1:00 PM EST on Sunday, Oct 24th. The game will be
broadcast regionally on CBS TV, on DirecTV channel 707, on Sirius
radio channels 153 and 123 and on XM radio channel 105.
PLACE: SunLife Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
FORECAST: Sunny, with a high near 85. Breezy, with an east wind between
18 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
FIELD CONDITIONS: The field should be in good shape and with the
baseball season over, the grass should be solidly in place.
STANDINGS & STATS: The Dolphins are 3-2, in 3rd place in the AFC East.
The Steelers are 4-1, in first place in the AFC North.
Dolphins Pts/Game Rank Steelers Pts/Game Rank
Scored 17.8 24 Scored 22.8 10
Allowed 22.4 23 Allowed 12.0 1
Dolphins Yds/Game Rank Steelers Yds/Game Rank
Total Offense: 348 12 Total Defense: 297 6
Rushing: 116 14 vs Rush: 64 1
Passing: 232 13 vs Pass: 233 24
Total Offense: 291 28 Total Defense: 311 9
Rushing: 131 9 vs Rush: 109 16
Passing: 160 28 vs Pass: 202 12
Sacks Made (Avg/G) Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins 14 2.8 9 1.8
Steelers 17 3.4 9 1.8
Individual Skill Position Stats:
QB: QB Henne: 107-170-1195-7-5-85.3
Rush: RB Brown: 67-299-4.5-1
Rush: RB Williams: 56-240-4.5-0
Rec: WR Marshall: 37-467-12.6-1
Rec: WR Bess: 26-282-19.8-2
Rec: WR Hartline: 15-177-11.8-1
QB: QB Roethlisberger: 16-27-257-3-1-112.7
Rush: RB Mendenall: 116-495-4.3-5
Rush: RB Redman: 21-89-4.2-0
Rec: WR Ward: 17-219-12.9-2
Rec: WR Wallace: 12-301-25.1-3
Rec: TE Miller: 12-150-12.5-1
HISTORY: Pittsburgh has a 12-11 record against the Dolphins and has won
the last 4 meetings, but the Dolphins hold an 8-5 advantage in games
played in Miami.
Out: DE Jared Odrick (leg)
Questionable: FB Lousaka Polite (knee)
Probable: LB Karlos Dansby (knee)
Questionable: DE Brett Keisel (hamstring)
Probable: G Trai Essex (ankle)
QB - 7 Chad Henne LE - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown NT - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite RE - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall SLB - 55 Koa Misi
WR - 82 Brian Hartline ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano ILB - 58 Karlos Dansby
LT - 77 Jake Long WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C - 67 Joe Berger RCB - 32 Jason Allen
RG - 79 Pat McQuistan SS - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 72 Vernon Carey FS - 30 Chris Clemons
K - 5 Dan Carpenter P - 2 Brandon Fields
PR - 15 Davone Bess KR - 28 Nolan Carroll
John Jerry started the season at right guard, but has not
returned after an illness sapped his strength. Pat McQuistan has been
starting at right guard and no announcement has been made on that spot
for this week. Rookie Jared Odrick re-injured his leg and will be out
for the season.
QB - 7 Ben Roethlisberger LDE - 91 Aaron Smith
RB - 34 Rashard Mendenhall NT - 98 Casey Hampton
TE - 85 David Johnson RDE - 93 Nick Eason
WR - 86 Hines Ward OLB - 56 LaMarr Woodley
WR - 17 Mike Wallace ILB - 51 James Farrior
TE - 83 Heath Miller ILB - 94 Lawrence Timmons
LT - 78 Max Starks OLB - 92 James Harrison
LG - 68 Chris Kemoeatu CB - 24 Ike Taylor
C - 53 Maurkice Pouncey CB - 20 Bryant McFadden
RG - 64 Doug Legursky SS - 43 Troy Polamalu
RT - 71 Flozell Adams FS - 25 Ryan Clark
K - 3 Jeff Reed P - 9 Daniel Sepulveda
PR - 82 Antwan Randle El KR - 88 Emmanuel Sanders
James Harrison did miss practice on Wednesday, but that was
because he was "upset" at getting fined over his big hit last Sunday
against the Browns. He reportedly returned on Thursday.
- The Dolphins vs Themselves: The Dolphins continued to make
crucial mistakes last week. This week, there is no margin for error
against the Steelers, who have a +9 turnover ratio and the number 1
run defense in the NFL.
- Cameron Wake vs Flozell Adams: Cameron Wake had 3 sacks
last week, but this week he's going up against old man Adams, who is
playing in his 13th season. How well Wake can put pressure on
Roethlisberger will go a long way towards determining how effective
Miami's defense will be.
- Dan Henning vs Dick LeBeau: The Steelers have the best run
defense in the NFL, so Dan Henning will need to figure out a way to
move the ball against the schemes of one of the best defensive
coordinators in the league.
- Jason Allen and Vontae Davis vs Mike Wallace: Wallace is
not the Steelers' main receiver, but he is their big play threat and
is averaging 25 yards per catch. The Dolphins can't afford to give up
any big plays against the Steelers this week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Chad Henne is playing better this year and has improved in
many ways, but is still prone to staring down his receivers. This
week, against the top defense in the league, Brandon Marshall, Davone
Bess and Anthony Fasano will need to make big plays if the Dolphins'
offense is going to produce enough points.
On defense, the return of Channing Crowder has improved the
run defense, but it was Cameron Wake who made the biggest defensive
play last week. And while Vontae Davis is coming on strong, he is
still relatively inexperienced and made a big mistake last week.
Meanwhile, the most surprising defensive stat so far this year is that
Jason Allen leads all players with 3 interceptions.
QB Ben Roethlisberger returned for the Steelers last week and
delivered an excellent performance against the Browns. The Steelers'
RB Rashard Mendenhall is 6th in the NFL in rushing yards with 495 and
is averaging 4.3 ypc, while WR Mike Wallace is the Steelers' big play
threat, averaging 25 yards per reception.
On defense LB James Harrison leads the team in sacks with 5
and has forced 4 fumbles, but was absent from practice on Wednesday
after the NFL fined him $75,000 a hit he put on Browns' WR Mohamed
Massaquoi in last week's game. Overall, the Steelers probably have
the best linebacking corps in the NFL, while Troy Polamalu is a
On special teams, the Steelers' Antonio Brown has returned one
kickoff for a touchdown this season, but kicker Jeff Reed is hitting a
relatively low 67% of his field goals this season.
The Steelers are arguably the best team in the NFL at this
point and the Dolphins will have their work cut out for them when the
Steelers come to Miami this week. The Steelers are a very physical
team and pride themselves on their hard-hitting style of football.
The Steelers have been using a stingy and opportunistic
defense and a bruising running game to beat opponents this year.
Their only loss was to the Baltimore Ravens, who play the same kind of
game that the Steelers do. If Miami wants to beat the Steelers this
weekend, they will need to play their best game of the year.
When the Dolphins have the ball, they will have a tough time
running against the Steelers, who currently rank first in the league
in run defense. Nevertheless, the Dolphins must do their best to
establish a running game, otherwise their offense will become too
So look for Miami to continue to hand the ball off to Ronnie
and Ricky between the tackles, even though their primary focus will be
on throwing. With Miami's lack of a speedy deep threat and the
strength of the Steelers' safeties, I would expect the Dolphins to
focus on short to intermediate range passes, trying to take advantage
of the matchups between Marshall, Bess and the Steelers' cornerbacks.
The Steelers' linebackers are very good, so I would not expect
Miami to try a lot of screens or other short passes to the backs. I
expect the Dolphins will attack the Steelers pretty much head-on,
because that has been their strength this year, hoping to get enough
production out of the running game to make the play-action passes a
For this approach to work, of course, Chad Henne will need to
play his best game and avoid the kind of mistakes that have plagued
him off and on since he assumed the starting job.
On defense, the Dolphins will need to control the Steelers'
running game and force them to throw. With Channing Crowder back in
the lineup, the Dolphins should be able to stop the Steelers running
up the middle, but will also need to focus on controlling the edges -
keeping the Steelers from turning the corners to the outside, like the
Jets did. That means that Cameron Wake and Koa Misi will need to
control their corners and not get blocked inside.
The Steelers prefer to run, but with Roethlisberger back in
the lineup, are very capable of big plays to the receivers. Vontae
Davis, in particular, must not get so aggressive he allows Mike
Wallace to blow past him like he did with Greg Jennings last week.
The Dolphins can not afford to give up any big plays like they did
against the Packers.
In addition to setting the edges against the run, Wake and
Misi will need to keep Roethlisberger in the pocket and not let him
get free to the outside. Like Aaron Rodgers, Roethlisberger is better
when he's improvising and is very hard to bring down. The Dolphins'
defensive backs are good enough to cover the Steelers' receivers down
the field, but Roethlisberger can't be allowed too much time to throw,
because no defensive backs can cover forever.
The bottom line is that the Dolphins are a physical team, like
the Steelers, and can beat the boys from Pittsburgh on Sunday -
providing they can avoid the kind of mistakes that have plagued them
Unfortunately, I don't see the Dolphins managing to get
through this game without a couple of crucial mistakes. And the
Steelers are a good enough team that those mistakes will end up
costing the Dolphins the game.
PLACES TO WATCH:
To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.
To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay
the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or
$39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.
Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores
and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live
applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and