As Steeler Nation anxiously awaits the next 3 hours of incomparable, unparalleled excitement that occurs on Sunday afternoons, I thought I’d put together a few facts about the Dolphins to evaluate and discuss.
Defense: The Dolphins defense seems to be suspect, to say the least. They rank 23rd in points allowed per game, with an average of over 22 points being allowed to each opponent. To be fair, it should be noted that they have played New England, the Jets, and the Vikings which have fairly strong offensive production. Conversely, their only other game was a 15-10 win over the hapless Buffalo Bills which they eeked out in week one. On the ground they are allowing over 100 yards per game with the average carry being 4.1 yards, which makes my mouth water thinking about what Mendy and Redman may scorch them for. When you consider that along with the fact that they are giving up 201 yards per game in the air, things seem to bode well for our offense in general. They also have a -3 takeaway margin, which is something that no DC wants to see. I don’t think this defense is a pushover in my opinion (which is drawn partially from having watched two of their games myself) but I do feel that a good offensive game plan by BA, and good overall offensive execution should result in an adequate amount of points being put up by Big Ben and company to emerge victorious.
Offense: The Dolphins rank 12th in offensive yards per game, with an average of 347. Not bad at all. The jury is still out on Henne, but he does show promise in many areas. He seems hard to rattle, which is impressive for any young quarterback when facing NFL defenses. Even though the Dolphins total yards per game average is respectable, their point production per game is seemingly low with an average of just over 17. To put this fact in perspective, the Steelers have the 28th ranked offense in yards per game, yet they are averaging almost 23 points per game. Interesting. As far as running the ball goes, the fins have a very respectable average of 115 yards when pounding the rock. When considering that the Steelers prior opponents rushing averages per game are: the Falcons at 134, the Titans at 138, and the Ravens at 111, it stands to reason that the mighty Steeler D should have little problem taking away the run and making the Dolphins one-dimensional. I personally don’t think that Henne has the ability to beat us with his arm without a substantial running game, so overall the stats seem to favor the visiting Steelers.