Blake Bortles is no stranger to the pressure of media coverage. Since he was drafted by the historically struggling Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013, he has faced a public uphill climb as the team's on-again, off-again quarterback, and captain. But after he led his team to a 45-42 upset victory [VIDEO] over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, he found the media and his teammates singing a different tune.

"Either love him or hate him, but we damn sure love him on this team, " Jaguars guard A.J. Cann told reporters after the game. "We appreciate him for the man he is, and the player and confidence he has for battling each and every play.”

A Rocky Start

A world of curiosity surrounded the Jaguars at the outset this year, with Tom Coughlin returning to the organization in an executive vice president role and Doug Marrone officially taking the reins as the team's head coach.

Bortles' unsteady 2017 preseason performance forced him into a friendly competition with veteran QB Chad Henne for the starting quarterback position on Opening Day.

An inauspicious 2-2 start to the season led many talking heads to discount the potential of this year's Jaguars team, but a surprise Week 5 blowout victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers — causing opposing veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger to question his NFL future — seemed to turn the tide for the Jaguars' season. The Jaguars went 8-4 the remainder of the regular season, clinching the AFC South division for the first time in franchise history.

Sights on Foxboro

Following a win over the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs on Jan. 7, the Jaguars were largely seen as the underdogs against the defending AFC Champion Steelers on Sunday.

But with a breakout performance by RB Leonard Fournette and another dominant performance by the team's No. 1-ranked defense, Bortles wasn't forced to have a game-defining moment.

At 14-for-26 with 214 passing yards, his passing game was far from overpowering. However, Bortles managed to lead six scoring drives without allowing a turnover, leading the Jaguars to an undefeated 10-0 record this season when he avoids throwing an interception. The victory also landed him in the record books twice. He is the only drafted QB to win two playoff games since 2013, and he is the only visiting QB ever to have won twice in Pittsburgh during a single season.

Bortles, an Oviedo, Fla. native and former star quarterback at Central Florida University, is used to criticism in the north and central Florida. "I have no animosity against anyone who said anything [negative]," he said after Sunday's game. "There are a lot of guys home on the couch watching this. I’m sure they are wishing that they could play. I know in years past, I have been.”

Now just one win away from Jacksonville's first Super Bowl berth, he will lead the team into Foxboro Stadium for the Afc Championship Game on Jan. 21 against the New England Patriots.