A look at the Miami Dolphins / Pittsburgh Steelers game
The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC North last week after getting revenge on the Baltimore Ravens who beat them a couple of months ago. Now the Steelers will have to do the same to the Miami Dolphins who beat them in October to continue in the playoffs.
The Steelers(11-5) will host the Dolphins(10-6) on Sunday’s AFC wild-card game at Heinz field.The Dolphins best the Steelers 30-15 in October, in a game that saw Ben Roethlisberger injuring his knee in the first half and playing the second half injured in one of the worst offensive performances of the Steelers that season.The defense also stalled to a halt allowing Miami running back Jay Ajayi to rush for 202 yards.
“They had a good running game against us,” linebacker Lawrence Timmons said Sunday. “It’s going to be a big test for us, especially given what we gave up today. It’s going to be a good test for us and we need to stand up to the challenge and be the defense that we want to be.”
The Steelers’ defense didn’t do anything Sunday against the Cleveland Browns to show they were the defense they can be or that things will be different this time around against the Dolphins. The Browns, who finished the season 1-15, rushed for 231 yards, including 152 on 19 carries from Isaiah Crowell.
“We had missed tackles, the scheme,” Timmons said. “Like some other players say, it’s mentality — mental — it’s how we approach the game. Coming to the next game, we can’t do that at all.”
The Steelers D should get a much-needed breath of fresh air on their line as defensive end Stephon Tuitt will be returning after missing the past two games with a knee injury.He is expected to practice this week and suit up for Sunday’s game.
The offense is much more optimistic for this AFC wild card with Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown playing for the first time in a playoff game together. Bell missed the past two postseasons when he was out with knee injuries. Brown missed the divisional round loss to the Broncos last season when he was concussed.All three players sat out Sunday’s game in preparation for this matchup with the Dolphins.
“I feel good about that,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “One of the reasons why we took the approach we took this week. We’ve been without Le’Veon Bell the last two years of the playoffs. We went to Denver last year without Antonio Brown. We’ve been to Super Bowls and so forth without Maurkice Pouncey. It’s good to have them.”
The game is Sunday at 1:05 pm.