The Pittsburgh Steelers put together an absolutely dominant performance at Heinz Field to put an end to the Dolphin’s season.  The Steelers absolutely dominated Miami early, allowing them to cruise to victory thanks to Le’Veon Bell and their offensive line.  Pittsburgh did a lot right, but their play was far from perfect.  Their special teams continued to struggle and Ben Roethlisberger injured his ankle.

The Steelers offense was on fire in the first half.  In the first quarter alone Antonio Brown caught touchdown passes of 50 and 62 yards.  After that, it was all Le’Veon Bell, who ran for 167 yards and 2 touchdowns.  The offense flowed through Bell, who waited patiently for the Pittsburgh offensive line to create holes.

Bell carried the offense, eeking out 1st down after 1st down to run the clock.  He even led a 10- play drive where he touched the ball every play, ending it with a touchdown.  The offensive line, obviously, was fantastic, keeping Ben Roethlisberger clean for the majority of the game.

Ben Roethlisberger had an up-and-down day.  He looked absolutely dynamite early; completing his first 11 passes, but ended the game with 2 interceptions.  Although one was a bounce off of Antonio Brown’s hands, the other was just a throwaway late in the game that absolutely should have been thrown out of bounds.  He also nearly threw another interception, but was saved by the defensive tackle not able to make the catch.

On defense the Steelers came out swinging.  Jay Ajayi wasn’t even able to make positive yards until his 4th carry.  Ajayi ended the day with only 33 yards on 16 carries, a far cry from his 204 yard performance back in Week 6.

The Steelers were penetrating the line all day putting quarterback Matt Moore on the ground often, including a vicious hit by Bud Dupree.  James Harrison had one of his best playoff performances stat wise with 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.  Lawrence Timmons sealed the game with back to back sacks on Miami’s final drive.  All together, the Pittsburgh defense ended the day with 5 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and a Ryan Shazier interception.

Unfortunately, the special teams unit did not put up a performance remotely close to those put up by the other 2 units.  The Steelers returners refused to kneel the ball in the end zone several times and were unable to return the ball anywhere close to the 25 yard line.  Chris Boswell bounced an extra point off of the uprights and Kenyan Drake averaged 33 yards per return for the Dolphins.

Although this is a great victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it is hard not to criticize Mike Tomlin for keeping Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell in for as long as he did.  With 4 1/2 minutes left in the 4th quarter and up by 18 points, there is zero reason why Roethlisberger should be dropping back on a pass.  Pulling Ben, or even just letting DeAngelo Williams (a very good and proven NFL back) carry the ball will keep the offense rolling and PREVENT YOUR STAR QUARTERBACK FROM BEING INJURED!

This was a great win for Pittsburgh, who will now travel to Kansas City for a rematch with the Chiefs.  Although Roethlisberger will undoubtedly play, it is hard to imagine his injury not impacting his mobility.  The Chiefs also possess an extremely talented return man in Tyreek Hill, who has been electric to close out the season.

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Author Details
Mathew Martinez was not born into greatness. Instead, he sort of got lost and stumbled into competence. Born in Maryland, he grew up in Centreville, Virginia; eventually moving to and living in both New Mexico and Texas. Mathew will be graduating from Texas Tech University in May with degrees in both Political Science and History. Although not from the Pittsburgh area, he is a massive Steeler fan, having fallen in love with the intense nature and physicality of players like Troy Polamalu, Aaron Smith, and especially James Harrison. His hobbies include long walks on the beach, cardio, and lying about his hobbies.
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Mathew Martinez was not born into greatness. Instead, he sort of got lost and stumbled into competence. Born in Maryland, he grew up in Centreville, Virginia; eventually moving to and living in both New Mexico and Texas. Mathew will be graduating from Texas Tech University in May with degrees in both Political Science and History. Although not from the Pittsburgh area, he is a massive Steeler fan, having fallen in love with the intense nature and physicality of players like Troy Polamalu, Aaron Smith, and especially James Harrison. His hobbies include long walks on the beach, cardio, and lying about his hobbies.

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