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In-game blog: Jags at Steelers

Dec 16 2007 9:45AM
Hi, everybody, and welcome to the press box at Heinz Field. It's raining. The question is: When will it turn to snow? Temperatures are supposed to begin dropping at noon. Fifty miles north of here, they're having a major snow event. Cleveland is 100 miles northwest of here and they are in blizzard conditions. We're not supposed to have that here today. After they take the tarp off the field, I'm going to head down to the field, check it out and give you a first-hand report.

Dec 16 2007 10:20AM
I just looked at the weather forecast. The wind is supposed to start picking up by noon. They're forecasting 30 mph winds at kickoff. That's when the snow is supposed to begin. Right now, it's 40 degrees and rather calm.

Dec 16 2007 10:48AM
I was down on the field. It's wet but firm. I could hit nine-iron shots on it all day. The sideline is a swamp and the field is soft in the middle, but I don't think the field should be an issue. The wind will be an issue. It's really starting to blow.

Dec 16 2007 10:50AM
I was talking to Jaguars special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis while down on the field. He said the goal is an average drive-start of the 30-yard line for the opposition. The Jaguars will mix up their kickoffs: power kick, pooch kick, squib, etc.

Dec 16 2007 10:52AM
I asked Steelers quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson, formerly the Jaguars' quarterbacks coach, to give me a scoop on Ben Roethlisberger. "No scoop," Anderson said. We'll have to wait to see if Roethlisberger plays.

Dec 16 2007 11:48AM
The rain has stopped. The air is getting colder and drier. The wind is the only issue. It's just not that cold.

Dec 16 2007 11:49AM
Jaguars inactives: John Broussard, LaBrandon Toefield, Aaron Glenn, Mike Peterson, Uche Nwaneri, Tutan Reyes, Jeremy Mincey and Reggie Hayward.

Dec 16 2007 11:50AM
Steelers inactives: Brian St. Pierre, Willie Reid, Grant Mason, Andre Frazier, Darnell Stapleton, Trai Essex, Jon Dekker and Ryan McBean. Ben Roethlisberger will start.

Dec 16 2007 12:02PM
The sun is trying to poke through the clouds. The weather continues to improve. I'm watching the kickers now and I'll try to get a feel for how they're dealing with the wind.

Dec 16 2007 12:12PM
Josh Scobee and Jeff Reed don't appear to be having a problem with the wind. Steelers rookie punter Daniel Sepulveda is booming the ball. Jaguars punter Adam Podlesh appears to be struggling.

Dec 16 2007 1:04PM
Pittsburgh has won the toss and has elected to receive.

Dec 16 2007 1:07PM
The Steelers start at their 35.

Dec 16 2007 1:07PM
The Jaguars open in nickel and Willie Parker gains nothing.

Dec 16 2007 1:08PM
Parker no gain again.

Dec 16 2007 1:08PM
Sack. The Jaguars certainly won that possession.

Dec 16 2007 1:09PM
The punt is out of bounds at the Jaguars 40. The Jaguars are immediately are in an opportune position.

Dec 16 2007 1:10PM
Fred Taylor up the middle for five yards. The Jags offensive line moved the line of scrimmage.

Dec 16 2007 1:11PM
Taylor runs for a first down at the Steelers 45. It was a cutback run.

Dec 16 2007 1:12PM
David Garrard to Matt Jones for 16 yards and a first down at the Steelers 25. The Jags are moving with ease.

Dec 16 2007 1:15PM
Scobee boots a 36-yard field goal after the drive stalled. Garrard threw incomplete on second down and short of the first down on third down. Podlesh did a good job on the hold; there was a bobble.

Dec 16 2007 1:16PM
The Jaguars are 29-5 under Jack Del Rio when they score first.

Dec 16 2007 1:22PM
Roethlisberger runs for a first down.

Dec 16 2007 1:22PM
Brian Williams missed the tackle on Parker. He bounced it outside for 16 yards.

Dec 16 2007 1:25PM
Roethlisberger sacked by Brent Hawkins on third down. The Steelers have to punt.

Dec 16 2007 1:25PM
Dennis Northcutt makes a fair catch at the Jaguars 14.

Dec 16 2007 1:27PM
The Jaguars defensive line is having its way with the Steelers offensive line. The Jaguars have been very well prepared for this game.

Dec 16 2007 1:28PM
Garrard got away with one there. His pass is complete for a first down but was nearly picked on the dead run.

Dec 16 2007 1:29PM
Holding on Marcedes Lewis. That hurts field position; it's back to the 18.

Dec 16 2007 1:32PM
Punt time. That was a really bad pass by Garrard; very dangerous and nearly intercepted, again.

Dec 16 2007 1:32PM
Podlesh's punt traveled 32 yards and out of bounds at the 50.

Dec 16 2007 1:37PM
Santonio Holmes was wide open and Roethlisberger missed him. The Steelers punt and down it at the Jaguars nine-yard line.

Dec 16 2007 1:42PM
Garrard scrambled but he appears to be just short of the first down. The first quarter has ended but they're going to measure now. It's short; fourth down.

Dec 16 2007 1:46PM
Big rush; Podlesh hits a shank. It's out of bounds at the Jaguars 31. It went 13 yards.

Dec 16 2007 1:47PM
Parker ran for a first down at the 18. It's now second and 10. The Steelers want to throw.

Dec 16 2007 1:50PM
Touchdown! Big Ben strikes one. It was to Heath Miller. He beat Justin Durant and Reggie Nelson.

Dec 16 2007 1:50PM
It was a an 18-yard pass on third and 10. Hawkins tipped it. I'm stunned that the ball stayed on line.

Dec 16 2007 1:53PM
What a kickoff; through the end zone. The Jags start at their 20.

Dec 16 2007 1:57PM
There's a problem with the Jaguars' headsets. The Steelers have taken theirs off.

Dec 16 2007 1:58PM
Taylor breaks loose. He popped it; right through the left side of the line all the way to the Steelers 35.

Dec 16 2007 1:59PM
Garrard is getting a lot of balls tipped; close calls, every one.

Dec 16 2007 2:00PM
Dropped by Reggie Williams on third down. The Jags will punt. Taylor's run was a field-position changer. It was real, real big.

Dec 16 2007 2:01PM
That may be the worst-looking punt I've ever seen but it turned out great; dead at the eight.

Dec 16 2007 2:02PM
This is a critical point in the game. In these treacherous conditions, long drives are not the goal; just poke it out and reestablish field position. The Jaguars need a three and out or a turnover. Watch for it.

Dec 16 2007 2:03PM
A pass for two yards? I don't know these Steelers.

Dec 16 2007 2:04PM
Parker runs for a first down.

Dec 16 2007 2:06PM
Paul Spicer swatted the ball out of Roethlisberger's hand but Roethlisberger recovered it at the 15.

Dec 16 2007 2:06PM
The Steelers have to punt. This is big.

Dec 16 2007 2:07PM
A tremendous punt and a great but short return by Northcutt. The ball is at the Jaguars 44.

Dec 16 2007 2:08PM
The Jaguars must convert these field position opportunities.

Dec 16 2007 2:11PM
Another one! LaMar Woodley nearly picked it. He would've gone the distance.

Dec 16 2007 2:12PM
The Steelers can't run the middle. Their offensive line is very, very poor. They got holding on top of it. The ball is back to the 10.

Dec 16 2007 2:13PM
Parker nearly broke that one. He was one guy away from gone.

Dec 16 2007 2:14PM
Hines Ward dropped a pass. You won't see that often. Hit him right on the letters; a real good throw.

Dec 16 2007 2:14PM
The Steelers have to punt. That drop is huge. The Jags need to convert.

Dec 16 2007 2:15PM
What a punt. Northcutt was dropped in his tracks at the Jaguars 36. Sepulveda is impressive.

Dec 16 2007 2:18PM
Clark Haggans went low on Garrard; roughing the passer. First down for the Jags at the Steelers 33.

Dec 16 2007 2:18PM
I'm seeing holes in that line.

Dec 16 2007 2:20PM
It's fourth and one. What to do? He's going for it.

Dec 16 2007 2:20PM
Jones-Drew was stopped but bounced out of the tackle for a first down at the Steelers 23. Great run!

Dec 16 2007 2:21PM
We're at the two-minute warning. It would really be big to take a lead into halftime. The Jaguars' great advantage in this game is their DL against the Steelers' OL. It's a mismatch. That's why the Steelers have such an aggressive game plan. They know they can't run.

Dec 16 2007 2:24PM
Taylor's close to the first down at the 12.

Dec 16 2007 2:24PM
It's a first down.

Dec 16 2007 2:25PM
Touchdown! Garrard to Ernest Wilford.

Dec 16 2007 2:26PM
The Steelers have called time out. They think Wilford had stepped out of bounds previous to the catch.

Dec 16 2007 2:27PM
No booth review. It's a touchdown. The point is good.

Dec 16 2007 2:28PM
The scoring drive was 10 plays, 68 yards. The touchdown was a 10-yard pass.

Dec 16 2007 2:28PM
The Jags have all three times out remaining. They can force a punt here.

Dec 16 2007 2:30PM
They throw for the first down.

Dec 16 2007 2:33PM
That's the end of the half. The Jaguars played a great half of football. They've established their dominance up front and they must continue that in the second half. Garrard is eight of 15 for 70 yards, one touchdown and an 88.2 passer rating. Taylor has 11 carries for 72 yards; he's over 1,000 yards for the season. The Jaguars are out-rushing the Steelers 98-50.

Dec 16 2007 2:42PM
If you ever want an example of it "starts up front," this is it. Roethlisberger is being rushed on every pass play. Rob Meier is playing a fantastic game.

Dec 16 2007 2:44PM
One of the things I want to see is the energy with which the Jaguars begin the second half. They've had a chance to get warm. How will they respond to another half of cold?

Dec 16 2007 2:45PM
Here we go.

Dec 16 2007 2:47PM
Jones-Drew returns the kickoff to the Jaguars 26.

Dec 16 2007 2:48PM
Garrard should've been sacked. He's amazingly strong.

Dec 16 2007 2:49PM
Garrard to Marcedes Lewis; first down at the Jaguars 45. Garrard just keeps playing better and better.

Dec 16 2007 2:51PM
A little shy of the first down. They're gonna go for it. Hmmm.

Dec 16 2007 2:52PM
Jones-Drew got it. The ball is at the 40. Plain and simple, the Jaguars are having it their way.

Dec 16 2007 2:53PM
Garrard to Matt Jones. Just shy of a first down. Third and one.

Dec 16 2007 2:53PM
Fourth and one.

Dec 16 2007 2:55PM
Garrard got it. The Jags offensive line is dominating the Steelers' defensive line.

Dec 16 2007 2:56PM
Another drop by Reggie Williams.

Dec 16 2007 2:57PM
Jones-Drew pops it to the 11. Great play call by Dirk Koetter.

Dec 16 2007 2:59PM
Jones-Drew dropped a touchdown pass.

Dec 16 2007 2:59PM
Same play; first down at the one.

Dec 16 2007 3:02PM
Touchdown! Garrard to Williams. That's his eighth touchdown reception this season, which ties for the most in Jaguars history. That was a fantastic drive. Garrard really distinguished himself. The kick is no good.

Dec 16 2007 3:04PM
That drive was 20 plays, 74 yards. That's how you play football in December. That's fantastic. When you play that way, you can play with anybody. That 20-play drive is a record.

Dec 16 2007 3:06PM
Great kickoff by Scobee; out of the end zone.

Dec 16 2007 3:09PM
Bobby McCray just got his first sack of the year.

Dec 16 2007 3:10PM
Three and out. Tennessee is losing. If that holds up and the Jaguars go on to win here, they would clinch a playoff berth.

Dec 16 2007 3:12PM
The fact that the Jaguars haven't fumbled the ball or thrown an interception in these cold, windy and wet conditions is a strong indication of what they can do in postseason conditions because that's what these are. Simply put, if you have to play at New England, this is what you're probably gonna get.

Dec 16 2007 3:14PM
Touchdown! They caught the Steelers napping. A little misdirection, a roll out to the right and Garrard found Northcutt down the right sideline. Anthony Smith completely misplayed the ball.

Dec 16 2007 3:14PM
Scobee missed again. That's big because the Steelers can tie with two touchdowns and one two-pointer.

Dec 16 2007 3:17PM
This game is going to define the Jaguars' regular season. It says everything about what this team has accomplished this season. Frankly, I don't think it matters where the Jaguars play in the first round. If I were the Jaguars, I'd root for the Steelers to win the division so they could come back here. The Steelers are really struggling.

Dec 16 2007 3:24PM
The Jags have it at their 32. There is 2:06 left in the third quarter. Just don't turn it over.

Dec 16 2007 3:26PM
That's the end of the third quarter.

Dec 16 2007 3:29PM
Tennesse is beating KC. Oh, well.

Dec 16 2007 3:30PM
Intercepted by Anthony Smith. He returns it to the Jaguars 13. Why were the Jags throwing. It was for Greg Jones. It was overthrown.

Dec 16 2007 3:32PM
It's third down for the Steelers.

Dec 16 2007 3:33PM
Touchdown! Roethlisberger to Ward. It was a great throw and catch and Ward got drilled at the goal line.

Dec 16 2007 3:34PM
Roethlisberger hasn't had a lot of help from his receivers today. Miller dropped what should've been a touchdown pass on the play before the Ward touchdown catch. Roethlisberger now has 28 touchdown passes this season.

Dec 16 2007 3:36PM
The Jags will start at their 27-yard line. There is 13:05 to play.

Dec 16 2007 3:39PM
Garrard to Northcutt for a first down. That's real big.

Dec 16 2007 3:41PM
Taylor's over a hundred now. That's four straight games.

Dec 16 2007 3:41PM
The Jags are running the ball well now.

Dec 16 2007 3:43PM
Nearly intercepted. The Jags have to punt.

Dec 16 2007 3:43PM
The punt is out of bounds at the Steelers 16. There is 9:29 to play.

Dec 16 2007 3:48PM
Hawkins got another sack. The pass-rush is fantastic today.

Dec 16 2007 3:49PM
A great pass by Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes for a first down on third and 18.

Dec 16 2007 3:51PM
Touchdown! Roethlisberger to Nate Washington for 30 yards. He beat Brian Williams. There is 5:46 to play. The Steelers will go for two, I'm sure.

Dec 16 2007 3:52PM
Good! Cedrick Wilson to Holmes. It was a trick play; a throwback and a pass.

Dec 16 2007 3:53PM
That's 29 touchdown passes by Roethlisberger; a Steelers record. Parker is over 100 yards. We're tied, ladies and gentlemen. There is 5:46 to play.

Dec 16 2007 3:54PM
The Jags have it at their 27.

Dec 16 2007 3:54PM
Garrard to Lewis; a great catch at midfield.

Dec 16 2007 3:56PM
The Jags are moving the ball. They've moved it all day.

Dec 16 2007 3:56PM
Taylor is killing them. I mean, he's running through everybody. The Jags are nearing field goal range.

Dec 16 2007 3:58PM
Great play call by Koetter. A draw busts wide open on third and 10.

Dec 16 2007 3:59PM
Pittsburgh has taken its first time out. The Jags are on the 10, second and eight. There's 2:02 to play.

Dec 16 2007 4:01PM
Touchdown! Taylor up the middle. This is a big point after try. It's good. The Jags lead by seven.

Dec 16 2007 4:04PM
The Steelers return the kickoff to their 41. There's 1:51 to play.

Dec 16 2007 4:06PM
It's third and 10.

Dec 16 2007 4:06PM
Roethlisberger runs for a first down.

Dec 16 2007 4:07PM
Pittsburgh calls time out. They only have one left.

Dec 16 2007 4:08PM
It's third down.

Dec 16 2007 4:09PM
This is it; fourth down.

Dec 16 2007 4:10PM
Just shy of the first down. Game over!

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