On Sunday, the Dolphins (10-6) will take on the Steelers (11-5) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the final week of the regular season, the Dolphins were thoroughly handled at home by New England. The Dolphins backed into the playoffs as the 6th seed. In the final week of the regular season, the Steelers rested their three biggest offensive weapons, and narrowly beat the Cleveland Browns. Despite the narrow victory, the Steelers look poised to make a deep playoff run. This Wild-Card matchup will kick off at 1:05 PM. ET.
The Steelers are coming into this game as a ten and a half point favorite. Last week, the Steelers rested their three best offensive players: Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. This made for a rather close contest with the cellar dwelling Cleveland Browns. But, in the end, the Steelers had enough offensive prowess to pull out the victory. Looking at their end of season totals, the Steelers have many advantages over the Dolphins both offensively and defensively.
Offensively, the Steelers rank 7th in total yards this season. The Dolphins rank a meager 24th according to NFL Stats. Pittsburgh averages 372.6 yards of total offense per game. The Dolphins average 332.8 yards of total offense per game. The Steelers are simply a more dynamic offense and that starts with Roethlisberger.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, their starting quarterback went down late in the season with an injury. His replacement, Matt Moore, is one of the best backups in the NFL. With Matt Moore under center, the Dolphins won two of three contests. In those three games, Moore passed for eight touchdowns to only three interceptions.
Miami’s struggles on offense are overshadowed by their struggles on defense. The Dolphins rank 29th in total yards allowed per game. The Steelers rank 12th according to NFL Stats. The Dolphins biggest concern on defense is their run defense. The Dolphins rank 30th in run defense according to NFL Stats.
With Le’Veon Bell making his postseason debut against the Dolphins, expect Pittsburgh to attack Miami’s weak run defense early and often. During the regular season, Bell averaged the second most rushing yards per game. Bell is one of only two running backs this season to average over 100 yards rushing per game, the other rusher being Ezekiel Elliott.
Bell’s counterpart on the other sideline is Jay Ajayi. During the regular season, Ajayi finished the year with more rushes of 20+ and 40+ yards than Bell did. Bell had only four rushes of 20+ yards and a single rush of 40+ yards on the season. Ajayi finished with 10 rushes of 20+ yards and four rushes of 40+ yards. However, Ajayi will face a stronger run defense than his counterpart on the Pittsburgh sideline.
The Steelers rank 13th in run defense. Pittsburgh has surrendered 15 rushing touchdowns on the year, which isn’t great, but puts them right around the middle of the pack. In comparison, Miami has surprisingly given up fewer rushing touchdowns than the Steelers. The Dolphins have surrendered 12 rushing touchdowns, which considering their struggles, is a positive sign.
The Steelers have all the weapons to win this game, and to win it big. Roethlisberger, Brown, and Bell have never played a playoff game together. When all three players are on the field, they have all the talent of a Super Bowl contender. This is a statement game for Brown and Bell. Roethlisberger has already won two rings, but Brown and Bell have less playoff success and are hungry.
Both players are discussed as two of the leagues best. They’re in that conversation, but just ask Roethlisberger, heck ask Eli Manning. Winning is the only thing that matters. Regular season stats are just that; regular season stats. This is the post season and it’s win or go home. Expect those two player to light up the stat sheet.
Steelers Vs Dolphins Betting Lines
The Steelers are a heavy favorite and for good reason. Pittsburgh rested its biggest stars in the final week of the regular season, and they won’t show any signs of rust. Expect the Steelers to erase the memory of their early season loss to Miami with a dominant performance.
Play: Steelers -10.5 @ BetOnline.ag