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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Jacksonville Jaguars are capable of staying in touch

Pittsburgh Steelers may not have things their own way

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action, 6.05pm Sunday

One of the key results of the first half of the season was Jacksonville's 30-9 victory at Pittsburgh in Week Five.

It showed the Jaguars were potentially the real deal while Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was even left to contemplate whether he could still play at the highest level.

His fears proved unfounded as Mike Tomlin's side went on to win ten of their remaining 11 regular-season games - their only defeat came against New England, which cost them the AFC's number-one seeding.

So the whiff of revenge will be in their nostrils as Jacksonville return to the cold of Pennsylvania.

The Florida outfit look set to be seven-point underdogs and that could prove to be a generous mark as seven of the Steelers' victories since that humbling have been by a narrower margin.

Their 28-24 success over winless Cleveland in Week 17 can almost be dismissed as Tomlin rested many of his starters, but other close victories came against Indianapolis, Green Bay and Cincinnati, all of whom had disappointing seasons.

Jacksonville lost their last two away games to San Francisco and Tennessee and their other three wins on their travels have come at Houston, Indianapolis and Cleveland, who posted just eight wins between them, although the Jaguars did thrash Baltimore 44-7 at Wembley.

But there are positives too as their average of 16.8 points conceded per game was the second best in the league and on nine occasions they have restricted their opponents to ten points or fewer.

And they were still the fifth-highest scorers despite reservations about the ability of quarterback Blake Bortles.

Rookie Leonard Fournette has helped them have the most productive rushing offence, so they are capable and although it is a big ask to contain a strong Pittsburgh offence, there is potential for the visitors to remain competitive.

Jacksonville +7
2pts 10-11 Coral, Ladbrokes, Sky Bet

The lowdown
Venue Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Surface Grass
Weather Clear, -7C
Vegas handicap Jacksonville +7
Vegas points line 41.5

Team news
Linebacker Blair Brown is questionable with an ankle injury while punt returner Jaydon Mickens has a hamstring problem. Rookie Dede Westbrook may deputise.
Cornerback Artie Burns (knee) and defensive end Stephon Tuitt (elbow) have got over their problems so the Steelers should be at full strength.

Key stat
Jacksonville have won on five of their last six visits to Pittsburgh

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They were still the fifth-highest scorers despite reservations about the ability of quarterback Blake Bortles.
E.W. Terms
Sky bet