Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) @ Miami Dolphins
Hard Rock Stadium
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots
The struggling Miami Dolphins welcome in the high powered Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday at The Rock. This game has the makings of a major beat down based on how things line up. The Steelers have scored 74 points in their last two games, after the return of Le’veon Bell. The Miami Dolphins have struggled to reach 88 points through their first 5 games.
After an embarrassing home defeat last week at the hand of the Titans, the Dolphins look to bounce back. If you are looking for a bit of good news, the Dolphins expect Branden Albert and Laremy Tunsil to start for the first time in 3 weeks together. Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner, both whom were released (finally), were absolutely awful last week in fill in role. I expect a little bit better of a game up front this week, with the starting offensive line finally together since week 3 of the pre-season. Arian Foster is expected to start this week as well.
Now to write about the elephant in the room, Ryan Tannehill. He has not been good this season except for the 2nd half of the Patriots game. Time is running out and this is a game he needs to be aggressive and move the offense. When fans are chanting for Matt Moore, your leash has become tighter. But, it also goes for the OL to protect him and Adam Gase come in and give Tannehill what he needs to be successful (bootlegs, move the pocket, throw on the run and run read options). This is what made him successful in his previous seasons and his legs need to be used to add an element to this offense, who is struggling mightily.
Here are the keys to the game this week:
1. Keep the Steelers offense off the field- This is imperative. Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Sammie Coates pose major match up problems with the Dolphins secondary. With Reshad Jones questionable to play with a groin injury, the offense need to FINALLY hold the ball for 30 minutes in game. Establish the run, hit your throws and create space to open up the offense and put up points. This game is going to hinge on all things offensively.
2. Can the defense show up?- The defense has continued its struggles and it seems nothing is there to fix it. The secondary is still struggling every week, the LB’ers cannot clean up the tackles and the DE’s get no pass rush. Big Ben and co will look to exploit this defense. Dolphins need to clean up many issues that have plagued them this season to be able to keep this close.
3. Get creative with RT- As I mentioned earlier, Adam Gase needs to let Tannehill be Tannehill. Run the ball when the pocket collapses, read options and bootlegs. If you want this offense to move, let the QB move. I hope we see this on Sunday.
4. Win in the trenches- This should be a given every week but with the starting OL finally together for the first time all season, they need to dominate up front. Steelers are missing a few key players on their DL. Create lanes for the backs and protect on pass plays.
5. Jarvis Landry please!- He is an absolute nightmare for opposing teams. After a season low 3 targets last week, this is redemption week. On top of that, the rest of the WR group need to win their 1 on 1 battles. But it begins with Landry. Get him the ball early and often will open it up for Parker and Stills.
I shot myself in the foot last week with thinking the Dolphins were going to beat the Titans and get back on track. The Steelers just win too many match ups offensively and the Dolphins offense show no signs of getting on track. Steelers take this one easy.
Steelers 34 Dolphins 20
Season Record (3-2)