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2018 AFC Championship Game: Patriots to play Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday

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The Jaguars upset the Steelers earlier today.

Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were already looking forward to meeting the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Unfortunately, they did so before having even played the Jacksonville Jaguars - and the AFC South winners made them pay: The Jaguars went into Pittsburgh's Heinz Field and were able to pull off a 45-42 upset victory over the conference's number two seed.

The game started with the visitors taking an early 7-0 lead on a touchdown run by running back Leonard Fournette. The rookie, after an interception by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, as well as fellow running back T.J. Yeldon helped increased their team's lead to 21-0 by the second quarter. At that point, the home team decided to show up.

Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown cut the lead to two touchdowns. It did not take long for the momentum to swing back to Jacksonville, though, as the team's defense - represented by linebacker Telvin Smith - scored on a 50-yard fumble return. However, the Steelers fought back and scored their second touchdown of the day on a 36-yard 4th down throw to Martavius Bryant.

The second half was equally entertaining as the first. The Steelers made the game a one-score contest to start the third quarter but had to see the underdog add to its lead in the early fourth when Fournette scored his third touchdown of the day. Pittsburgh answered with another long touchdown pass on fourth down - Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown for 43 yards - but Jacksonville was again able to score to go up 42-28.

The home team would not go away, though: Pittsburgh cut the lead to seven on a lateral pass from Roethlisberger to Le'Veon Bell. However, the team's coaching staff made a questionable decision afterwards and decided to go for the onside kick instead of kicking back deep. Jacksonville recovered, added three points and the game was effectively over.

As a result, the Jaguars will advance to the AFC title game where they - not the Steelers as some members of their team predicted - will play the Patriots.