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Ben Roethlisberger on Jags: ‘One of the best defenses I’ve ever played against’

The Pittsburgh Steelers may be going into Sunday’s divisional-round match-up with the Jacksonville Jaguars as prohibitive favorites to punch their ticket to make it consecutive appearances in the AFC Championship Game. But Ben Roethlisberger understands all too well the enormous challenge the Jaguars’ “extremely talented” defense poses.

“This is one of the best defenses I’ve ever played against,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN.

Roethlisberger’s compliment should not be viewed as hollow praise for an upcoming opponent. Roethlisberger arguably played the worst game of his NFL career earlier this season against the Jaguars.

Roethlisberger threw a career-worst five interceptions — including two that went for pick-sixes — in the Steelers’ humbling 30-9 loss to the Jags in Week 5. To put that in perspective, Roethlisberger thew only seven interceptions over his next 10 games while leading the Steelers to a 9-1 record. Roethlisberger would then sit out the Steelers’ season finale against the Browns.

Big Ben’s performance was so atrocious that he hinted last week he hoped to get another crack at the Jaguars in the playoffs. To which Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye replied, “Be careful what you wish for. This is what he wanted, so this is what he is going to get.”

Roethlisberger without question understands it’s going to be tough match-up for the Steelers’ offense.

“There’s not one thing, pass rush, linebackers, secondary,” Roethlisberger said. “Their stats, when you look at what they’ve put on paper, put on tape this year, I think that speaks for itself.

“… Preparing for these guys is never easy, they’re the best defense in the league for a reason.”