For the second-straight week James Harrison is a healthy scratch. Fowler made two plays in NY last Sunday that could have reversed the outcome. There are two receivers on the practice squad available if needed. There's plenty of reason to support this: the Jaguars average better than 27 points per game - fifth-most in the league - while the Steelers have scored 24 or more points in 12 of their last 13 games at Heinz Field, breaking the 30-point plateau eight times over that stretch.
Stopping the stretch became such a topic of conversation at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex over the past two weeks that it nearly became cliché. Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, he looked to be in mid-season form rushing for 144 yards.
On a positive note, starting free safety Mike Mitchell is expected to be ready to go after missing the Ravens game with a hamstring injury. He was feeling better Sunday morning, Tomlin said, but was left off the game day roster. Bortles has thrown three interceptions in the first four games, with all three coming in their two losses.
A lot of attention has been paid to the Jaguars' offense, which was a major question mark following Blake Bortles' awful preseason and a season-ending injury to top receiver Allen Robinson. Linebacker Lerentee McCray (knee) was ruled out for the third consecutive game.More news: Las Vegas Shooter May Have Considered Other Locations
Lee (ribs) and starting center Brandon Linder (illness) are the Jaguars' biggest injury concerns. He had a limited practice today (Friday) which means it is not certain for him to play. Yet, for as much attention as the Houston offense garnered last week, it's the Texans' elite pass rush that could help the home side hand Kansas City its first loss.
- Pittsburgh is giving up only 4.2 yards per play on defense in 2017, best in the National Football League through four games. The Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping that Lee can fill Robinson's role. If Ramsey and/or Buoye do an effective job in shutting down Brown, it could lead to more frustration and more of a running attack by the Steelers.
My key is that the Steelers need to find a way to be opportunistic against a quarterback like Blake Bortles.
For both teams, the running game could be what carries them to victory. In fact, the vast majority of his passes were less than 10 yards. And while there's no better time for them to hit stride then in Week 5 at home, the Jaguars should remain somewhat confident that their defense won't let the game get away.