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Keys to the game: Miami Dolphins at Steelers

This week's game at the Steelers and next week's hosting of the New England Patriots will likely be the last time the Dolphins are underdogs this season. In other words, they should beat the Jets and Bills but the next two games will be the difference between a .500 record or something better.

At least that's what the odds will say.

What do the matchups say?

Consider Sunday's match versus Pittsburgh:

When the Dolphins pass the football: Ryan Tannehill is on something of a roll (predicted by Salguero) with back-to-back 300-yard games. Tannehill must realize this game is an emotional one for receiver Mike Wallace, who played four seasons in Pittsburgh, so he must find his deep threat early in the game in order to establish him and keep him focused. Wallace doesn’t play well when he’s not involved early. The Steelers will likely shadow Wallace with cornerback Ike Taylor, their best coverage man. The Steelers this week have said they will try to take away tight end Charles Clay from the Miami offense and that makes sense because Clay has become a comfortable outlet for Tannehill when he’s pressured. Clay has come up with career best in catches (53) receiving yards (581) and TDs (4). The Steelers have not been able to manufacture a lot of pass pressure this season as Lamar Woodley has been injured much of the season. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins.

When the Dolphins run the football: Last week was a confidence builder for the Dolphins because they ran the ball effectively and often against the New York Jets, who are the NFL’s best run defense statistically. Well, why not dial up the same formula this week against a mediocre (ranked 18th in the NFL) Pittsburgh run defense? Lamar Miller seems comfortable with getting more carries in the absence of Daniel Thomas. And while Marcus Thigpen and Mike Gillislee didn’t exactly impress as change-of-pace backs last week, they also held onto the ball, which is important in wintry climes. Right guard John Jerry’s status came into focus on Friday when he was listed as probable for the game. He will start at right guard. Rookie Sam Brenner will continue to serve as the backup at both left and right guard. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins.

When the Steelers run the football: Le’Veon Bell totaled 136 yards from scrimmage last week against Baltimore (73 rushing, 63 receiving) and the Steelers want to build off that performance by continuing to feed the rookie. The lack of chemistry due to injuries and lineup changes along the offense front has hampered Pittsburgh’s run game this season. Indeed, it’s been a long time since the Steelers were a classic running team. The Dolphins continue to look up at much of the league in the run defense rankings. They’re 25th in the NFL in the category, but they are coming off a solid performance in which the Jets managed only 99 rushing yards. Of course, the Jets averaged 4.5 yards per carry but they had to abandon the run because the Dolphins had such a wide lead. Running the football and stopping the run is not what either of these two teams do best. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Steelers pass the football: Ben Roethlisberger is elite. He can carry a team for a period of time and that’s exactly what he did in the month of November when his great play lifted the Steelers to a 3-1 record for the month. Roethlisberger extends plays with his size, scrambling and movement in the pocket and that means defensive backs must hold their coverage longer. When the Steelers throw, Antonio Brown is the deep threat and the team’s best weapon with 85 catches for 1,103 yards. But in the red zone, Roethlisberger looks for tight end Heath Miller and slot receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who has a career-best eight TD receptions this year. The Steelers offensive line is a mess with injuries at tackle, suggesting the Dolphins can get pressure on Roethlisberger. ADVANTAGE: Pittsburgh.

Special teams: One can safely assume Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin won’t be on the white part of the sideline this week after being fined $100,000 for being on the field and the white against Baltimore last week. Word of advice to Dolphins returner Marcus Thigpen if Tomlin strays again: Run into him. It would likely lead to the awarding of a touchdown. The Steelers seem slow on their punt and kick coverage teams. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Coaching: Despite his faux pas last week at Baltimore, Tomlin is a quality coach and a proven motivator. His defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau, is doing good work at hiding the weaknesses in his aging, slow defense. The problem in Pittsburgh is the uncertain chemistry between Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The Miami coaching staff got the better of the Jets last week simply by avoiding mistakes such as abandoning the run (Mike Sherman did not) and daring the Jets to do something on offense they cannot do, which is throw the football. So the staff is on something of a streak. Sort of. From a motivational standpoint, however, Tomlin has few equals. ADVANTAGE: Pittsburgh.

Comments

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Where are Krissy, Dashe and OdinPlop?

Walter Camp


FSU wr Kelvin Benjamin

6'4 235lbs 49 receptions 925yds 19.2ypc 12tds

Walter amp projects him 2-3rd Would make a huge target for Tannehill and looks like the 2nd coming of Atwan Boldin. Who was also a FSU wr.

Do not be shocked when Auburn LEAPFROGS Ohio St. in next week's final polls. I'm expecting a FSU/Auburn National Championship.

All Auburn needs is for ONLY 20 SPORTSWITERS to change their votes. 59pts against the #6 team(Mizzou) in the nation can EASILY do jut that.

Especially with Michigan St giving the Buckeyes all they can handle right now. It's Buckeyes 24 Spartans 17 as I post.

SamYGDB

Has the wife permanently closed her thighs? Ot is it too revolting anyway?

Ohio St is the best team in the country.

I hope a new GM goes after "Mr Football' Johnny Manziel the real deal. He is better than Russel Wilson and Andrew Luck.

Posted by: Freeze Dried Sushi | December 07, 2013 at 10:56 PM


What does YGDB mean, is it new internet protocol?

Anyway, the wife left me for a big black stud. You only left a note saying:

SIZE MATTERS

Wish I could find her to tell her that a tighter love hole matters too.

Just FYI. Joey Bosa DE OSU is the son of Dolphins former 1st rd pick John Bosa and nephew of former 1st rd pick Eric Kumerow.

I'm not so sure that's the best pedigree but he looks like a pretty good player.

"She only" @ 11:02 PM

Breed that is pretty low class, even coming from you.

Dolfan Rick why would we be looking at any DE's in this draft? Can't even find a spot for Jordan.

Never said anything about drafting him. I think he's just a freshman. Just pointing out ties to Fins.

AtlFin, I like Manziel too but we also need RB's and OL if Martin and Incognto and McKinnie arent returning.

Posted by: Dolfan Rick | December 07, 2013 at 11:08 PM

Oh, ok.

AltFin,

If OSU is struggling with Michigan State, FSU is gonna spank em.

D'Rick I'm expecting poll voters to leapfrog Auburn over OH ST in the final polls.

Looks like it could be a no brainer Sam. Michigan St just took the lead.

Jason I fully expect McKinnie will be a Dolphin next season unless Branden Albert is signed.
If McKinnie is still here that gives an extra season to try and see if they can develop Dallas Thomas as a LT in year 3.

Dallas Thomas is a bust. He was flat awful. Couldn't handle any defender.

Had Ireland signed Albert we would be 8-4 at least. That guy can't stop fkking up.

Back before Jordan was drafted,I said Vernon would break out this year. I also liked the way Ireland moved up and got Jordan. Jordan has immense talent at his size.
But as I have said ,I see him as an OLB. Just because he is tall, it doesn't mean he has to put on weight and be a DE. Quickness can not be coached. Size can not be coached. The combination of the two is rare--use them.

Back before Jordan was drafted,I said Vernon would break out this year.
Posted by: Hardin Drye | December 07, 2013 at 11:31 PM

If you said that it was under one of your other troll names.

Ultimately, what each and every one of you wants to say is "I WAS RIGHT".


It is a characteristic of the pathetic human condition. People are overly desperate for recognition.

Every post here is essentially....

... Hey, Look at Me! I was Right!

Basically you all come here stroking your hard on to say - Hey Look! I got one!


Nothing more.


Yes. It is pathetic. That is the human condition.

There are only two categories of bloggers here.

One is the daddy figure -YGDBSam, ETF, Anrsparger

The other is the diaper figure - Kris, Phins78, Dashi.


It is elementary.

ATTENTION MORONS! IN CASE YOU HAVE NOT YET NOTICED-THIS BLOG SITE IS FOR MORONS TO CALL EACH OTHER MORONS.

MASLOW,

YOU'RE A MORON.

Fins season ended with repeated failure to maintain leads & close out games where win was moments away, e.g. CaroPanthers. Sunday will be just more heartbreak and pain. Season's over... We must rebuild again.

I THOUGHT MASLOW WAS A MORON ON HIS FIRST POST. NOW I CAN SAY "I WAS RIGHT"

This article gives way too much credit to Tomlin who has underachieved with superior talent. If you walk into a job with a playoff caliber team you tend to look pretty good until free agency and old age hit which is exactly what's happened to Tomlin this year. He'll be gone in a year or two. Advantage: Even.

Thank G-d for Michigan State, getting those phony-baloney Buckeyes out of the Nat'l championship game. Urban Meyer can now go write letters to Judges prsising Aaron Hernandez.

It hurts being a Fin Fan when a few competent 4th qtrs woulda put us firmly in Lead for wildcard w/o having to suffer through a Pittsburgh beat-down.

Had Matt Moore started we'd be 10-2.

Had Matt Moore started we'd be 10-2.

Posted by: Just Saying | December 08, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Are you a MORON?

The Miami Herald headline at the top of this page says R Tannehill is about to equal a Dolphins record set by Dan Marino!

DUHHHH

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill on pace to make Miami Dolphins history

Ryan Tannehill could eclipse 4,000 passing yards this season, joining Dan Marino as the only Dolphins quarterbacks to achieve the feat.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/07/3804514/quarterback-ryan-tannehill-on.html#storylink=cpy

Had Matt Moore started we'd be 10-2.

Posted by: Just Saying | December 08, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Anybody know how many games M Moore won and lost as the starting QB? Duhhhh

Anybody know how many passing yards he's accumulated in a year or per game average? Duhhhhh

Anybody know how to spell MORON?

In the training camp era ,I frequently called Vernon --Venom. If you are so well inclined as to what was said so long ago, this will pave the trek to your enlightenment.
Seth the troll, inquires of others.

TannePuke sucks. He's on the exact same career path as Chad Henne.

Quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl starts
Starts

Player

Record

Team(s),Games

%

Ref,

5

Tom Brady

3-2

New England Patriots - XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI

60%

[1]
John Elway

2-3

Denver Broncos - XXI, XXII, XXIV, XXXII, XXXIII

40%

[2]


4

Terry Bradshaw

4-0

Pittsburgh Steelers - IX, X, XIII, XIV

100%

[3]


Joe Montana

4-0

San Francisco 49ers - XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV

100%

[4]


Roger Staubach

2-2

Dallas Cowboys - VI, X, XII, XIII

50%

[5]


Jim Kelly

0-4

Buffalo Bills - XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII

0%

[6]


3

Troy Aikman

3-0

Dallas Cowboys - XXVII, XXVIII, XXX

100%

[7]


Bob Griese

2-1

Miami Dolphins - VI, VII, VIII

66%

[8]


Ben Roethlisberger

2-1

Pittsburgh Steelers - XL, XLIII, XLV

66%

[9]


Kurt Warner

1-2

St. Louis Rams - XXXIV, XXXVI; Arizona Cardinals - XLIII

33%

[10]


Fran Tarkenton

0-3

Minnesota Vikings - VIII, IX, XI

0%

[11]


2

Bart Starr

2-0*

Green Bay Packers - I, II

100%

[12]


Jim Plunkett

2-0

Oakland/L.A. Raiders - XV, XVIII

100%

[13]


Eli Manning

2-0

New York Giants - XLII, XLVI

100%

[14]


Len Dawson

1-1*

Kansas City Chiefs - I, IV

50%

[15]


Joe Theismann

1-1

Washington Redskins - XVII, XVIII

50%

[16]


Brett Favre

1-1

Green Bay Packers - XXXI, XXXII

50%

[17]


Peyton Manning

1-1

Indianapolis Colts - XLI, XLIV

50%

[18]


Craig Morton

0-2

Dallas Cowboys - V; Denver Broncos - XII

0%

[19]

The blog has become very quiet. I wonder why. Perhaps its main source of input is now is on renaissance.


Steelers are bums. Get ready for a great Miami win.

The Steelers are so very tired.
SND

Cadillac, I know u trying to prove a point and all...

BUT YOU ARE RETARDED!!

ANOTHER MORON is another moron.

Passing records today mean nothing, except to morons.

Goodell changed the game to the point where it's a game of two hand touch beyond five yards and the quarterback can't be breathed on without a flag.

...and what's with the liberal pantywaist sissy "taunting" penalty ?

Jonathan Martin cries while hugging his pillow at night and Amanda Todd drank a gallon of bleach and all of a sudden The Constitution gets amended wtf...

This is a tale of two NFL's, NFL B.G. and NFL A.G..

Before Goodell and After Goodell.

Of course headlines like the one that ANOTHER MORON bought into are just one of the many reasons why the rules were changed.

More passing, more scoring, more records, more headlines, more interest...more MORONS believing in "their" team.

Tannehill is racking up yardage, but he's not getting the team in the end zone.

I watched a highlight video of Zach Thomas' career on ytube yesterday.

It's a shame that many of the hits where Zach Thomas jarred the ball loose from a player coming across the middle are no longer legal.

The game is a shell of what it used to be.

All over the league, mediocre quarterbacks will pass Dan's numbers.

Any fan who doesn't get as much is just ANOTHER MORON.

Btw, the Dolphins don't really exist any more either.

Miami Dolphins 1966-2012.

Ross re-branded.

New logo, new brand.

They look like USFL team.

...and no Dolphins team ever would have lost to an 0-8 team on Monday Night Football.

The Dolphins are dead...history.

Gameday! Nothing better on a cold December day in the NFL with the playoffs on the line. It's got all the elements of a great game...a mix of unknown weather and elements with the old team vs. the young team.

Question? Will D. Patterson take the field today? If the guy can't go this week is it time to just shut the guy down for the year? He can't help the club in the tub...and there maybe guys that would benefit from that roster spot. I have to give credit to N. Carroll that guy has played very well in the absence of Patterson. I thought he might be a liability but that hasn't been the case. Thanks for proving me wrong.

6-7 today...6-8 next week.

When is the draft so Ireland can bring in more players who never see the field.

Btw, if Philbin's has a philosophy which rules against playing rookies then he isn't the man for the job. In the cap era you can't field a team of seasoned veterans the way Shula used to do. You have to play the younger players. How much did Henne learn while sitting on the bench in 2008 ? Players have to learn on the job...and teams have to know what they have to work with...

Also, you tailor your scheme to the players that you have and their skill sets. Instead Philbin wants to plug guys into his system. This isn't how Shula or Belechik operated. Belichik switched from a running team that played defense during Brady's early years to a team that would routinely go four and five wide while stretching the field with Moss, switching again to a two TE offense with Gronkowski and Hernandez and finally utilizing his team's strengths this season and that's his three running backs.

Philbin lets a rare talent and hard worker like Reggie Bush go because he didn't fit his system.

Joe Philbin will never I repeat never beat Belichick, much less win a playoff game or a Super Bowl.

truth just release patterson, guy is a joke

Fireross...give the hatred a rest. Do yourself a favor and tune out the Phins if your so unhappy.

Honestly, I just saw the Tomlin incident for the first time on NFL gameday. That was no accident taking a step toward the field. Wow that was dumb of Tomlin. Maybe you are right Mando that Tomlin has few equals...if you're comparing dumbasses. LOL

tomlin was wrong but not 100 k wrong.

The Tomlin fine is consistent with others that have been that dumb. I feel no sympathy for the guy.

Don't look now but T-hill is on pace to go for 4,000 yds this season. Last year only 11 QB's hit that number.

Don't look now but T-hill is on pace to go for 4,000 yds this season. Last year only 11 QB's hit that number.

Posted by: TruthhurTs | December 08, 2013 at 07:44 AM

Obviously you read none of the posts that come before yours. This means your only interest is in hearing yourself babble,

Realistically, this is it for both Teams.

I disagree with earlier posts about the 4K passing so there. They are opinions.

The facts. The avg of the last 5 years is that approximately 10 guys in the NFL pass for 4K yards per year. That makes it special. If it were not special everyone would do it correct? Well Do they? That's very very good for a second year guy behind a leaky OL and spotty running game. The question is...is T-hill progressing into a top 10 QB right before our eyes? The facts say he's getting close but we'll see.

This is where you really need a power back. We don't have one. Expect a low scoring game - time of possession will win it.

ill go turnovers win it ralph pitt very tough at home. i dont see our offense getting in endzone at all

4000 yards def not what it used to be. even players like rg3,dalton,palmer gonna hit 4000 this year.

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