And it has nothing to do with the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wanting payback for the Jaguars' 30-9 victory in Pittsburgh on Oct. 8.
"When you look at the roster from top to bottom, [they're] probably the most talented roster that we play," Marrone said. "And I'm not taking away from any of the teams we played, but they have the most Pro Bowlers, guys that have experience. They have guys that are playing extremely well from top to bottom."
The Steelers did have the most players named to the Pro Bowl: Roethlisberger, receiver Antonio Brown, running back Le'Veon Bell, tackle Alejandro Villanueva, guard David DeCastro, center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Ryan Shazier and kicker Chris Boswell. Brown, who led the NFL in receiving yards, also was a first-team All-Pro, and Bell (second in the NFL in yards from scrimmage) and DeCastro were second-team All-Pro.
That's a lot for the Jaguars to overcome if they're going to do something for the second time that no other franchise has been able to accomplish in the Super Bowl era: beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh twice in a season. The 2007 Jaguars did it when they won in December and then upset the Steelers 31-29 in the postseason.
Per ESPN Stats & Information, 14 other teams have had the chance to do it but failed: 1997 Denver Broncos, 1994 and 2002 Cleveland Browns, 2008 San Diego Chargers, 2004 and 2010 New York Jets, 2004 New England Patriots, 1972 Oakland Raiders, 1978 and 1979 Houston Oilers, and the 2001, 2008, 2010 and 2014 Baltimore Ravens