The Pittsburgh Steelers shouldn’t count their eggs before they hatch.
The Steelers will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, but it’s clear not every Pittsburgh player has their complete attention centered on the division-round game.
Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, who has been outspoken about a number of topics this season, already has his team booked for the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. Mitchell is confident his team will beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium en route to Super Bowl LII.
But what about the Jaguars?
While both Pittsburgh and Jacksonville are vastly different teams than the first time they met this season, their Week 5 contest cannot be ignored. The Jags cruised to a 30-9 victory at Heinz Field and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger five (!) times.
Although the Steelers might not view the AFC South champions as a tough opponent, the Jaguars understand that looking ahead to the next round could prove to be Pittsburgh’s downfall.
“It’s one of those things, like, who cares?” Malik Jackson told ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. “If you want to look forward in front of the Patriots, that’s cool, you know, but if we smack you in the mouth and you’re not playing them, what’s all that going to do for you?
“It?s one of those things that we understand. We know we’re playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and that?s what we?re focused on and, hey, we’ll see what happens.”
Postseason upsets seemingly occur year in and year out, as seen most recently by the Tennessee Titans’ road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the teams’ wild-card game. And if the Steelers don’t bring their best this Sunday, they easily could suffer a similar fate.