3 must know things about the Steelers Week 11 matchup vs. Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (30) Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers have been protecting Ben well, it shouldn’t be as hard to keep him clean this week

The Jaguars have an incredibly physical group of defensive backs and linebackers. Even in the run game, they are going to hit you hard every single play, and that toughness is what kept them in the game against the Packers. Yet, they need to establish a pass rusher, and one of my biggest disappointments of the season is how unproductive Josh Allen has been. As a rookie in 2019, Josh Allen had sacked opposing quarterbacks 10.5 times while hitting them 23 times.

In this season he has only sacked opposing quarterbacks 2.5 times in the 7 games he has played. He is still hitting the quarterback, as evidenced by 11 QB hits on the season,  but isn’t getting there quickly enough to get the sack. Part of that has to do with his secondary not being able to force quarterbacks to hold onto the ball longer, and there isn’t really a legitimate second pass rusher on this team. You could say K’Lavon Chaisson, but with only 1 sack himself this season the main focus is just blocking Allen for most teams. The Jaguars still generate some pressure by blitzing, but they have one of the worst 4-man rushes in the league and that isn’t an exaggeration.

Even without the help, Allen looked so much better as a rookie than he has in his second season. He looked like the type of guy that could become a force regardless of double teams, but this season has put a lot of doubts in my mind about that. It isn’t to say that he isn’t a great player, and the Steelers will still have to prepare for him. Yet, he isn’t developing into the kind of force that he has the potential to be. He could use help from the rest of the defense, but as the premier pass rusher on this team, he has to grow into that and be able to take the lead and garner more attention. This would open up some things up for the rest of his front 7 as well.