By Matthew C (Follow me on Twitter @PhinManiacs)
The Miami Dolphins head to Pittsburgh today in a must-win game in order to have a good chance of making the playoffs. The Steelers remind me a lot like the Carolina Panthers. They have a quarterback that is hard to take down and can keep plays alive, a quarterback that can throw the ball deep with accuracy, and a receiving and tight end group that is one of the best in the league. Fortunately, the Steelers defense isn’t nearly as good as the Panthers. If the Dolphins can contain the Steelers on offense, they should be able to walk away from this game with a win.
When the Dolphins are on defense…
Antonio Brown is one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL as he leads the NFL with 85 receptions. The good news for the Dolphins is that they have a legitimate shutdown corner in Brent Grimes who I assume will shadow him throughout the game, much like he’s done against other number one receivers such as Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson, and so forth. Grimes should have no problems handling Brown throughout the entire game.
With that said, they still have speedy Emmanuel Sanders and a big body in Jerricho Cotchery, much like the Panthers had in Ted Ginn and Brandon LaFell. Sanders and Cotchery are very good players and the rest of the secondary will have to step up and contain them. It would be a huge boost if Dmitiri Patterson can get back on the field. That will essentially neutralize two of their best receivers. The Dolphins should get creative and bring Dion Jordan on the field to cover Heath Miller, who has proven to be dangerous.
As far as Roethlisberger goes, he has been on fire the past three weeks. During that time, he has thrown eight touchdown passes and no interceptions. Roethlisberger is also extremely hard to take down, much like Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. The good news is that Roethlisberger cannot run like Newton and Luck can.
Here’s more good news. Kevin Coyle has gone up against Ben Roethlisberger 18 times over the past years as a coach with the Cincinnati Bengals. Coyle knows all about Roethlisberger and his tendencies. This should be a huge advantage for the Dolphins. More good news is that Danniell Elerbe has seen Roethlisberger up close as a Baltimore Raven over the past several years. He knows how hard it is to take him down. Want even better news? This entire defense has gone up against two tough quarterbacks this season and should know what to expect.
How about one more piece of good news? It’s supposed to be rainy and snowy in Pittsburgh tomorrow. The Steelers rely on deep passes and keeping plays alive to sustain their offense. Their offense will not survive tomorrow in those elements. (continued on page 2, CLICK HERE)