NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins Preview

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview on the internet! NGSC Sports is where you come to find everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich (@SportsNationPGH) brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a game story, Steelers Path to Success, score prediction, game information, a detailed breakdown of each team, individual stats, team stats, and team injury reports. Heck, you’ll even know the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!

STEELERS MUST FIND THEIR IDENTITY AS SEASON NEARS MIDPOINT

Six games into the 2019 season the Pittsburgh Steelers sit at 2-4. Not counting Ben Roethlisberger and Stephon Tuitt, the team is slowly getting back to full health, as just about everyone should be ready to play come kickoff this Monday night against the winless Miami Dolphins.

The defense is playing superb right now. Losing Tuitt hurts, no doubt, but this team has some excellent depth. With Tuitt out, you may see the Steelers alter their defensive game-plan a little bit, perhaps bringing back the good ole days of Blitzburgh to keep opposing offenses on their toes.

This is a championship caliber defense since acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick, who really was the glue that brought this whole defense together.

It’s the offense that is holding this team back from contending for a playoff spot, or perhaps even a shot at the AFC North crown.

There is still time left to make the corrections needed to be successful.

Everyone realizes that Mason Rudolph isn’t Ben Roethlisberger. Heck, there are 32 teams in the NFL and only a few have a player that are comparable to the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Rudolph is the QB for the rest of the season if he stays healthy. He may be the heir apparent to the throne once Big Ben retires.

With 10 games remaining, it past time we all see what talents Rudolph possesses and how good of leader and quarterback he can be.

In other words, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner need to take the shackles off of their young signal caller.

If you’re going down, go down fighting, Go down giving everything you have.

This is an offense that needs to open up it’s passing game to include it’s receivers catching passes downfield. It’s also time to see the return of some  physical, in your face Steelers football, and that means establishing a rushing attack, and pounding the ball down opposing defense’s throats.

Let’s take a look at the undefeated San Francisco 49ers…

Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for 1,314 yards in six games, compared to Rudolph having 646 passing yards in basically three games, as he played only half of the Seattle and Baltimore games.

Despite playing in three fewer games, Rudolph has the same amount of touchdowns (7) as Garolppolo does, and four less interceptions.

Both teams have great defenses.

The key difference is the running games, where Pittsburgh is only averaging 76.5 yards per game, while the 49ers are gaining 172.7 yards per game.

Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman, and Ryan Mostert as good… but they aren’t THAT good. There isn’t a reason on earth why James Conner, Jaylen Samuels, and Benny Snell, especially with the returning services of fullback Rosie Nix, can’t get those rushing totals up to around 125 yards per game or more.

It takes both a mental and physical commitment by both the offensive line and the backs to pound the ball with success. It’s about looking across the line and telling the opposing defense that, “We’re coming for you. Try and stop us.”

There is no more demoralizing type of football than having the other team move the ball at will on the ground.

This also allows the passing game to open up, especially in the middle and crossing routes, where it’s time to see the reemergence of Vance McDonald to the fold as well.

Right now, Pittsburgh rank 28th in total offense gaining just a paltry 276.5 yards per game. They are averaging just 20.5 points per game, which is 21st in the NFL.

They have zero carries gaining more than 23 yards and just 14 receptions of at least 20 yards, which ranks 30th.

The ugly numbers continue, and as they say, numbers don’t lie… the offense is 25th in yards per play (5.1), 29th in first downs (16.5 per game), 28th in passing (200 yards per game), 28th in yards per pass attempt (6.5), 26th in rushing (76.5 yards per game), 27th in yards per carry (3.5), 28th in yards per drive (27.23).

Enough is enough. It’s way past the time let’s see what this offense is capable of when this coaching staff stops playing conservatively.

Rudolph is ready to get back under center, and not soon enough.

“From going through that first full practice with the (starters), I don’t think I’ve missed much,” Rudolph said. “I don’t think I’ve skipped a beat. I think we’re really starting to gel well as an offense, and I’m looking forward to Monday.”

Will Rudolph have any fears of stepping up in the pocket after the brutal hit he took vs the Ravens?

“No,” said Rudolph with a laugh. “My dad’s a linebacker, my brother’s a defensive end – a lot of times I wish I could have more contact in the game because I truly love it. That’s kind of the backyard player that I am. So I’m not going to be gun shy at all. If anything, I’ll be seeking it out, contact, earlier in the game to get the rust back and know what it feels like to get hit.”

Now it’s time to get back to business and take down the Dolphins.

“It’s over now,” Rudolph said of his concussion experience. “It’s behind me. I’m ready to play football.”

 

Steelers Path to Success

  1. STOP living in your fears! Hey coach Tomlin and Fichtner! You have to see what Mason Rudolph can bring to the table. Let this guy throw the ball and open up the playbook.
  2. Bring back Steelers Football! This team needs to find it’s manhood and reestablish the running game. A balanced offense is a must.
  3. Blitzburgh against Fitzmagic? Good ole Ryan Fitzpatrick likes to wing the ball around, but he tosses more turnovers than a bakery while under pressure. Bring the heat!
  4. Have you seen us? It’s almost time for a milk carton for the Steelers receivers. In addition to getting the running game going, it’s time to see the actual receivers catch some passes for once.

Prediction

Play time is over. The Steelers defense is playing great and now it’s time for the offense to join the party.

If there was ever a time for the Pittsburgh offense to open it up, it’s going to be on Monday night at Heinz Field when the hapless Miami Dolphins visit the Steel City.

The Fish are giving up over 35 points per game.

Everyone knows that the defense will be bringing the heat against Ryan Fitzpatrick, hopefully forcing him into giving up a few juicy turnovers.

With Mason Rudolph returning to action, it would be nice to see the Steelers coaches open up the offense and start playing aggressive again.

It’s not a difficult game-plan this week. Continue to play fast and physical on defense. With the way this squad has been playing, they should be able to generate multiple turnovers and give the offense some extra chances, hopefully on short fields.

That said, it’s time to let Rudolph find his groove throwing past five yards. There are these weapons called “wide receivers” that really come in handy, especially downfield, when you want to get some big gains on offense. I’m sure the RB’s are appreciative of the extra touches out of the backfield, and they are a commodity as a check-down, but that group should get plenty of work carrying the ball with some vigor, and finally showing a semblance of a running game, you know, a Steelers staple since like, forever.

Steelers 34 Dolphins 10

______________________________________

Game Information

NFL Week 8

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins

Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.

Field: Natural Grass

Game-time: Monday, October 28th, at 8:15 pm ET

TV: ESPN (Local on WTAE-TV)

  • Announcers: Joe Tessitore (play-by-play) Booger McFarland (analyst) Lisa Salters (reporter)

Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE & WBGG 970 AM

  • Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) Craig Wolfley (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)

 

Internet Broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com

Weather at Kickoff: A mostly clear sky at night. Low: 56°.

Vegas Line: Steelers -14.5

NFL Standings

______________________________________

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins History

Series History: Began in 1971

Steelers are 14-13 overall vs Dolphins

  • At Home: 8-4
  • On Road: 6-9
  • Post-Season: 2-2
  • Streak: Dolphins won the last meeting.
  • Last Regular Season Meeting: Dolphins Win, 30-15 (Oct. 16, 2016)
  • Last Post-Season Meeting: Steelers Win, 30-12 (Jan. 8, 2017)

______________________________________

Scouting the Pittsburgh Steelers

Overall Record: 2-4

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (13th Season with Steelers)

  • Overall Regular Season Record: 127-70-1 (.641)
  • Playoff Record: 8-7 (Qualified for playoffs 8 times)

2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Roster

Steelers Team Statistics

Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Schedule 

Last Game: Steelers 24 Chargers 17

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Mason Rudolph*

The 2nd year gunslinger out of Oklahoma State takes over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger but has yet to be fully unleashed by the coaching staff.

  • Passing Yards: 646
  • TD Passes: 7
  • Interceptions: 2
  • Sacks: 3
  • Yards Rushing: 19
  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Devlin Hodges

The former Samford quarterback showed no fear when he was forced into action vs the Ravens. Did well in first NFL start vs Chargers.

  • Passing Yards: 200
  • TD Passes: 1
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Sacks: 0
  • Yards Rushing: 28
  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Ben Roethlisberger (Injured)

Out for the season with an elbow injury.

  • Passing Yards: 351
  • TD Passes: 0
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Sacks: 2
  • Yards Rushing: 7
  • Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Running Backs

James Conner*

Not off to his best start. Conner needs to get back to power football and secure the ball.

  • Yards Rushing: 235
  • Rushing TD’s: 3
  • Receptions: 26
  • Yards Receiving: 231
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Jaylen Samuels 

Dynamic player who can play several positions. Dangerous as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

  • Yards Rushing: 50
  • Rushing TD’s: 1
  • Receptions: 13
  • Yards Receiving: 83
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Benny Snell, Jr.

Will be used to spell Conner and possibly short-yardage situations.

  • Yards Rushing: 105
  • Rushing TD’s: 0
  • Receptions: 1
  • Yards Receiving: 14
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Roosevelt Nix (Fullback) 

  • Yards Rushing: 0
  • Rushing TD’s: 0
  • Receptions: 0
  • Yards Receiving: 44
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Juju Smith-Schuster*

Smith-Schuster is set to prove he is a true No.1 receiver for the Steelers, but now has two fumbles that have cost the team two probable wins.

  • Receptions: 25
  • Receiving Yards: 340
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Dointae Johnson*

Talented rookie whose makes the most of every reception. Blessed with wicked moves in open space.

  • Receptions: 20
  • Receiving Yards: 212
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

James Washington 

He was ready to have a breakout season and establish himself as a big-time playmaker in the NFL. So far, not going anywhere as expected.

  • Receptions: 9
  • Receiving Yards: 140
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Donte Moncrief

He was expected to be the #2 receiver, but had five drops in the first two games.

  • Receptions: 4
  • Receiving Yards: 18
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Ryan Switzer

Sparingly used with Big Ben out. Will return punts and kicks.

  • Receptions: 8
  • Receiving Yards: 27
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Johnny Holton

Steelers deep threat, but has yet to record a catch.

  • Receptions: 0
  • Receiving Yards: 0
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Vance McDonald*

The Vanimal, when unleashed, is a sight to see. He could be a major part of offense if utilized correctly and if he stays healthy.

  • Receptions: 14
  • Receiving Yards: 127
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Nate Vannett

The Ohio State product was acquired from the Seahawks earlier this season.

  • Receptions: 3
  • Receiving Yards: 33
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

 

OFFENSIVE LINE

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Left Guard: Ramon Foster

Center: Maurkice Pouncey

Right Guard: David DeCastro

Right Tackle: Matt Feller

 

DEFENSE (Base 3-4)

Defensive End: Cam Heyward

Defensive Tackle: Javon Hargrave/Dan McCullers

Defensive End: Tyson Alualu

Left OLB: T.J. Watt

Left MLB: Devin Bush/Mark Baron

Right MLB: Vince Willams

Right OLB: Bud Dupree

Cornerback: Joe Haden

Strong Safety: Terrell Edmunds

Free Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Cornerback: Steven Nelson/Artie Burns

Nickle: Mike Hilton/Cameron Sutton

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Chris Boswell

  • Extra Points: 12-12
  • FG: 11-11
  • 0-19: 1-1 / 20-29:  4-4 / 30-39: 2-2 / 40-49:  4-4 / 50+:  0-0
  • Long: 49

 

Punter

Jordan Berry

  • Yards per Punt: 47.1

 

Kickoff Returners

Ryan Switzer

  • Yards per Kickoff Return: 16.2 / Return TD’s: 0

Johnny Holton

  • Yards per Kickoff Return: 18.3 / Return TD’s: 0

 

Punt Returner

Ryan Switzer

  • Yards per Kickoff Return: 5.6 / Return TD’s: 0

 

Pittsburgh Injury Report (10/26/19)

  • Out: None
  • Doubtful: None 
  • Questionable: LB Mark Barron (Hamstring), LB Ulysees Gilbert III (Back)

 

______________________________________

Scouting the Miami Dolphins

Overall Record: 0-6

Head Coach: Brian Flores (1st Season with Dolphins)

  • Overall Regular Season Record: 0-6 / 0-6 with Dolphins
  • Playoff Record: 0-0 (Qualified for playoffs 0 times)

2019 Miami Dolphins Team Roster

Miami Team Statistics

Last Game: Bills 31 Dolphins 21

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick*

Fitzpatrick wings it no matter what. Turnover machine.

  • Passing Yards: 717
  • TD Passes: 3
  • Interceptions: 5
  • Sacks: 6
  • Yards Rushing: 32
  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Josh Rosen

  • Passing Yards: 567
  • TD Passes: 1
  • Interceptions: 5
  • Sacks: 16
  • Yards Rushing: 13
  • Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Running Backs

Mark Walton*

Walton has taken over as the Dolphins best back the past few weeks.

  • Yards Rushing: 137
  • Rushing TD’s: 0
  • Receptions: 9
  • Yards Receiving: 58
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Kenyan Drake

Drake has talent but is stuck on a bad team. Dangerous out of the backfield catching passes.

  • Yards Rushing: 174
  • Rushing TD’s: 3
  • Receptions: 22
  • Yards Receiving: 174
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Kalen Ballage

  • Yards Rushing: 43
  • Rushing TD’s: 2
  • Receptions: 3
  • Yards Receiving: 29
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Preston Williams*

Williams has been the Dolphin’s best receiver so far this year.

  • Receptions: 23
  • Receiving Yards: 314
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

DeVante Parker*

Has been quiet, but picking up his game with Fitzpatrick at the helm.

  • Receptions: 18
  • Receiving Yards: 284
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Allen Hurns

  • Receptions: 8
  • Receiving Yards: 110
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Jakeem Grant

  • Receptions: 9
  • Receiving Yards: 52
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Albert Wilson

  • Receptions:8
  • Receiving Yards: 50
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Mike Gesicki*

Great talent… Dolphins finally noticing this the past few weeks.

  • Receptions: 13
  • Receiving Yards: 143
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Nick O’Leary

  • Receptions: 4
  • Receiving Yards: 37
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

 

DEFENSE (Base 4-3)

As bad as it gets…. giving up 417.3 total yards per game and allowing over 35 points per game to their opponents.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Jason Sanders

  • Extra Points: 6-6
  • FG: 5-8
  • 0-19: 0-0 / 20-29: 1-1 / 30-39: 3-3 / 40-49: 0-1 / 50+: 1-3
  • Long: 54

Miami Dolphins Injury Report (10/26/19)

  • Out: S Reshad Jones (Chest), C Daniel Kilgore (Knee)
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: CB Chris Lammons (Ankle/Toe), CB Xavien Howard (Knee), DE Avery Moss (Ankle), CB Nik Needham (Foot)

 

______________________________________

OFFENSIVE STATS

Total yards per game 

  • Pittsburgh: 281.8
  • Miami: 280.7

Passing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 205.3
  • Miami: 214

Rushing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 76.5
  • Miami: 66.7

Points per game

  • Pittsburgh: 20.5
  • Miami: 10.5

 

DEFENSIVE STATS

Total Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 354.3
  • Miami: 417.3

Passing Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 244.2
  • Miami: 256.5

Rushing Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 110.2
  • Miami: 160.8

Points Allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 21.8
  • Miami: 35.2

Extra Defensive Stats

Pittsburgh

  • Sacks: 20
  • Interceptions: 8
  • Fumbles: 4

Miami

  • Sacks: 7
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Fumbles: 1

______________________________________

NFL Game Day

NFL Standings

NFL Scoreboard

Author Profile

Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

There's nowhere on earth that is more dedicated to its sports teams like Western Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh. The passion and pride of Pittsburgh's fan base is second to no one. From the NFL, NHL, MLB, NCAA football and basketball, to W.P.I.A.L. high school sports, "The City of Champions" has it all!

As Editor of Pittsburgh SportsNation, Mike Drakulich provides top notch opinions and coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pitt Panthers football & basketball, Robert Morris Colonials basketball, and Duquesne Dukes basketball, as well as all sports teams that represent Western Pennsylvania, including WPIAL High School Football.

For a refreshing view of sports, mixed with humor and uncensored opinions, check out Pittsburgh SportsNation today on Facebook, Twitter @SportsNationPGH and videos with over 1,000,000 views on YouTube!
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top
%d bloggers like this: