Jaguars and Steelers hope to overcome injuries

Spinnaker

This is probably one of the hardest situations I have to face as an NFL fan. My two favorite teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, are facing off against each other in week 5.

However, this game could be decided by off the field factors. Although both teams have suffered several injuries the Pittsburgh Steelers enter Jacksonville with a roster missing five starters that has to resort to using their fourth string running back.

What’s even scarier for Pittsburgh is the fact that history is not on their side. Although the two teams have been fairly even over the years the Jaguars hold a strong grip over the series with an 11-8 overall record against the Steelers and a 7-3 record at home. Last year the Jaguars won both meetings between the two teams including a 31-29 win in the AFC Wild Card Game last season.

As usual this game will be a tale of the defenses, especially with both team’s offenses being battered and bruised. Although the Jaguars’ run game has been productive this season the Steelers run defense has proven to be a challenge in recent meetings. The Jaguars will most likely turn to Matt Jones and Reggie Williams to lead their receiving core. The Steelers will start fourth string running back Mewelde Moore after loosing Willie Parker for the season and rookie Rahard Mendenhall for the rest of the season. Pittsburgh’s quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, will enter the game with a sore shoulder which has been another thing for the Steelers to recover from.

The Jaguars two wins of the season have both come in close situations that were decided by kicker Josh Scobee. With this early season trend being a common pattern when the Jags and Steelers face off the Jags are prepared to play a full four quarters.

“I have heard the phrase, ‘Cardiac Cats,’” said Jaguars quarterback Davide Garrard. “That is what it takes sometimes in the NFL. That is how it is. You have to be prepared for it each week.”

Both teams are coming off tough overtime wins last week which will definitely have an effect on both teams’ performance. “What a tough, hard-fought battle tonight, one that we were fortunate to come out on top of,” said Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin after their week four win over the Ravens. However both teams will still put every effort they have into the game. “That is football; what we will do is put some men out there and the standard of expectation will not change,” said Tomlin.