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Statistically Speaking: Friday Five

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In Week 11, the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field at 1 p.m. EST. Here are five stats surrounding Sunday’s matchup:

1.    27’s Return: RB Leonard Fournette returned to action against the Colts in Week 10 after missing four games with a hamstring injury, and made his presence felt with two total TDs and more than 100 scrimmage yards. Fournette was impressive as a rookie in two wins against the Steelers last season (30-9 in Week 5 and 45-42 in the postseason), registering a combined 290 rushing yards and breaking team records in both contests. Fournette’s three rushing TDs in the Divisional round win was a franchise high in the postseason, while his 90-yard run in Week 5 was the longest run in Jaguars’ history.

2.    Strength vs. Strength: Jacksonville’s pass defense has been stingy all season, limiting opponents to an NFL-low 200.6 net passing yards per game, while Pittsburgh’s 323.0 passing yards per game is the third-highest mark in the league. The Steelers passing game is led by Pro Bowl QB Ben Roethlisberger, second-year WR Juju Smith-Schuster (762 receiving yards) and Pro Bowl WR Antonio Brown (690 receiving yards) and will challenge Jaguars Pro Bowl CBs A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. The Jaguars tallied a team-record five INTs against Ben Roethlisberger in the two team’s last regular season matchup in Week 5 of 2017.

3.    Second Half Shutouts: The Jaguars shut out the Colts in the second half of Week 10, limiting Indianapolis to 60 total yards after halftime. The shutout marked the Jaguars fourth second-half shutout since Doug Marrone took over head coaching duties. The Jaguars held Pittsburgh to three points after halftime in Week 5 last year, and duplicating that defensive performance would go a long way in securing a Jaguars victory on Sunday.

4.    Spread the Wealth: Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has thrown TDs to 24 players en route to 102 career TDs, including 12 TD passes to six different players in 2018. The fifth-year QB has also thrown three postseason TDs, highlighted by a 14-yard fourth-quarter TD pass to FB Tommy Bohanon in the AFC Divisional round against the Steelers on Jan. 14, 2018. RB T.J. Yeldon has caught five TDs from Bortles, the most of any current Jaguar.

5.    Telvin’s Takeaways: LB Telvin Smith Sr. helped spark Jacksonville in the fourth quarter against Indianapolis in Week 10, intercepting Colts QB Andrew Luck. Smith, who returned an INT 28 yards for a score in Jacksonville’s last regular season matchup against Pittsburgh, has eight INTs in his five-year career, which are the second-most by a LB in franchise history. Against a Steelers passing attack that features Brown and Smith-Schuster as well as TE Vance McDonald (390 receiving yards), Smith’s coverage will be pivotal.

Every Friday during the 2018 season, Jaguars Public Relations Assistant David Wolf will write five key stats about the Jaguars’ upcoming game. A Chapel Hill, N.C. native, Wolf joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in May 2018.

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