This Sunday the 4-1 Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Miami to face the 3-2 Dolphins.
The Dolphins are in third place in the AFC East, having already lost to the New York Jets and the New England Patriots. In fact, the Dolphins were absolutely crushed by the Patriots 41-14.
The Dolphins’ wins have come against opponents that haven’t been particularly impressive this year. They’ve beaten the Buffalo Bills (yawn!), the erratic Minnesota Vikings, and they got lucky against the over-rated Green Bay Packers.
While they are playing at home, the Dolphins may wish that they were playing on the road. They are 0-3 at home this year. Moreover, they always seem to struggle against the Steelers. The Dolphins haven’t beaten the Steelers since 1998. That was last century. In fact, it was last millennium.
The Steelers have won their last 4 games against the Dolphins, and seven of the last nine dating back to 1993. And the Dolphins have done little this season to indicate that they’re ready to end their losing ways against the Steelers.
The Dolphins primary weapon is their tandem of running backs, Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. Unfortunately, running against the Steelers is very difficult. Just ask Chris Johnson. Or Ray Rice. Or Michael Turner. Or…….well, you get the picture.
Since Williams and Brown aren’t likely to have much success against a Steelers defense that is ranked #1 in the NFL against the run, the Dolphins will probably have to rely on Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall.
Marshall provides a challenge for any defensive back in the league. He’s big, fast, and has great hands. Fortunately, none of that matters when your quarterback is lying flat on his back. And that’s what Henne is likely to be doing for much of the game.
Henne has Jake Long protecting his blind side, so he’s usually pretty well protected. Unfortunately, Long is going to be facing James Harrison this week. Harrison is still pissed that the NFL fined him $75,000. He’s going to take all of that frustration out on Jake Long….And Chad Henne.
And of course the Miami Defense is going to have to stop the Steelers’ offense. That’s not an easy task for any team. With Ben Roethlisberger back under center, the Steelers should prove to have far too many weapons for the Dolphins. If the Dolphins focus on stopping Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers will give them big doses of Hines Ward, Heath Miller, and Mike Wallace. If they try to stop the passing game, the Steelers will run it down their throats.
I just can’t envision any way in which Miami can beat the Steelers. And I’m not being biased. They’re just not as good a team as the Steelers are.
So I predict the Steelers will win 27-14, and head into week 8 with a 5-1 record and still sitting alone atop the AFC North.
Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!
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