Steelers vs. Jaguars: Writers' picks and predictions for a difficult Week 8 matchup

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16 runs out of bounds during the first quarter of
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16 runs out of bounds during the first quarter of / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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It is now week eight of competition around the NFL and there is still a bundle of playoff hopefuls around the league. Some clubs have already punted on the season in hopes of jostling for the top pick in the upcoming draft. Others have tried to stay relevant, and others are right in the middle of the loaded playoff race right now.

There are ten more weeks of battling that will occur before the playoff bracket is set around the league. The Steelers hope to be in that post season conversation going forward and will try and make the tournament once the regular season comes to a close. That fight will continue this week in a tough AFC matchup at home.

Things to pay close attention to as the Steelers host the Jaguars

Jacksonville comes to town as one of the early surprises of the season with a record of 5-2. It isn't shocking that the Jaguars have a good record, but it is surprising with the way they have got to that point. They have beaten some quality AFC clubs along the way. Now they sit on top of their division without many challengers in sight.

Pittsburgh has to find a way to get Kenny Pickett comfortable this week. The Jaguars defense will give up yards through the air, and the health of Diontae Johnson going into this one will be crucial for the Steelers. Their offense looked totally different with him in the game. It opened things up for George Pickens and others in the passing attack.

Defense for the black and gold will struggle in this game, that is ok if they are able to bend but not break for most of the contest. Another big thing will be rattling Trevor Lawrence early and often throughout the contest. The Steelers defense might have to cause a turnover or two so they can give their offense better opportunities to change the course of the game like last week.