The New England Patriots now know who they will be facing in the AFC Championship game as the Jacksonville Jaguars advanced past the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The New England Patriots handled business against the Tennessee Titans in their Divisional Round matchup. The Patriots defeated the Titans 34-14 on Saturday night, moving onto the AFC Championship game. Now, we know who the Patriots will be playing in the game.
The Patriots will be hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars next week for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. The Jaguars defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon in impressive fashion.
It was the second time this season that the Jaguars defeated the Steelers in Pittsburgh. In Week 5 the Jaguars pulled off a 30-9 upset. This time it was a shootout, as the Jaguars defeated the Steelers 45-42.
Jacksonville jumped out to an early lead and held on the rest of the way. The Jaguars went ahead 21-0, but the Steelers fought back. However, whenever the Steelers got close or momentum turned in their favor, the Jaguars had an answer.
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The Steelers were looking to cut into the Jaguars lead in the second quarter, but Ben Roethlisberger was sacked and fumbled. Telvin Smith scooped up the fumble and returned it to for a touchdown to push the Jaguars lead back to 21.
The Steelers threatened again after that, as they scored a touchdown before halftime and then scored again on the first possession of the second half. All momentum was in favor of Pittsburgh, especially after Jacksonville had to punt their first two possessions.
The second punt did not go well, as Robert Golden got his hand on it, resulting in a 15-yard punt. Jacksonville’s defense would step up, holding on fourth down and giving the ball back to the offense.
Just like in the first half, the Jaguars offense responded to a fourth down stop by their defense by scoring a touchdown.
There were multiple big fourth downs in the game. The Jaguars converted their sole fourth down attempt for a touchdown on their first drive of the game to set the tone. Their defense picked up two momentous stops on fourth down. Pittsburgh did convert two long fourth downs for touchdowns, as Ben Roethlisberger found Martavis Bryant and Antonio Brown on excellent throws.
However, it was ultimately not enough. The Steelers defense had no answer for the Jaguars offense. The Jaguars defense picked up stops when they needed to, and it was enough to get the victory.
The Steelers provided a blueprint on how not to play against the Jaguars for the second time this season. You can be sure the Patriots will study those game tapes and scheme up a way to slow down the Jaguars.
The Patriots will be hosting the Jaguars on Sunday, January 21st, at 3:30 pm ET at Gillette Stadium. The winner of that game will advance to the Super Bowl, which will be played in Minnesota.