The Steelers are on to face a Chiefs in a AFC Divisional Round after doing a Dolphins with palliate in Sunday’s AFC wild-card tilt. Here’s what we schooled from Pittsburgh’s 30-12 win over Miami:
1. This one felt over for Miami reduction than 3 mins in when Antonio Brown incited a brief locate into a 50-yard scurry down a sideline for a game’s initial touchdown. The All-Pro receiver feasted on Miami’s banged-up defense, commanding a 39 yards he had opposite a ‘Fins in Week 6 in small seconds:
Adam Gase told me yesterday “We can’t let them spin a 5-yard benefit into a 50-yard gain.” That TD: 50 yards. Precisely what he didn’t want.
â Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo)
January 8, 2017
Second drive? Rinse and repeat, with Brown holding a Ben Roethlisberger strike 62 yards to a residence on a play that saw Dolphins reserve Bacarri Rambo stationed badly out of position. Brown’s 119 receiving yards in a initial entertain were a most by any player given Minnesota’s Gene Washington had 120 yards in a initial support opposite Cleveland approach behind in a 1969 NFL Championship Game. With 124 yards and dual scores off 5 grabs, Brown is a kind of surprising talent who creates a Steelers a genuine hazard to a Chiefs and Patriots.
2. Coming into Sunday ranked initial in touches per diversion (28) and struggle yards per tour (157), Le’Veon Bell surfaced both outlines with palliate during a luscious showcase of his on-field talents. Setting a single-game Steelers playoff record with 167 yards on a ground, Bell — in his initial postseason coming — shifted into workhorse mode on Pittsburgh’s third drive, ripping and bobbing his approach by Miami’s confused invulnerability for 83 yards off 10 true runs capped by a initial of his dual touchdowns. The Bell-heavy impetus had a mean-spirited aura to it, with Pittsburgh fundamentally revelation a Dolphins, “You can’t stop this offense.” Recalling visions of a Bills lashing a ‘Fins for 272 yards in Week 16, Bell toyed with Miami’s front 7 from handle to wire. He’s a kind of actor who creates football a fun to watch, with NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling sketch an suitable comparison for Bell’s character of play: Marcus Allen.
3. Roethlisberger was seen in a walking foot after a game. The Steelers quarterback told scribes that he suffered an ankle damage on a second-to-last play opposite Miami, yet betrothed he would be prepared for a Chiefs. “We don’t know anything yet, yet good find out shortly enough,” Big Ben pronounced of a injury. “You’re always disturbed about being hurt, yet I’ll be out there subsequent week.” Against Miami, Roethlisberger opened a ideal 11-of-11 flitting before lobbing an interception to Dolphins reserve Michael Thomas on his final try of a initial half. Operating behind an air-tight descent line, Big Ben authored Pittsburgh’s discerning start before settling in to chuck for 197 yards during a tasty 10.9 yards per attempt. The uber-reliable Steelers passer wasn’t even overwhelmed until low in a third entertain and wound adult lofting usually 18 passes all day. It’s satisfactory to ask because he played so low into this contest.
4. With starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill examination in travel clothes, Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree sent Dolphins backup Matt Moore into another star with a aroused helmet-to-jaw collision in a second quarter. Replaced for a snap by backup T.J. Yates, Moore courageously returned to lead a offense on a margin idea expostulate that kept Miami’s vanishing hopes alive. One expostulate later, Moore had a possibility to lift a ‘Fins within a touchdown, looking for a finish section from Pittsburgh’s 8-yard line with 27 seconds left in a initial half. Instead of anticipating compensate dirt, though, Moore was a plant of a infamous James Harrison strip-sack to finish a half. It usually grew worse from there, with Moore losing another strip-sack before tossing a collect to Ryan Shazier on Miami’s initial dual security of a second half. Beyond a gaffes and gruesome hits, a 32-year-old Moore played admirably, completing 29 of 36 passes for 289 yards with a touchdown.
5. The catastrophic early diversion book for Miami (Pittsburgh outgained them by an vast 258 yards to 55 out of a gate) kept Jay Ajayi (16/33) from creation any arrange of a difference. The Dolphins using behind was hold to usually 12 yards over a initial 23 mins and never strike his stride.
6. This wasn’t a good day for a Dolphins, yet their submissive bottom never illusory they’d be personification in Jan after a rough-and-tumble 1-4 start to a year. Three months later, Adam Gase looms as a Coach of a Year claimant after so many mislaid seasons spent acid for a earnest leader. The large doubt in Miami is either Gase will be means to keep coordinator Vance Joseph, who remains a prohibited name notwithstanding a play of his smashed invulnerability down a stretch.
7. Pittsburgh’s delegate authorised Moore to finish copiousness of passes over a center of a field, yet Miami had no answer for a artistic blitzes dialed by Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler, whose organisation of madmen piled adult 5 sacks and 9 quarterback hits. The time-honoured Harrison, especially, was a pell-mell whirlwind. When he wasn’t blustering Moore himself, a courtesy he ordered authorised other Steelers to feast in a pocket.
8. It won’t be so easy subsequent week, when Pittsburgh goes on a highway to face a surging Chiefs group in Kansas City. Doubling as something of a punish diversion for Steelers play-caller Todd Haley, subsequent Sunday’s showdown has a makings of a Jan classic. If a Steelers can keep their star players handling during this turn for another fortnight — and keep them healthy — a sky is a extent for Pittsburgh.
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