Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell didn’t come out and declare that Pittsburgh will beat Jacksonville on Sunday. But Bell clearly implied that the Steelers, not the Jaguars, will advance to the AFC title game with a Saturday night tweet posted after New England defeated Tennessee.
“I love round 2’s,” Bell said. “We’ll have two round 2’s in back to back weeks.”
In other words (and unless I’m missing something, which is entirely possible), Bell is saying that the Steelers will get a rematch with the Jaguars this week, and then a rematch with the Patriots next week. Which means, according to Bell, that the Steelers will beat the Jaguars this week.
The message from Bell shouldn’t be surprising; in November, coach Mike Tomlin spoke openly about facing the Patriots twice. Given that the Steelers already have lost to the Jaguars once, some (e.g., me) believed they wouldn’t peek ahead to the Patriots until taking care of the Jaguars.
Based on Bell’s tweet, maybe the Steelers aren’t as focused on Sunday’s game as they should be. Even if they are, Bell’s tweet gives Jacksonville a fresh reminder that the Steelers were presuming victory in the divisional round long before they even knew who they’d be playing.