The Steelers stayed with the Patriots in the first half, but New England rolled past them in the second half and handed Pittsburgh a 34-13 loss. The team was held scoreless in the final two quarters and defensively the Steelers never got to Tom Brady. ... Jacksonville crushed the Panthers at home 37-6. David Garrard, Jacksonville's efficient QB, threw for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, while the defense held the Panthers to a season-low 149 total yards.
The Steelers, who aim for an 8-0 record at home in 2007, hold just a one-game lead over the Browns in the AFC North standings. They can clinch a playoff spot if they win and take the division if Cleveland loses. ... Jacksonville has won nine of its last 12 games, and while the Jaguars trail the Colts in the AFC South, they can punch a ticket to the postseason this week if they win and the Titans lose.
No. 1 AFC rush offense vs. No. 2 AFC rush offense. The Jaguars, led by RBs Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, have rushed for more than 100 yards in 22 of the last 24 games. Taylor aims for his fourth consecutive 100-yard game and has been particularly effective against the Steelers, averaging nearly 117 yards per game in the last five contests. Taking handoffs from Ben Roethlisberger for Pittsburgh is NFL rushing leader Willie Parker. He's averaging 97.3 yards per game in the past three games, and his team's chances for a win go up the more he runs. Pittsburgh is 18-2 when Parker rushes for more than 100 yards.