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Why were the Pittsburgh Steelers talking
06-26-2019, 05:45 AM
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Why were the Pittsburgh Steelers talking
The Jacksonville Jaguars heard the chatter http://www.carolinapanthersteamonline.co...tle-jersey , read the tweets and Instagram posts. And they got a little confused.
Didn’t they have to face the Jaguars first before reaching a rematch with the Super Bowl champions?

”I don’t know if they misread the schedule or didn’t play us this week, but they didn’t acknowledge us at all,” Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack said. ”And we didn’t take that too kindly.”

Not at all. That shouldn’t be a problem going forward.

The Jaguars, yes the Jaguars, have the NFL’s full attention now. A trip to Foxborough on the horizon, too.

Dominant at the start and resilient at the finish, Jacksonville stunned the Steelers 45-42 on Sunday to advance to the AFC title game for the third time in franchise history and maybe, finally, earn a bit of respect.

Leonard Fournette ran for 109 yards and three scores . Embattled quarterback Blake Bortles added 214 yards passing and a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown as the third-seeded Jaguars (12-6) beat the second-seeded Steelers (13-4) at Heinz Field for the second time in three months.

The victory in October served notice Jacksonville was ready to put a decade of losing firmly behind. This one sent an even bigger message: overlook the Jaguars at your own peril, something Pittsburgh appeared to do in the run-up. Coach Mike Tomlin hinted at facing the Patriots twice back in December. Running back Le’Veon Bell posted on Twitter about the pair of “round 2s” the Steelers will face in coming weeks.

Turns out, one rematch is all the Steelers will get.

”We knew we had this team’s number,” Jacksonville safety Barry Church said. ”All we did was feed on the fuel that everybody was providing, the media Will Grier Jersey , everybody was talking about how they’re going to run through us, it’s not going to be like last (time). Blake Bortles this. Blake Bortles that. all he did was dominate their defense.”

A week removed from an ugly performance in a wild-card round win over Buffalo in which he passed for 87 yards and struggled with the easiest of throws, Bortles went 14 of 26 for a touchdown without an interception. He ran for 35 more and wasn’t sacked by a defense that led the NFL and set a franchise record with 55 during the season. Jacksonville’s 45 points tied the most ever allowed by the Steelers in the playoffs.

Not bad for an offense that at times simply appeared along for the ride as the NFL’s top defense carried the load.

”Blake Bortles has always been criticized,” Fournette said. ”It is different now. He has guys that have his back, especially me.”

Certainly looked it as Fournette scored two first-quarter touchdowns. The Jaguars built a 21-point lead and responded whenever the Steelers rallied to get within one score.

”The guys played with confidence all day long,” Bortles said. ”Obviously, what they have on their side of the ball, it’s a good team. We know they got a good offense. We knew we were going to have to be efficient, hold on to the ball for a little bit, so we did it.”

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards and set a franchise record with five touchdown passes, but was also intercepted once and had a fumble returned for a score. All-Pro Antonio Brown caught seven passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns in his return from a left calf injury. Bell had 155 yards of total offense and two scores.

But Pittsburgh’s vaunted ”Killer Bs” couldn’t keep pace with Jacksonville, one of four NFL franchises to never make the Super Bowl.

”It’s disheartening,” Brown said. ”I thought we had the right group of guys.”

The Jaguars dominated the Steelers on Oct. 8 http://www.carolinapanthersteamonline.co...ler-jersey , winning by three touchdowns in a performance so overwhelming Roethlisberger only half-jokingly wondered aloud whether he still had ”it’ after throwing a career-high five picks.

Roethlisberger and his teammates left little doubt they hoped for a rematch, though Jacksonville cornerback A.J. Bouye cautioned Pittsburgh to be careful what it wished for. The Jaguars hardly appeared intimidated by the 18-degree chill or trying to earn their first road playoff win in a decade.

”I’m sure there will still be tons of people that are going to disapprove and talk negative or hate or do whatever they want,” Bortles said. ”But we get to keep playing and we get an opportunity to play in Foxborough next week for another week. Just honored to be able to do this especially with this group of guys.”

”It’s been an awesome year. Just want to keep it going.”

FOURTH AND WOE

Pittsburgh rolled up 545 yards of offense, but it’s 2 yards the Steelers didn’t get that helped send them into an offseason filled with questions.

Twice Pittsburgh had fourth-and-1 in Jacksonville territory. Twice the Steelers did something other than have the 6-foot-5 Roethlisberger sneak. Pittsburgh ran wide in the first quarter and Bell was stuffed for a 4-yard loss. The Jaguars responded immediately by going 75 yards in 11 plays, the final one a 4-yard sprint by T.J. Yeldon that put them up 21-0.

The Steelers were down a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and had fourth-and-inches at the Jacksonville 39. Roethlisberger checked at the line of scrimmage, faked a handoff to Bell and instead threw incomplete to diving rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster .

”It’s been a while since I’ve run a quarterback sneak, I’m for it,” said Roethlisberger, who added he wi This time, the short porch at Yankee Stadium ended up hurting the home team.

Even with one of baseball’s tallest players posted at the wall.

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning that nicked the glove of a leaping Aaron Judge in right field, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Yankees 5-3 on Monday in a matchup between the top teams in each league entering the night.

”It should give us a lot of confidence,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. ”It’s good for our young guys that come into a place like this against a team like this, as good as they are Jordan Scarlett Jersey , and play well.”

Johan Camargo homered early and Jesse Biddle pitched out of a late jam for the NL East leaders, who followed up a three-game sweep in St. Louis with their fourth consecutive victory. Atlanta (49-34) is 15 games over .500 for the first time since the conclusion of the 2013 season.

New York (54-28) fell a game behind first-place Boston in the AL East.

The 20-year-old Acuna also doubled and drove in three runs, four years to the day after the touted rookie signed with the Braves.

”First time here at Yankee Stadium,” he said through a translator. ”First home run at Yankee Stadium is very special to me.”

Judge hit his 23rd homer and second in two nights. Gleyber Torres had three hits and scored twice, but the rookie second baseman’s 10th error since he was called up April 22 helped Atlanta get started in the 11th.

Playing on the outfield grass, Torres booted Nick Markakis‘ leadoff grounder. One out later, Acuna lofted a 1-2 pitch from David Robertson (5-3) the other way. Judge, all 6-foot-7 of him, got in good position at the auxiliary scoreboard and jumped, but the ball glanced off the tip of his webbing and cleared the fence.

”Tough play. I want to make that play for D-Rob and I wasn’t able to come through,” Judge said. ”That’s all it is, just a little timing. If I time it up right I make that play. On that one, I was just a little late.”

Robertson slumped near the mound as an excited Acuna circled the bases with his seventh home run – third in the past six games.

”Man Greedy Williams Jersey , when he hit it I thought it was an out, to be honest with you,” Robertson said. ”Playing here at Yankee Stadium, you see it happen all the time. The short porch gets you in right field.”

Robertson had faced 182 right-handed batters without giving up a home run since Adam Rosales connected off him on June 25, 2017.

A.J. Minter got three outs for his fourth save .

”He’s got a save in Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium. I mean, that’s pretty good for a first-year reliever,” Snitker said. ”And you can tell, he’s liking that situation, too. He doesn’t back down. He’s got a lot of confidence in himself.”

New York stranded 12 and went a season-worst 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees had the bases loaded with one out in the 10th before Biddle (2-0) struck out Greg Bird and Austin Romine on seven pitches. The left-hander fanned four in two scoreless innings.

”These fans are pretty loud, and I was just trying to quiet them down,” Biddle said.

Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for the Yankees, hitting a season-high 104 mph on the stadium radar gun to oohs and aahs from the crowd of 43,792. Dellin Betances retired slugger Freddie Freeman with runners at the corners to end the 10th.

Judge hit a pop-fly homer to right in the first and has gone deep in four of his last six games. Camargo answered with a leadoff shot in the third against rookie starter Jonathan Loaisiga http://www.ravensfootballauthentics.com/...-authentic , who was sent to the minors after the game.

Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez allowed three runs in six innings.

ROSTER SHUFFLE

Loaisiga was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to open a spot for RHP A.J. Cole (neck strain), who will be reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said there’s a good chance Loaisiga will return next Monday to start in a doubleheader at Baltimore.

ALL IN THE FAMILY

With the international signing period open, the Yankees landed the younger brother of ace pitcher Luis Severino. Rafael Severino is a 19-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic who will start out at the club’s academy there.

”Yippee. Sign me up for that,” Boone said. ”Definitely good to have another Severino in the mix.”

The elder Severino, who is 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA, leads the majors in wins and the AL in ERA. He said he was excited, and happily delivered the news to his kid brother.

”He was flipping out. He didn’t believe it,” Luis Severino told reporters . ”I think he’s going to be really good.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: Reliever Peter Moylan was placed on the 10-day DL with a strained right forearm and RHP Matt Wisler was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. OF Michael Reed and RHP Evan Phillips were called up from Triple-A. … Arodys Vizcaino (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen and could come off the disabled list Tuesday. Vizcaino, who has 15 saves, has been sidelined since June 21.

Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (two strained hamstrings) threw a bullpen and is scheduled to make a rehab start Wednesday at Triple-A. He could rejoin the team early next week in Baltimore – perhaps in time to pitch in the doubleheader. … As a precaution, Romine (left hamstring) was out of the starting lineup for the second consecutive night. He entered at catcher in the ninth. Romine will likely start one of the next two games, Boone said.
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