Tonight the Steelers host the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of playoff games.
All the experts are picking the Jaguars to win. The Steelers have home field advantage, but they are a banged up team and will be missing a lot of players to injury — players who helped gain the wins that earned the team this playoff berth. And Jacksonville has beaten the Steelers once already, in Heinz Field.
In addition, this Steelers team is very young, and inexperience can lead to mental mistakes in a high-pressure situation like a playoff game.
Still, of course I think the Steelers will win. Heinz Field is still a tough place for opponents, Ben Roethlisberger has been outstanding all season, other key players have been resting and recuperating for this week, and the coaches have been pounding everyone on the team with footage of that embarrassing regular season loss to the Jaguars.
Here we go Steelers, here we go!
UPDATE: Oh, sigh. The Steelers couldn’t hold themselves together. They had some brilliant moments in the game, and you have to admire the way they continued to press and attack even when they’d fallen far behind. But they lost all the same.
At least this frees up my weekend evenings and afternoons until next season.