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Steelers Host Doubted Dolphins For Wild Card Matchup

Wild Card doubted via NFL Media


Miami Dolphins are doubted to make a Super Bowl run with tough Wild Card matchup against Pittsburgh Steelers.

Many people doubted the Miami Dolphins after they started 1-4 but a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers turned their season around. The Dolphins ended up winning 9 out of their last 11 games and are headed into the playoffs with a lot of momentum. The Pittsburgh Steelers were doubted themselves when they were sitting at 4-5, but a 7-game winning streak to end the season shot them into the 3 seed in the AFC and will host playoff game.

In week 6 of the regular season, the Miami Dolphins dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers in just about every aspect of the game in route to a 30-15 victory. The Dolphins offense got everything they wanted with Jay Ajayi running for 204 yards and two touchdowns, Ryan Tannehill was 24/32 with 252 yards, and Jarvis Landry had seven receptions for 91 yards. The Dolphins defense held the explosive Steelers offense to 297 yards and kept them off the field and dominated the time of possession. The big blow in that game was when Ben Roethlisberger suffered a slightly torn meniscus.

But like Roethlisberger and his return, the Steelers persevered and found what they needed in order to get back on the winning track. During their seven game winning streak, the Steelers averaged 26.4 points per game, allowed just 293.6 yards per game, recorded 24 sacks, and forced 9 interceptions. After the week 17 victory over the Cleveland Browns in the season finale, Mike Tomlin felt great about where his team was at after their winning streak.

“I liked the fight, but not ideal in terms of the execution. But such is life. We take wins in whatever form they come this time of year. We were able to finish with an exclamation point to continue the winning streak we’re on. That’s important. Close out AFC North football here in front of our fans on fan appreciation day. We appreciate them. We appreciate the support we get in Heinz Field from Steelers Nation. And we will ready ourselves for the playoffs now. We do so with big-time excitement.”

The winning streak is now in the past, and the post season is a brand new year and the Steelers are poised for a Super Bowl run. This will be the first time that Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell are all healthy in the post season. According to Football Power Index, the Steelers have a 9% chance to make the Super Bowl, compared to the Miami Dolphins 1% chance to make the Super Bowl. Either way, one of these teams will increase their chance to make it to the big game after their game on Sunday.

The Steelers are 7-4 at Heinz Field in the playoffs since it opened in 2001. The Steelers have been significantly better at home this season than on the road. Mike Tomlin, who has been under fire this season for some apparent reason, is currently 6-5 in the post season. With two All-Pro‘s on Pro Football Focus in Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, the Steelers will have a chance to blow this game open if their offense fires on all cylinders.

If the Steelers or Dolphins had doubted themselves early in the season, they may have not made it to this game at all. But luckily for both of these teams, they don’t listen to outside noise. The key for both of these teams is establishing the ground game, as well as limiting the explosive plays. The Wild Card matchup is set for a 1 pm eastern kickoff on CBS.

Statistics and quotes referenced via NFLGSIS, Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide, Miami Dolphins Media Guide, and