Sports

Steelers defense scores, comes up big late in 17-9 victory at Jaguars

  • Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain, right, celebrates with teammates James Harrison (92) and Cameron Heyward, center, after he intercepted a Jacksonville Jaguars pass and ran it back for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain, right, celebrates with teammates James Harrison (92) and Cameron Heyward, center, after he intercepted a Jacksonville Jaguars pass and ran it back for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain, right, returns an intercepted pass 22-yards for a touchdown in front of Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Brown (12) during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain, right, returns an intercepted pass 22-yards for a touchdown in front of Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Mike Brown (12) during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

    Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)  (The Associated Press)

Brice McCain returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown, helping the Pittsburgh Steelers overcome a mediocre offensive performance and beat the winless Jacksonville Jaguars 17-9 Sunday.

McCain stepped in front of receiver Allen Hurns early in the fourth quarter, intercepted rookie Blake Bortles' wobbly sideline pass and went untouched the other way.

It was just what the Steelers (3-2) needed to gain a little breathing room in a game much tighter than they probably expected.

The Jaguars (0-5) didn't want a moral victory, but surely they will try to build on a close loss after dropping their past five games by double digits.

Jacksonville was in this one from start to finish.

Bortles, making his first start at home, completed 22 of 36 passes for 191 yards. He was hampered by several dropped passes — including three by Hurns — and a handful of untimely penalties.

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