1) Win the turnover battle.
2) Play 8 in the box to stop the run on early downs. Sell out to stop the run. If anyone on the Jags is going to beat us, lets make sure its Garrard, not Taylor / Drew. Remember,just a year ago, Garrard wasn't good enough to beat out Byron Leftwich, so lets put the game on his shoulders.
3) Play ball control offense. Stick with the run, even if it is ineffective early. Playing this style of offense should keep the game close, and wear down their d-line in the 2nd half.
4) Directional punt / pooch kick. This should be a close game, and a special teams TD could be the difference. Let's not let Jones-Drew make the play. Give up 10 yards of field position to eliminate the possibility of the back-breaker Special teams play.
5) Involve Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth. The weakness of the Jags defense is their Linebackers and Safeties, and their best LB, Mike Peterson, is injured. Our TEs should be able to take advantage.
6) Be aware of the Draw play on 3rd down. In the first matchup this season, the Jags killed us by converting a number of 3rd and 5+ yards by successfully running draw plays. Our D-line needs to stay honest, and not sell out to get to the QB.
If we can keep the game close into the 4th quarter, I like our chances. Our team is battle-tested, with most of our key players having won a SB ring, so they know what it takes to win the big game. The Jags, on the other hand, have few players with any significant playoff experience. While we haven't been playing well recently, you know our team will be up for this game, and I have a feeling D1ck Lebeau has been holding back a bit in recent games to save some new stuff for the playoffs that our opponents will not be prepared for.
As long as we play smart, I see the Steelers heading for a rematch with the Pats.
Pittsburgh 24, Jacksonville 20.