Tha Sports Junkies 101

Ben Roethlisberger Suffers Torn Meniscus In Steelers Loss To Dolphins – Week 6 Recap

Roethlisberger dolphins Kevin Piatt via flickr


The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to play the Miami Dolphins, where they lost the game, and their starting quarterback.

Going into the game against the Miami Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans should have expected a hard fought matchup. Before this week, the Steelers were 12-14 against teams under .500 on the road under Mike Tomlin. Professional athletes claim to not believe in a “trap games,” but when you sandwich the Dolphins between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, the Steelers may have fallen into the trap of thinking this game was to be overlooked as they lost 30-15.

With injuries across the board for both teams, this game was an ugly and gritty fight that the Dolphins thrived on. From early on, the Steelers offensive line could not maintain any pass rush against the Dolphins new-look defensive line. This was the first time we have seen Ndamukong Suh, Mario Williams, and Cameron Wake all play well together. The Steelers committed two holding penalties on the first drive that wrote the script for the entire game. Even with the offensive line doing everything they could to stop the pressure, they couldn’t stop the Dolphins from getting two sacks and forcing two  interceptions.

Todd Haley did all that he could to avoid running right into the heart of the Dolphins defense. On the second drive of the game, the Steelers ran an end-around to Darrius Hayward-Bey that went 60 yards for a touchdown. The Steelers stayed aggressive by going for two point and succeeding by throwing it to Le’Veon Bell. But that would prove to be the only big play the Steelers would make all day on either side of the ball. According to Pro Football Focus, newly acquired receiver Cobi Hamilton had the highest grade for the offense with 74.6, a little upsetting when realizing everything they have on offense.

The defense did not help the cause, allowing the Dolphins offense to stay on the field for 36+ minutes. Two blown coverages by Artie Burns led to passes of 40+ yards that would put the Dolphins in the red zone both times. The defensive unit gave up big run, after big run, until Jay Ajayi totaled a career high 204 rushing yards. The nail in the coffin was Jay Ajayi running 62 yards for a touchdown after the Steelers had cut it to a one possession game in the 4th quarter.

With the pressure coming all game, Ben Roethlisberger could not find open receivers because he was busy running away from 300 pound studs. When rolling out to his right in the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception in triple coverage to Reshad Jones. But that wouldn’t be the worst part of the play, Roethlisberger would suffer a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery Monday morning. Luckily for him and the Steelers, it didn’t require full repair so he may only be out 1-3 weeks depending on recovery. But a knee injury in the middle of the season is not easy to come back from, no matter how minimal the damage may be.

In a bad loss like this one, there is a long list of negatives that are visible in the game tape. Mike Tomlin addressed the media Tuesday afternoon and commented on those negatives, and how they must be fixed going into this week.

“We gotta have an outstanding effort not only on defense but we have to work to possess the ball on offense. Those two things are going to work together as they worked together in a negative fashion a week ago.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a tall task ahead of them as they face the New England Patriots at home on Sunday evening. With Ben Roethlisberger and Cameron Hayward being ruled out this week, the “next man up” mentality will continue as it has all season. With Landry Jones getting the start at quarterback, expect other role players to step up and make big plays.