The playoffs are upon us and the Dolphins are an active participant this year. A huge accomplishment in and of itself but now its time to make some noise and shake things up!
Off to Pittsburgh we go to face the Steelers, and to quote Brett Hart “If you were to give the United States of America an Enema, you would stick the hose right here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
All joking aside the Steelers are a really good team with many weapons on offense and at this time the Dolphins are down 5 starters on defense. Which is a recipe for disaster in all honesty, but I do have some hope for the Dolphins this weekend. The recipe for the Dolphins to win is very simple in my opinion and comes down to two key factors.
1) Bring the pass rush and kill the QB
2) Run the ball early and often and keep the Steelers offense on the sideline watching and waiting
Bringing the pass rush is essential this week. Suh, Wake, and company must bring pressure all day long. This isn’t a week where the Dolphins pass rush goes invisible. The Dolphins back 7 on defense is weak and damaged right now playing mostly second string guys. The skill players for Pittsburgh will have a field day against the Dolphins linebackers, corners, and safeties. The only way to offset that is to make Ben Roethlisberger uncomfortable and hit him….hit him a lot! Football is a violent game let’s not kid ourselves and if Miami can inflict physical pain onto Roethlisberger that will get the Steelers offense off their game and maybe rattle them.
Then on offense it needs to be the Jay Ajayi show. Jay ran for 204 yards last time vs Pittsburgh and well, he will need another big performance again. We must hope Pittsburgh makes the same mistake Rex Ryan and Buffalo made a couple of weeks back. Publicly stating going into the Christmas Eve game that; he ran for 200+ yards against us once, no way he does that again against us. Well, how do ya like me now….as Jay went bonkers for another 200+ vs Buffalo. I’m not sure Pittsburgh makes that same mistake but you must wonder, if Pittsburgh didn’t have an answer for Jay Ajayi in October what has really changed in January? I know Mike Pouncey won’t be playing for Miami this week which is a huge factor for Miami but other than that the rest of the Fins offensive line will be out there. Even if early in the game Miami is running with little success, keep running it. Because the more Pittsburgh stacks the box and the line of scrimmage it is just setting up a big play to Kenny Stills and Devante Parker deep down the field. And IF (big if) Miami can hit one of those, then Pittsburgh will back off the line of scrimmage and Ajyi could have some big success in the second half of this game because as we have seen, as the game goes on Ajayi gets stronger and better.
The other thing I want to stop hearing about is the weather in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Give me a break people and think about this logically. Cold and bad weather helps the Dolphins. Miami is a grind it out power run team. Old school Smash mouth baby! Pittsburgh has the multiple wide receiver sets who likes to throw it around the field. The cold and wet weather will most likely bother them more than it will Miami. The colder and more wet the game conditions are the better the chance for Miami to pull an upset in my opinion.
Look, I know this is a tall task asking Miami missing 5 starters on defense and starting a back-up quarterback to go on the road in the playoffs and beat a future hall of fame quarterback and a good Pittsburgh Steelers team. I also think Miami beating Pittsburgh earlier this year works against the Dolphins because there is no way in hell they will take Miami lightly.
With that said I don’t fear Pittsburgh at all this weekend and this match-up doesn’t totally scare me. If Miami was playing Kansas City or New England, sure I would be very worried and give us maybe no chance to win. Pittsburgh though, I think we have an outside shot to win this game. Miami has the pass rush to disrupt Big Ben, Miami has the running game to control the tempo of the game, and if Matt Moore doesn’t turn the ball over and the WR’s make a play or two I think we can get into the 4th quarter of this game with it being competitive and a chance to win. Which is all you can ask for being on the road in the playoffs.
It won’t be easy, but I have hope that Miami can pull this off this week. #FinsUp
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