Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers preview

Mark Ross (@markr1991) thinks that the Pittsburgh Steelers offence finally get going this week against a poor Miami Dolphins team and run out big winners.

Through seven weeks of the 2019 NFL season the Miami Dolphins have a record of 0-6 and in every game they have given up at least two passing touchdowns. A welcoming stat for the Pittsburgh Steelers who are going into this game with either a quarterback who was knocked out harder than Sonny Liston and subsequently missed a week, or a quarterback who got his nickname from duck calling competitions that he still competes in. After a torrid start for the quarterbacks of the Steel City this game should give whoever starts a chance to perform.

Up until the end of the third quarter/start of the fourth quarter the Dolphins looked like they were going to sneak a win in their Week 7 match-up against the Buffalo Bills. At the start of the fourth quarter the Buffalo Bills only had nine points and were trailing to the Dolphins 14. The Dolphins looked in good shape after the third.

In the third quarter Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins on a drive that lasted 9 minutes and 59 seconds and got his team all the way into the red zone. Then in typical Ryan Fitzpatrick fashion,after being so good and marching the ball down the field he throws an interception on a shot for the end zone. Now it wasn’t a horrendous throw from Fitzy and all the blame can not go on him, Tre’Davious White made a great play jumping in front of the receiver and catching the ball whilst losing his helmet, but Fitzpatrick could have put the ball more to the outside of the field where only his receiver could have caught it. This play proved to be a catalyst for the Bills.

In a quarter where there were only two drives, the Buffalo Bills then took over and marched for 98 yards and put the ball into the end zone early in the fourth. Josh Allen then ran for two extra points to extend the lead that they would not surrender again. After a fumble by Miami, Buffalo scored another touchdown on a short field and realistically put this game to bed. Miami did score another touchdown thanks to Ryan Fitzmagic putting the offence on his back and carrying them into the end zone. This however was all undone as Miami went for the onside kick and not only didn’t recover the ball but also failed to tackle Micah Hyde who returned the kickoff for a touchdown ending the game.

It’s not Miami’s last chance to get a win this season but it was certainly a good chance for them that they threw away giving up 22 points in the fourth quarter. A chance I don’t think they get when they travel to Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were on a bye week and therefore surely they would manage to keep themselves out of the limelight and give the NFL media nothing to report on. At the very least one of their players surely wouldn’t create more off the field drama. Wait a minute…what’s that? Anthony Chickillo has been arrested for domestic assault whilst at a casino on his weekend off. Surely not a player who witnessed the drama that Antonio Brown and Le‚ÄôVeon Bell caused and how that affected his team, surely not. Unfortunately for the Steelers and more importantly Chickillos girlfriend, Olympian pole vaulter Alysha Newman, the stories are true. In a season where so much has gone wrong for Pittsburgh this is the last thing they needed.

Headed into the bye week after a win in Los Angeles (although it looked like the heart of Pittsburgh – sorry Chargers fans!) the Steelers had a chance to recoup and get themselves ready to potentially go on a bit of a run. They have three home games at Heinz Field against teams with a combined record of 8-11.

Firstly the Miami Dolphins and a chance for Minkah Fitzpatrick and his new defence to show them what they are missing. On paper this should be one of the easier games of the season for the Pittsburgh defence. Miami are ranked as the second worst team in terms of points scored and yards gained. Their offence has only managed four passing touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions and their running game hasn’t helped out only providing three touchdowns. Having  already faced the undefeated Patriots and 49ers and the two loss Ravens and Seahawks the Steelers and their new Steel Curtain will be licking their lips and getting their hands on this offence.

The defence have been about the only positive for Steelers fans everywhere, until now I predict. This game against a weak Dolphins team gives the Steelers offence a chance to get in on the action and get a bit of praise.

In a year where Pittsburgh have introduced more trick plays and have operated out of the wildcat formation on numerous occasions, I like the opportunity their running game has in this one. Miami are the second worst team at defending the run in terms of yards given up. James Conner has not had the season we were all expecting him to but in the week where he was awarded the 2019 Ed Block Courage Award, I expect him to feast on this Miami defence and get his team a big win and his own season off and running.

Ones to watch

Steelers: James Conner – With a rushing touchdown in each of his last two games he has his season total up to three now. At this time last year he had nine. I’m not saying he gets to that total in this game but he will get a lot closer to it.

Dolphins: DeVante Parker – With the Pittsburgh Steelers still susceptible to the pass game look for Parker to either get over 100 receiving yards or a touchdown, but it’s still nowhere near enough.

Score Prediction

Dolphins 9 Steelers 31

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