And that isn’t sitting well with Steelers guard David DeCastro.
Pittsburgh lost to Jacksonville 45-42 on Sunday at Heinz Field, preventing the Steelers from traveling to New England next Sunday for an AFC Championship Game showdown with the Patriots and the opportunity to play for a spot in Super Bowl LII. The defeat was shocking.
The Steelers were heavy favorites against the Jaguars and extremely confident about their chances of defeating Jacksonville based on some comments that came out of Pittsburgh in the days leading up to Sunday’s game. Afterward, DeCastro called out his teammates for their hubris.
“Yeah, it’s embarrassing. It really is, man. It just blows my mind,” DeCastro said following the Steelers’ loss, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “(The Jaguars) beat us 30-9 (in Week 5 on Oct. 9), we played like crap and we want to talk about New England!
“I don’t know what to say about that. It’s just stupid. It’s just not what you do. You don’t need to give a team like that more bulletin board material.”
Steelers safety Mike Mitchell perhaps was the worst offender when it came to overlooking the Jaguars, as he guaranteed a win over the Patriots in the days leading up to Pittsburgh’s game against Jacksonville. It wasn’t his first verbal misstep of the season, either, as Mitchell also was fired up before Pittsburgh’s Week 15 clash with New England, a game the Patriots subsequently won 27-24.
Mitchell wasn’t alone. Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell implied Saturday on Twitter that the Steelers were destined to face the Patriots, who had just defeated the Tennessee Titans to punch their own ticket to the AFC Championship Game.
The Jaguars are a good football team. But the Steelers, who should know that as much as anyone, clearly had some players looking at Jacksonville as little more than a stepping stone en route to New England.
“I’m never a guy to say anything about the other team but respect them and congratulate them, which is what you should do,’’ DeCastro said Sunday, pointing out that the Jaguars appeared “mad” and “angry” during the game. “They’re a talented team and they proved that (Sunday).
“It should be obvious to me. I love my teammates and care a lot about them, but that’s not something I like to see.”
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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