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GAME TIME: 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

Steelers                        Dolphins
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

Turnover differential:
Dolphins         -3
Steelers         +9

Individual Skill Position Stats:
Dolphins                        
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

Steelers    
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

Legend 
     QBs: completions-attempts-yards-touchdowns-ints-rating
     RBs: rushes-yards-average-touchdowns
     WRs: receptions-yards-average-touchdowns
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.

INJURIES:

DOLPHINS: 
Out:          DE Jared Odrick (leg)
Questionable: FB Lousaka Polite (knee)
Probable:     LB Karlos Dansby (knee)

STEELERS: 
Questionable: DE Brett Keisel (hamstring)
Probable:     G  Trai Essex (ankle)

DOLPHINS' STARTERS:
Offense:		     Defense:
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
NOTES: 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.
STEELERS' STARTERS: 
Offense:                     Defense:
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
NOTES: 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.

KEY MATCHUPS:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Pro-Bowl safety.

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.

MY ANALYSIS:

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 one-dimensional.

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 viable choice.

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 this year.

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 play-by-play information.

Related Info:
     
   
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