Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) vs Miami Dolphins (3-3)

The Dolphins come into a big primetime game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 3 game-losing streak.  There are many reasons to be excited about this game tonight.  The celebration of the 1972 Perfect Team and of course the return of starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.  First, the injury report leading up to kickoff:


Terron Armstead is a go with his toe injury.  Xavien Howard also looks like a go even though he was limited this week in practice with a groin injury.  Jaylen Waddle is questionable but is trending towards playing.  We’ll see how he looks in pre-game warm-ups to determine if he’s a go.

The Dolphins will be without Keion Crossen with a knee injury.

For Pittsburgh, Kenny Pickett, Levi Wallace, and Pat Freiermuth were full participants in practice this week even though they had concussions.  Steelers will be without WR Steve Sims and CB Ahkello Witherspoon with hamstring injuries.  Minkah Fitzpatrick is also a full go for tonight’s game.

Let’s take a look at the Steelers and their offense:

2022 Ranks

Total YPG- 291.5 (29th)

Pass YPG- 204.8 (25th)

Rush YPG- 86.7 (28th)

Point Per- 16.2 (30th)

The Steelers have been struggling this season offensively and it shows.  Kenny Pickett took over 2 weeks ago and the Steelers are 1-1 in those games.  He was removed from the game last week due to a concussion but they pulled out a 20-18 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The Steelers will lean heavily on RB Najee Harris, who is a dual threat with his catching ability.  The Dolphins will look to rattle Pickett, who has 1 TD and 4INT in limited action this season with a 67 quarterback rating.  He is very efficient to his left within 10 yards of LOS.  Dump off passes have been key to moving the offense.  If given time, Pickett has shown an ability to hit big passes in the middle of the field 20+ yards, however he struggles outside the numbers.  Look for Matt Canada to move the pocket and have Kenny keep the ball tight to the LOS.


Kenny Pickett All Qb-grid Chart

Steelers Defense

Total YPG- 398 (29th)

Pass YPG- 277.8 (30th)

Rush YPG- 120.2 (18th)

Points Per- 24.3 (22nd)

Clearly, the Dolphins are going to attack Pittsburgh through the air.  The Dolphins are 2nd in the NFL in Pass YPG.  The combination of Hill and Waddle, with Tua back under center, the sky is the limit tonight.  Expect no limitations on Tua and to attack through the air early and often.  I also expect to see a heavy dose of Raheem Mostert.  He is averaging 4.6 YPC this season and is head and shoulders above anyone else on the roster.  TE Mike Gesicki may be featured more in the passing game tonight as well.

Keys to Victory:

  1. Protect Tua–  Protect him for himself.  Remind Tua it’s okay to take a sack, fall if need be prior to taking a hit.  It’s important to keep him healthy and begins with him not trying to do more than necessary.
  2. Know where Najee is–  Harris can really punish an opposing defense with his runs as well as his ability to catch in open space.  The Dolphins’ linebackers need to have an eye on him at all times and not let him wreck the game.
  3. Big Plays on both sides–  Dolphins need to hit some home runs and stretch the field against this poor defense.  But they also need to limit the big plays defensively as it hurt them in last week’s loss to Minnesota.  Keep everything in front.


Dolphins 28 Steelers 17

Tua throws 3 touchdown passes in his return, and the defense gets a much-needed defensive touchdown.  The losing streak stops and all is right again in Miami.

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