Saturday, January 5, 2008

Jacksonville Jaguars Advance In The Playoffs

What once was a walk in the park for the Jaguars turned into a cliff-hanger. But thanks to Josh Scobee's late 25-yard field goal, the Jaguars defeated Pittsburgh.

Never in the Steelers' 75 seasons had a team beaten them twice in Pittsburgh in the same season. The Jacksonville Jaguars beat history -- and the Steelers -- despite a memorable fourth-quarter collapse that nearly cost the visitors their season.

Thanks to three Ben Roethlisberger picks in the first half, the Jags were walking over the Steelers. Not anymore. Big Ben's big second half placed the Steelers in the lead. However, the score that made the Steelers take the lead was a result of a false pass interference call on the offense. Hines Ward clearly had his hand in the face of the defender's mask, but the refs called pass interference on the defense. This gave the Steelers a fresh set of downs in which they eventually scored to take the lead 29-28

However, David Garrard single-handedly led his team downfield. He daringly attempted a fourth down in which he ran the ball himself to put his team in position to take the lead, which they did via a field goal by Josh Scobee. The Jags took the lead 31-29 and this became the final score after Ben Roethlisberger fumbled the final drive.

Jacksonville appeared to be done after Najeh Davenport's second 1-yard TD run of the game gave the Steelers a 29-28 lead with about six minutes remaining. But quarterback David Garrard, not a great runner, found a seam on a convert-or-else fourth-and-2 play and rambled 32 yards to the Steelers 11 with 1:56 left.

Garrard aided the Steelers' comeback by throwing two interceptions -- one less than he had all season -- only to come up with the play that may have saved the Jaguars' season.

The Jaguars came in off six wins in their last eight games, while the Steelers -- missing five starters, including star running back Willie Parker -- limped into the postseason with three losses in four games and four in seven.

Jacksonville Jaguars really deserve this win. If they would have lost because of that clearly obvious false face mask call, it would have been ashame. The Jags were the hottest team coming into the playoffs. Their young. Their hot. Their fresh. Their hungry and have the will to win. If the Titans win tomorrow, I really believe the Jags have the aggressive defense that will cause the Patriots trouble.

No comments: