Jaguars Unsung Heroes vs. Pittsburgh

Charlie Bernstein take a quick look at Jacksonville players that stepped up against Pittsburgh

In the Jaguars 31-29 victory over Pittsburgh Saturday night, David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew have received most of the credit for helping the Jags pull the game out, due to MJD's 96 yard kickoff return, then his 43 yard touchdown reception, then his 10 yard touchdown scamper. Let's not forget about David Garrard's huge 32 yard run on fourth down to put the Jaguars in position to kick the game winning field goal. We are going to now shed some light on a few other key contributors that might not get as much press.

    1. Derek Landri, DT. Landri was forced into extended action as John Henderson injured his hamstring on the Steelers opening drive. All Landri did was be an absolute menace to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and pull football's version of a hat trick- a sack, a fumble recovery, and an interception. Landri also gave some key blocks on Jones-Drew's big kickoff return and played a complete, outstanding game. Jack Del Rio commented about Landri in his press conference-

    "We lose John Henderson early in the game, a guy like Derek Landri steps up and ends up getting a hat trick. He gets a sack, an interception, and recovered a fumble at the end of the game. Just a great example of the way we've had guys all year - step up, step in, play well and help us win, and I'm really for him and happy for our team. "

    2. Adam Podlesh, P. At the site of Podlesh's worst game as a pro just three weeks prior, Podlesh did exactly what was asked of any playoff caliber NFL punter. Adam averaged 50 yards per punt in the cold weather of Pittsburgh, and handled every snap to perfection and helped the Jaguars secure the victory.

    3. Justin Durant, LB. The Jaguars rookie was playing in his first playoff game and he did exactly what he's done since being inserted into the starting lineup. Make every play possible all over the field. Durant finished with 12 tackles, which is just another day at the office for him.

    4. Jeremy Mincey, DE. Jeremy Mincey played in just six regular season games in his three NFL seasons, and he was little more than an afterthought when the Jaguars broke camp and he went to the practice squad. In his first playoff game, Mincey registered two tackles and a sack in limited duty.

    5. Chad Nkang, S. Nkang is the Jaguars designated special teams stud, and he set a new team record this season with over 30 special teams tackles. Although Nkang registered just two assisted tackles, he was the first player down on special teams on many kicks, and forced the play in the opposite direction, i.e. doing his job.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of JagNation.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.



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