The Jaguars are headed to New England after 45-42 win

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Blake Bortles has been the butt of a lot of jokes over the last few weeks, but he may yet wind up with the last laugh.

Bortles and the Jaguars are headed to New England for next weekend’s AFC Championship Game after a 45-42 win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Bortles threw a 14-yard touchdown to Tommy Bohanon with 4:19 left to play to answer a Steelers touchdown and give the Jaguars a 14-point lead over the favored Steelers. That touchdown came after the Jaguars converted a pair of third downs on Bortles passes and a possession after his 45-yard strike to Keelan Cole set up Leonard Fournette‘s third touchdown of the game.

The Steelers would rally for a Le'Veon Bell touchdown after a clever lateral from a scrambling Ben Roethlisberger, but the Jaguars recovered a poorly executed onside kick that also resulted in a five-yard penalty on the Steelers for an illegal touch. With two timeouts in their pocket and the two minute warning approaching, it may have been a better call to kick deep and the Jaguars put some icing on the cake with a 45-yard Josh Lambo field goal.

The Steelers would score a touchdown with one second left to account for the final margin of victory, but nothing else because they let too many seconds drip away with poor clock management at various points on their final drive.

Bortles finished the day 14-of-26 for 214 yards and that touchdown to Bohanon. He also ran for 35 yards and never turned the ball over on a day that saw the Jaguars turn two Roethlisberger turnovers into 14 crucial points.

Roethlisberger would also throw five touchdowns as the Steelers made a game of it after falling behind 28-7 in the first half, but two failed attempts to convert on fourth-and-1 and the defense’s inability to make stops in the fourth quarter conspired to bring their season to an early and ugly end. Some may wonder if the Steelers were looking ahead to a possible game against the Patriots, which would be pretty damning if true for all involved given the Jaguars’ 30-9 regular season win and the quality they showed throughout the season.

That quality includes Fournette, who returned from a first half ankle injury to end the day with 25 carries for 109 yards to go with his three scores. The last nine of those yards came to set up Lambo’s field goal, which made for a fitting ending to a day when the Jaguars came up with more plays than the Steelers.

That was also the case the last two times that a team with Tom Coughlin on board faced the Patriots in the postseason. The Jaguars head of football operations will get a chance to make it a hat trick next Sunday.

176 responses to “The Jaguars are headed to New England after 45-42 win

  1. The Jags travel to balmy Boston next week, check out the weather forecast.

    I can’t help but wonder how many penalties the Jags will take by losing their composure because they have a bunch of big-mouthed hotheads in the secondary.

    The decision to go onside was crazy, it was a no brainer to kick it away.

  2. When are the the Steelers going to realize that Mike Tomlin is not a good coach. On side kick that gives the Jags the ball that close? Put this loss squarely on Tomlin. The tough guy act only goes so far. 45 points to the Jags? Pitiful…

  3. Belichick got his team focused on playing the Titans this week and the Patriots won handily.

    Tomlin let his team look ahead to playing NE next week and the Steelers lost embarassingly.

    Tomlin is not a leader of men.

  4. Definitely a bad call going for the onside kick. Over 2 min and 2 TO’s, you kick off and play D. Even giving up a first down you can get the ball back with a minute and change and the chance to tie.

    Always interesting to see which coaches choke in the playoffs. Seems that it becomes a recurring theme for some coaches (see Andy Reid).

  5. Wow, what an incredible win for the Jags. The offense responded to Steeler touchdowns in a way I never thought they would. I was sure every time Pitt cut it to 7 the Jags would collapse, but they answered every time.

    The Pats are probably the favorite but that should be an awesome game next week.

  6. I hope the Steelers keep Tomlin around for the next 20 years. They have no chance of winning again as long as he is there.

    He got the one championship with Cowhers team but as time has gone on and he has put his stamp on that team they have turned into nothing but a collection of talent that are too arrogant for their own good and have no idea how to play team football.

  7. The Steelers need a competent coach and coordinators. Kick an onside kick when you are down 7 and have enough time to get the ball back with over a minute. Stupid. One second left in the game, one play left and you boot it down the field to end the game. It’s almost like the guys didn’t want to play another game.

  8. That D is tough. Dante Scharneccia , the O-Line Whisperer for the Patriots has his work cut out for him.

    Then again-they gave up 42 points.

  9. this is another reason to fire Goodell. His marketing of a Stealers Pats game falls short again.
    I know they did their best, but them pesky Jags would never give up the lead.

  10. Buuuuttttt…. he’s still Blake Bortles.

    Running for key first downs and taking care of the football. Great game by Bortles. Stats are for nerds.

  11. Sort of an unforeseen development, to say the least.

    Anyone who keeps prematurely nominating Tomlin as a HOF coach needs their head examined. This guy is a classic, classic underachiever with the talent he’s had.

  12. OK all you Tomlin supporters let’s hear how coaching did not lose them this game. Entire franchise and Rooney family should be ashamed of what just happened. No other team anywhere close to being as unprepared and out coached in big games as him and his staff are consistently.

  13. Dear Steelers’ Fans,

    That must have been very painful for you to watch.

    I can’t imagine how it must feel to watch your team being mercilessly crushed by an AFC South team.

    Please know that we, Patriot Nation, are here for you.

    Laughing.

    Hard.

  14. Damn. As a Pats fan I was hoping for a nice, relaxing cakewalk next week but the Steelers didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Long live the Charmin Curtain. Somewhere a fool is drooling.

  15. Congratulations to the Jaguars. As I said at the start of the season, I must now choose my home team over you. But I am proud of you and you deserve to come to Foxboro and face the champ. See you soon my friends.

  16. Also, fire Todd Haley he cost them this game. Tomlin didn’t help with the insides but they should have never been in that situation in the first place .

  17. Can’t be believe tomlin is still a head coach…..he gave Jax all the motivation they needed by looking ahead to another beating in NE and then coaches like a HS coach.

  18. Someone in Pittsburgh has to be fired for that debacle. On two 4th down and 1’s the Steelers didn’t quarterback sneak it and didn’t get the first down. Both times the Jaguars went down the field and scored TD’s. I don’t know why the Steelers went for the onside kick with over 2 minutes left in the game either. They still had two timeouts left and the two minute warning.

  19. Why the onside kick Tomlin? With 45 second and 1 and goal terrible play calling. Looked like the Steelers didn’t want a trip to Foxborough.

  20. If only Pittsburgh had a big, experienced run stopper.

    They had one a couple of weeks ago….Where did he go?

    Harr…Harris…..Harrison……something like that.

  21. I actually think the Jaguars will give the Patriots a harder time than people might think. The way to get Brady flustered is to hit him multiple times during the game and I think the Jags defense has the best chance to do that. They also have a little secret weapon named Tom Coughlin in their building. Who knows what will happen but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jags win that game. The biggest x factor will be one Blake Bortles.

  22. Drew Breese and Saints are our last hope! So tied of the most desipable organization and fans in the Pats getting a freebie to the superbowl yet again! Bortles is still trash!

  23. Yet another cakewalk joke of a path to the Superbowl for the patriots. Does anyone on planet Earth think the league will do everything possible to make sure the Patriots win this game? The last thing they want is a no name no ratings team like Jacksonville in the Superbowl. Easiest money bet of all time. NFL will never let their precious patriots lose

  24. Mike Tomlin 5-6 in the playoffs (0-1 in Superbowl) since winning a Superbowl with Bill Cowher’s players. He is also the coach who lost playoff games to Tim Tebow and Blake Bortles.

  25. This loss is on Tomlin. That idiot coached up the Steelers as if he learned nothing from their last encounter. He probably just thought as long as Big Ben played well, the offense would bail them out.
    Somewhere, James Harrison is smirking.

  26. This what happens when the defense makes Blake Bortles look like Tom Brady 2.0. The sun shines even on a trash can sometimes in the playoffs.

  27. Steelers fans here congratulating the Jaguars. I knew when the playoff schedule shaped up, the Steelers weren’t going anywhere. Jags have been Steeler kryptonite going back to the Cowher era, and playing the Patriots in Foxboro…yeah, right.

    Steelers deserve every snarky comment they get what with the whole “love to see the Jags again” shtick. But ultimately, another heroic Ben effort squandered by a D that can’t stop a good college team.

    I can’t see Tomlin ever reaching another SB, let alone winning one. He has had countless years and countless draft picks to fix this D, and he just can’t do it.

    Congratulations Jaguars! Beat New England!

  28. Wow!

    Congratulations to the Jaguars. It really looked like the Steelers might come back with some insane TDs from the Killer Bees, but the Jags hung in and kept responding when most of us expected them to falter. Bortles made plays when his team needed them, kudos to him for shutting out the negativity and doing his job.

    No disrespect to the Jaguars, but this looked a lot like how the Steelers and Tomlin seem to lose their minds when they play the Patriots. Questionable playcalling and coaching decisions by the Steelers certainly hurt their chances.

    As a Pats fan, I was looking forward to another matchup with the Steelers. But the Jaguars will more than satisfy my wish for a tough AFCCG.

    Rough loss for the Steelers, but let’s give the Jaguars the respect they earned. Going into Pittsburgh and winning, especially during the playoffs, is an impressive feat.

    I look forward to an excellent AFCCG next Sunday!

  29. Steelers and their fans need to sit back and watch how their daddies, the Patriots, do it.

    Postseason fail, again.

  30. Steelers coaching is horrible! As a Pats fan the Jags scare me much more than the Steelers would have, just b/c of the coaching. 2 4th and inches and they go with a RB sweep and a 30 yard pass? Then with 2:30 left they try an onside kick? All the Jags needed was 10 yards for a long FG and put the game out of reach, which they did.

    On the defensive side to allow Blake Freaking Bortles led team to score 38 points is inexcusable.
    Then you have Tomlin, Bell and Mitchell, Mitchell (?)!, all overlooked the Jags and openly talked or tweeted about playing the Pats in AFCCG. Totally disrespected the Jags and they paid for it. No coaching staff has ever done so little with so much talent. Look for Big Ben to retire and get away from this hot mess that is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  31. No one in NE wanted to plays the Jags, but of course we couldn’t count on the Steelers to not blow there game with idiotic coaching decisions and terrible defense.

  32. Who will be the first Steeler fan to complain the refs robbed them somehow?
    ===========================

    Fan? The fans will need to get in line behind the Steelers coaches and players.

    Great job by Jacksonville today!

  33. Congrats to the Jags… They came out fired up, and the Steelers came out flat as a pancake. Couple that with a head coach and some players that were looking past the team they were playing, and some terrible play calls…..and there you go. Jags played from the first whistle, and they deserved the win.

    Tomlin has a good record, and all that crap…but based on the fact that he can’t get this team motivated to play in the biggest games of the year…he needs crap canned.

    Haley…please, some team…make him a HC…please…lol

  34. Honestly, Roethlisberger looked like he gave up at various points. Maybe time for him to retire. Tomlin’s arrogance had his team looking ahead and they deserved this loss. He HAS to be on the hot seat going into next year.

    Jags played some great ball. I believe Pats take next week because Belichick will expose Bortles flaws.

  35. One team focused on the task at hand.
    The other team looked past their current opponent.

    The result should’ve been an expected one.

  36. Up 28-7 at one point … Jags owned the Steelers once again … If Jags dont get complacent when they were up that big, they rout this team … Jags true kings of the Afc North ! Dilly Dilly !!!

  37. One and done. The Stoolers will be sitting at home next week watching. Tomlin is very overrated. Can’t win when it counts.

  38. The only game I picked right so far as the Patriots. I picked the Saints to upset the Vikings. That one isn’t looking good so far either.

  39. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says:
    January 14, 2018 at 4:29 pm
    “Even with just one second left, I still wasn’t convinced that there would not be one more lead change.”

    There were no lead changes in the game. Jax scored first and led the entire game from that point on.

  40. If I didn’t know any better I could have sworn that was Andy Reid calling the plays for the Steelers in the 4th quarter. And I’m a Chiefs fan lol

  41. Considering how many penalties and non calls went the Steelers way today I don’t want to hear their clown fan base complain about calls should have been 45-14. Congrats Jags.

  42. styro1 says:
    Look for Big Ben to retire and get away from this hot mess that is the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    ===

    “Big Ben” is every bit as much a part of that “hot mess” as anyone else, which makes him just as culpable as anyone else.
    I don’t give a rat’s rear end how many yards or TDs he threw for. His two turnovers — on the heels of all those turnovers in their first meeting — directly led to two Jacksonville touchdowns in a game the Steelers lost by three points.
    Point all the fingers you like at anyone involved with the Steelers organization. They will be well-deserved. Just don’t point any of those fingers away from Ben Roethlisberger, because he’s part of Pittsburgh’s problem.

  43. Why would some people think that now NE has a cakewalk to the super bowl? Jags are the clearly better team and a stronger opponent than the Steelers as demonstrated again today

  44. There were no lead changes in this game, Jags lead from their first TD to their last FG. Steelers tired to rally hard and while Tomlin made major errors in strategy, some of them paid off (he did get TD on 2 4th downs, of course he lost 2 FGs on the other 2). The onside kick was the biggest error.

    Actually I take it back. The biggest error was overlooking the Jags. Tomlin thought there was no way the Jags could keep up the offense output so he played super aggressive the whole game. It burned him. Should have ran Bell more. Big Ben got lots of yards, but his 2 t/o where key. Can’t believe he did the same thing as the first game again (ignore Bell despite high effectiveness and have Ben throw it a billion times).

  45. Great win by the Jags and of course Steelers fans are already whining about the officiating, as they always do. Tell them to go back and watch the Super Bowl win they had over the Seahawks many years ago. The calls they got in that game were good enough for a lifetime.
    The better team won today, and Tomlin had no clue when he called that on-side kick. That was as bad of a call as Pete Carroll’s pass play in the Super Bowl which cost them the win against the Pats.
    Tomlin blew that one, big time.

  46. walker1191 says:
    January 14, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    No one in NE wanted to plays the Jags…
    _______________________________________

    Speak for yourself. I’d much rather see the Jags than the Steelers, it will be a far more entertaining game. We didn’t need to see Pitt’s D and Tomlin’s inept coaching again, I’d rather the Pats face the more challenging opponent.

  47. No one was looking ahead. You are all fools. The Steelers defense is soft. Has been soft for years. And still is.

    Jordan Howard and the Bears dominated the Steelers earlier this season. Unlike many I didn’t forget that.

    Has nothing to do with “looking ahead.” That’s just a pretty-boy story line. The Steelers defense is just soft. That is all.

  48. I was pretty sure that the Stillers didn’t want any part of the Patriots, but I had no idea they would go to such lengths to duck the re-match. Now there are two teams in the AFC that the Stillers can’t beat in the playoffs…at home.

  49. We saw how the Jags did against a poorly coached team with lots of talent and weapons. Now we’ll see how they do against a very well coached team with lots of talent and weapons.

    Last night, Dion Sanders summed it up. If the Steelers went to Foxboro it would be fun but if the Jags go it’ll be like the Pats vs. Titans game last night. Someone contested that and his response was “how are they going to score?”

  50. I will never join the chorus of people who always call for Mike Tomlin to lose his job but this was by far the worst coaching Job I ever seen. Defense was completely dominated by Jags. Mike, if we are going to play 3 4, please get a real nose tackle, Hargrave isn’t one.

    Now on offense, granted we played better as the game went along but I believe a lot of that was due to Ben calling his own plays. Against the best D line in football, we come out with 3 straight passes and then instead of running the ball right at the defense, we kept tossing and running to the outside on a team that has fast players but is undersized. It almost like Tomlin and his coaches didn’t watch tape on how Jags lost twice to the Titans or their other loses. The worst of them all, 2 4th and short and we couldn’t QB sneak when the QB is 6’5 and over 240lbs. Lastly, the idiotic call to kick on side. Also, why didn’t we utilize Bryant more, same issue with Harrison. This was a wasted season because even though I knew our defense wasn’t all that, we had an offense that could score 40 a game if we utilized our players and we never achieved that goal.

    worst coached game and Tomlin, haley, and butler should not only be ashamed of what just happened, they need to apologize to the fans. 2 years in a row, defense has been embarrassed in the playoffs. Tomlin needs to Fire Haley and bring in someone who can take full advantage of the players on this team. I am sure it won’t happen, so we will be back here again next year. Congrats Jags, you were the better team and the better coach team today.

  51. JokerSC says:
    January 14, 2018 at 4:29 pm
    Wow. Didn’t see that game coming.

    Who will be the first Steeler fan to complain the refs robbed them somehow?

    ———————-
    It wasnt just the refs. That fire alarm that got pulled last year was totally unfair. Add to that the headset troubles in game one and the field gets tipped really far. Without those things the Steelers would have easily beat the Patriots next week then won the Superbowl.

  52. The Jags better look forward to getting hosed by the refs. If the refs don’t decide the game the Jags could have a chance. Brady will be running for his life and they can probably cover Gronk. You can bet Coughlin and Marrone will have a better game plan than Tomlin. Hopefully it will be a good game to watch unless the game has already been decided by the officiating.

  53. I know Tomlin sucked today but i am done with Steeler fans telling me that Artie Burns is good. How do you let Keelan frickin Cole get the inside making it an easy throw for Bortles for 45 yards? You have to take that away and force a tough throw outside the numbers in man coverage there. And then in zone he gets impatient and drifts inside and lets Yeldon get a big gain on 3rd down when if he would`ve done his job the play was covered. He killed them in the 4th quarter.

  54. The Jaguars defense played horribly in the 4th quarter. Heaven forbid they learn how to wrap up and tackle someone in bounds. That game was a lot closer than it needed to be.

    They might as well just hand the Patriots the SB trophy now. As much as I dislike the Patriots, I just can’t imagine any of the remaining teams beating them.

  55. As a Patriots fan, this matchup scares the b’grogan out of me. I was looking forward to Steelers. Jags are fundamentally sound. Jags pushed Pats around in week 1 of the preseason.

  56. Only the Steelers can lose a playoff game to Tim Tebow, David Garrard AND Blake Bortles

    If the Vikings hold on, three of the four QB’s playing next weekend will have a combined four playoff wins…

  57. BREAKING NEWS: flash flood inundates Pittspurgh as the tears of arrogant players, coaches and fans converge at Heinz field forming a 4th river that overwhelmed the junction of the three rivers already present 😉

    Congrats Jaguars fans…good luck next week.

  58. Too bad actually. I was looking forward to the Patriots kicking the tar out of the Steelers next Sunday. Maybe next year.

  59. I just saw Drew Brees 6’0″ quarterback sneak, twice today Big Ben 6’5″ on fourth and inches got cute. Shameful and disgraceful!

  60. thefan08 says:
    January 14, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I will never join the chorus of people who always call for Mike Tomlin to lose his job but this was by far the worst coaching Job I ever seen.
    _________________________________

    So you’ve never seen Andy Reid coach a playoff game?

  61. Jumpin’ Jiminy Crickets! We in New England need to be careful what we ask for.

    That was a capable and Championship pedigree Steeler team these Jaguars took down in Pittsburgh. Yeah. That happened.

    Okay. Here we go. Go Patriots!

  62. They’ve been Tebowed, Flaccoed, Bradyed and Bortled. Time to stop wasting so many playoff spots. One and done.

  63. They’ve been Tebowed, Flaccoed, Bradyed and Bortled. Time to stop wasting so many playoff spots.

  64. Congrats to the Jags from this diehard Steelers fan. The score doesn’t really tell the story because, despite a couple of spectacular plays by Antonio Brown, this really was all Jags. Marrone and (IMO) Coughlin have really done an excellent job with this team. I admire nothing so much as great defense and a power running game. The Jags have both. The challenge now will be to keep the team focused after such a big win. The Steelers may have underestimated or overlooked the Jags; Belichick won’t. Best of luck in New England next weekend. I’ll definitely be in your corner.

    As for my Steelers, thanks for another great season, but this game was a disappointment. The team can be excused for underestimating the Jags in their first outing, but not a second time. I’m proud the Steelers kept fighting and that the final score wasn’t a total embarrassment, but I don’t even know what to say about that last 4th-and-1 call or that absurd onside kick. I love smashmouth football and am as awed as anyone by the aerial skill of some of our receivers, Brown in particular. But football is first a strategic game and it helps to use sound judgment. We have all the pieces–and that includes an exceptional head coach. But this was not their best day.

  65. @Deb, I was with you until “and that includes an exceptional head coach.” I think Tomlin is more braggadocio and empty talk than brains. His team has “played down to” or “overlooked” marginal teams on a regular basis and almost every time the NEXT game is a rival like the Patriots. That is poor coaching. I think he has just enough talent to keep a talented team from self destructing over a season but that’s about it. The decisions made in this game were beyond baffling. Honestly, I believe he didn’t kick that early field goal was pure hubris…he didn’t think they needed to and wanted to initiate the beat down of the Jaguars right then and there. The on-side kick was one of the worst decisions I saw all year…from any coach. Thanks for being a level-headed fan. My condolences on your team’s loss. Good luck next year.

  66. Oh, Mama, I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law
    Law man has put an end to my running and I’m so far from my home
    Oh, Mama I can hear you a-cryin’, you’re so scared and all alone
    Hangman is comin’ down from the gallows and I don’t have very long.

    The jig is up, the STEELERS are out
    They’ve finally found me
    The renegade who had it made
    Retrieved for a bounty

  67. They still gave up 42 points, 400 plus yards and 5 TDs to Roethlisberger who gambles a bit more than Brady. I’m pretty sure The Genius Belichick will exploit that vaunted defense to the extreme next week.

  68. Reading the comments from the players, apparently Cincy and Baltimore aren’t the only teams who genuinely hate the Steelers. Welcome to the fold, Jacksonville. Now go knock off the damn Patriots

  69. Tomlin is the worst coach in the NFL and Antonio Brown is the absolute best receiver. Nobody comes close to him.

    Kinda looks like James Harrison made the right choice now doesn’t it?

  70. @paytonwantsaflag: EASILY the very best and humorous comment I have ever read on PFT or elsewhere. Thanks from a 50 year Steeler fan.

  71. “but he may yet wind up with the last laugh.” – Oh he’ll get his ass handed to him in NE. Their D could give Tommy Terrific a bit of a game though.

  72. joetoronto says:
    January 14, 2018 at 4:27 pm
    The Jags travel to balmy Boston next week, check out the weather forecast.

    I can’t help but wonder how many PHANTOM penalties the Jags will have called against them for playing great defense because they have a bunch of big-time playmakers to rattle Cheatin’ Tommy all game.

    – Fixed.

  73. campcouch says:
    January 15, 2018 at 1:03 am
    They still gave up 42 points, 400 plus yards and 5 TDs to Roethlisberger who gambles a bit more than Brady. I’m pretty sure The Genius Belichick will exploit that vaunted defense to the extreme next week.
    ————-

    Don’t know how or why you can be so sure, but I’m sure you were in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, also.

  74. Everybody wants to blame Tomlin which is fair, but he didn’t fumble or throw the pick that contributed to 14 points that made the difference in the game. Yeah Big Ben threw for 400+ but IDK he seems to be careless with the ball in big games.

  75. Everyone talking about all the yards and points the Jags gave up lol
    Did you watch the game? 3 big plays, 2 from 4th down, just chunk and pray type fluky stuff.

    D was dominating most of the game. Yeah, they gave up some yards and points to quite possibly the most talented offense in the NFL.
    7 points were absolute garbage time (1 second remaining). And all those 4th Q points and yards were down 2 scores just hoping to get back in the game.

    Haters gon hate… they have to.

  76. The Jags should not be underestimated, but let’s not crown them yet, either. They scored 10 points at home against a barely competent Bills team. When you boil down the raw numbers, the Jags did pile up some sacks, but they did it in chunks and sometimes against some truly woeful teams. When Bortles was pressured, he was 2/7 for 17 yards in that Steelers game. The Pats can handle Fournette. They just did that with Derrick Henry. Fournette is a strong back, but it isn’t like he is a home run guy. He only had 4 20+ yard runs all season. Dion Lewis had 7. Ultimately, this game will come down to how the Jags can cover Gronk or Amendola or the backs. Bouye and Ramsey can do their thing. I am betting that Brady’s third through fifth options are better than the guys who will be covering them.

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