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Jacksonville Jaguars V. Pittsburgh Steelers Preview: 3 Key Matchups to Watch

October 15th, 2011 at 6:44 PM
By Michael Hall

Yeah, I moved it to three. It was starting to get saccharine, so I decided to give everyone more bang for their buck.Here is what to watch for as the Jacksonville Jaguars go on the road to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3. CB Rashean Mathis v. WR Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace has taken the league by storm with his penchant for making big plays and his deep speed is no joke. Rashean Mathis needs to channel his "Steeler Killer" persona and shut him down. This forces Ben Roethlisberger to find another target or check down to his RB or TE for minimal yardage. Another factor is the injury-riddled offensive line, who will be missing T Marcus Gilbert and G Chris Kemoeatu. That extra time in the pocket increases the chance of a sack or QB hit, which goes into the next matchup.  

2. DE Aaron Kampman v. OT Jonathan Scott

Everyone knows what to expect from Jeremy Mincey on Sunday, who leads the Jaguars in QB pressures. However, nobody knows what to expect from Aaron Kampman, who is coming off of his second consecutive ACL surgery and will be making his 2011 debut against the Steelers. He will be going up against Jonathan Scott, who was acquired in the offeseason as depth. Jeremy Mincey will do his job, Kampman needs to show thsat he can still dirupt the QB and dominate his man. He'll be switched out with Matt Roth, who will keep the pace and keep his legs fresh, but Kampman needs to do something to show everyone that he is still a force to be reckoned with. 

1. Mike Thomas/Jason Hill v. William Gay/Ike Taylor

That's right, the most pressure is on the Jaguars' top two wideouts. Let's face it, the Jags' offense haven't really been playmakers this year, but while facing a solid defense, nothing will come easy. Therefore, they need to hold onto the ball when they are able to get their hands on it. However, they have improved over the past few weeks as Blaine Gabbert has gotten more reps with them. There was only one apparent drop by Jason Hill or Mike Thomas in the Bengals game (It would've been a 9-10 yard pass for Mike Thomas).  They need to continue progressing this week as Gabbert will probably rely on them to make plays. By the way, this goes for the rest of the receiving corps, especially Cecil Shorts, who doesn't have a catch through 5 games. I guess I'll have to take down my "Shorts will set the Jaguars' rookie receptions record" prediction. Maybe he'll prove me wrong.

Tags: Aaron Kampman, Blaine Gabbert, Cecil Shorts, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars, Jason Hill, Jeremy Mincey, Matt Roth, Mike Thomas, NFL, Rashean Mathis

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