers have faced Campbell twice, in 2011 and 2015, limiting him to one sack and five tackles. Campbell is stronger now, and one way or another the Steelers have to account for him. They’ll need to put Chris Hubbard or another tight end out there to help Alejandro Villanueva certain situations.
Steelers Keys to Victory Number Two: Limit Leonard Fournette’s Yards After Contact
Fournette is a big man, with a combination of size and speed that has been compared to Bo Jackson. The Steelers had problems with a similar type running back two weeks ago, Jordan Howard. Although not as fast as Jackson, Fournette is every bit as powerful, and will win most one on one encounters. The Steelers will have to crowd the line of scrimmage, plug the gaps, and wrap him up low. Arm tackles won’t work on Fournette. Solid technique, and gang tackling is the best way to limit his yards after contact.
Fournette does his damage by getting through the second level, where he is a huge mismatch in the secondary. The last thing the Steelers need is for Artie Burns or Sean Davis to lead the Steelers in tackles on Sunday. Fournette is having a big day if he’s being tackled in the secondary a third of the time. The Steelers need to stack the box, protect the cutback lanes, and make Bortles beat them through the air.
Steelers Keys to Victory Number Three: Attack of the Killer B’s
The Killer B’s have yet to attack in full force this season. There have been elements that have contributed game to game, but not all have come in the same game. Bell, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant have had big games separately. It’s time for them to contribute in the same game. The disjointed offensive attack is partly Roethlisberger’s fault, but he is showing signs of coming around. The Killer B’s are at their best when Roethlisberger isn’t trying to be too selective or careful, but when he’s doing his thing. Bell has returned to mid-season form, and Roethlisberger needs to get there himself. If the Killer B’s can get into full on attack mode Sunday, there will be little the Jaguars can do to stop them.
Steelers Keys to Victory: Conclusion
The Steelers are the better team on paper than the Jaguars, and they are playing at home. They play with more confidence at Heinz Field, and it’s reasonable to expect a breakout game from the offense. Roethlisberger has gone 10 straight games without a 300 yard passing game, the longest stretch of his career. He is too good, and has too many weapons to be the game manager he has been to this point. Look for Roethlisberger to break out of his funk and light up the Jaguars secondary.
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