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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Predictions, Odds, Picks, and Preview: 2015-16 NFL Preseason – August 14, 2015

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Predictions, Odds, Picks, and Preview: 2015-16 NFL Preseason – August 14, 2015

Football is here! The NFL preseason kicked off on Sunday night with the Hall of Fame Game featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. Pittsburgh returns after a short rest to head over to EverBank Field for their second preseason game, going against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last year’s AFC South bottom-feeders, the Jaguars spent plenty in the offseason to finally field what may be a competitive team.

Will the Jaguars’ new additions flex their muscles even for a few snaps? Or will Pittsburgh get their first preseason win under them? Read on as we break down the gridiron action to come.

Dig into the NFL Preseason even deeper. Check out our complete previews for the Titans vs. Falcons and Broncos vs. Seahawks.

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL

When: Friday, August 14, 7:30 PM ET

Line: Pittsburgh Steelers (pk) at Jacksonville Jaguars (pk); total 36.5view all NFL lines

Betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh had a rather tame Hall of Fame Game. Ben Roethlisberger, who led the 2014 regular season with 4,952 yards, was on the sidelines wearing only gym clothes. All-Pro selections running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown showed up in full attire to warm up but never took the field. Instead, viewers got to see third-string quarterback Landry Jones.

Jones took most of the Pittsburgh snaps, but was very underwhelming. He completed just 15 of 32 passes for 128 yards and an interception. Underwhelming stats aside, Jones led his team’s only scoring drive. He hit Shakim Phillips for a 35-yard gain, which set up a 36-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham.

[sc:NFL240banner ]Speaking of Suisham; Pittsburgh’s starting kicker had an excellent 2014 season, making 90.6 percent of his field goals and all 45 extra points for a career-high 132 points. He’ll be sorely missed after tearing his ACL in the Hall of Fame Game while attempting to make a tackle on a second-half kickoff. The Steelers already have a replacement for Suisham in Garrett Hartley, who’s made 81.7 percent of field goals attempted in his career.

For the Steelers’ second preseason game, expect to see stars Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell play even for just a few snaps or even a whole quarter. Hartley should also be in action as the Steelers’ lone kicker on the roster.

On the other side of the ball, defensive end Ethan Hemer may continue to make a case for a spot in the Steelers’ 53-man roster. He was the only defensive player to record a sack in the Hall of Fame Game. Rookie free-agent signee cornerback Kevin Fogg also made a case with a third quarter interception.

The Steelers have lost four of their last five preseason games.

What do Big Ben and the Steelers have in store for the fans? Create a betting account now and put your money on a big Pittsburgh offensive display.

Betting on the Jacksonville Jaguars

Blake Bortles

The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have the most ideal of situations heading into their first preseason game. Starting defensive linemen Roy Miller and Jared Odrick are both banged up and will be seeing their first live action in this game. Sen’Derrick Marks, who led the team with 8.5 sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss alst season, is also sporting a knee injury as he remains on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list.

The secondary’s also hurting with cornerbacks Peyton Thompson (hamstring) and Dwayne Gratz (knee) and safety James Sample (arm) sporting their own injuries. Being short on healthy cornerbacks should give the Jaguars an opportunity to see rookie free agent acquisition Nick Marshall in action.

Marshall played quarterback in his last two years of college football, leading the Auburn Tigers to the national title game in the 2013-14 season only to fall to Florida State. Now he’ll be playing cornerback in the pros. He returned an interception for a touchdown on the second day of camp and intercepted a deflected pass on Wednesday.

Rookie defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. should also be able to get extended playing time with Jacksonville’s defense all banged up. He finished with 8.5 sacks in an impressive campaign for the Florida Gators last season. Sixth-round pick defensive end Michael Bennett should also see the field after finishing with seven sacks in the Ohio State Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship-winning campaign.

The offense is pretty much a lock in Jacksonville. But we may get to see how last year’s first round pick quarterback Blake Bortles connects with prized free agent acquisition Julius Thomas in a competitive setting. Thomas had plenty of success in the red zone in the past two years, catching 24 touchdown passes from Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Meanwhile, running backs Toby Gerhart, Denard Robinson, T.J. Yeldon and Bernard Pierce compete for a place in the starting lineup. Yeldon and Robinson are co-first-teamers in the Jaguars’ unofficial depth chart. The rookie Yeldon rushed for 979 yards and 11 touchdowns while he was with Alabama last season, while Robinson led the Jags with 582 yards rushing and four scores last year.

The Jaguars have lost six of their last eight preseason games.

Writer’s Prediction

The Steelers rest Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell for most of the game. The Jaguars (pk) outplay Pittsburgh’s reserves as they win their first preseason game.

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Written by Kevin

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