The Steelers overlooked and dismissed the Jaguars all week, which is strange considering Jacksonville beat them 30-9 three months ago.
When the Jaguars ran off the field Sunday after their 45-42 victory, they did it yelling for Mike Mitchell. The safety told Sports Illustrated the Steelers would play the Patriots again, and running back Le'Veon Bell expressed similar sentiments in a tweet.
At least one Steeler was as angry at some of his teammates as the Jaguars were.
“They were ready to go; they were mad; they were angry; they had something to prove, and they did it,’’ Steelers offensive guard David DeCastro said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Yeah, it’s embarrassing. It really is, man. It just blows my mind. They beat us 30-9 [on Oct. 9]. We played like crap, and we want to talk about New England?
“I don’t know what to say about that. It’s just stupid. It’s just not what you do. You don’t need to give a team like that more bulletin board material.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin began his team’s obsession with New England in a November 26 interview with Tony Dungy on NBC’s Football Night in America, saying he expected to play the Patriots twice this season and adding “we should win it all.” On Saturday night, Bell tweeted “we’ll have two round 2’s in back to back weeks,” referring to playing the Jaguars and Patriots a second time.
“I’m never a guy to say anything about the other team but respect them and congratulate them, which is what you should do,’’ DeCastro said. “They’re a talented team and they proved that today.
“It should be obvious to me. I love my teammates and care a lot about them, but that’s not something I like to see.”