The last time the Jaguars were in Pittsburgh they were rude guests. In that Week 5 game, they intercepted Ben Roethlisberger five times -- including two pick-sixes -- rushed for 231 yards, and cruised to a 30-9 win. Immediately after that game, Big Ben told reporters that "maybe I don't have it anymore," though that was more facetious than fact.
A few days later, Roethlisberger said his critics were "absolutely nuts" to suggest he didn't care about football. That commitment was confirmed over the final three months of the season; Big Ben led the Steelers to a 10-1 record from that point on and a first-round bye. And it was during that week off that he was asked about who he preferred to face in the divisional round.
"I'll give you guys one guess who you think I want to play," he told 93.7 The Fan's Ron Cook.
When Cook guessed Jacksonville, Roethlisberger added, "Obviously, any game that we're going to play since it's the postseason is going to be a difficult opponent, but I think just for me personally I'd love to just prove that five interceptions wasn't me in that game."
We don't think this rises to the level of bulletin-board material but either way, Roethlisberger's frankness did not sit well with at least two Jaguars players.
"Be careful what you wish for," said cornerback A.J. Bouye a day after the Jaguars beat the Bills in the wild-card round. "This is what he wanted, so this is what he is going to get."
Jalen Ramsey added:
The Jaguars are the only team to win twice in Pittsburgh in the same season; they last did it in 2007, beating the Steelers in Week 15, 29-22, and again in the wild-card game, 31-29. For the curious: Roethlisberger was 15 of 32 for 142 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the first loss. In the rematch he was 29 of 42 for 337 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. How he plays on Sunday will go a long way in determining the Steelers' fate.
And as far as Tomlin's concerned, revenge is the farthest thing from his quarterback's mind.
"His attention will be properly focused on winning the game, not responding to some regular season October performance," the coach told reporters during Tuesday press conference.