Saturday, January 05, 2008

Jaguars: What are the Chances...?

This is The Steelyard's first opportunity to predict the outcome of a playoff game, having posted a 25-7 record over the past two seasons, even as the Steelers compiled an 18-14 record over that span.

The Steelers are a slight underdog against Jacksonville, and deservedly so. Jacksonville has a healthier, more physical, more complete team, and should win the game unless it loses the turnover battle.

For Pittsburgh, the outcome is likely to be determined by 1) whether or not its defense can stop the Jags' powerful running attack, and, 2) how well its special teams fare, especially in regards to the kick return game. As was the case in the December game, QB Ben Roethlisberger could exploit the Jags' secondary to a certain degree, but it would be a surprise if the Steelers score more than 24 points or so.

Bottom line? "What are the Chances...?" gives the Steelers a 40 percent chance of coming away with a victory.



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