As our fearless leader, Michael Bean, pointed out earlier this weekend the Steelers are about to dive into a difficult four game stretch that involves 3 straight away games. The Steelers face 3 very good teams in Miami, New Orleans, and New England and finish off with a struggling Cincinnati. Therefore, the Steelers need to start out on the right foot and get a win in the first game of that stretch. I would hate to be coming off a loss and turn a match-up against the defending Super Bowl champions into a must win situation.
The Miami Dolphins sit at 3-2 coming off a huge win against the packers on an overtime field goal. Cameron Wake had a huge game that involved him introducing Aaron Rodgers to the turf on three occasions. Quarterback Chad Henne was reliable through the game and lead his team into field goal range to win the game. One thing I like about the Phins is that they are a figure in the mold of our Pittsburgh Steelers. They love to play physical defense and they try to wear you down with their hard hitting running game. That is why I think this game will be a close one and very hard fought.
A few key match-ups to watch:
Flozell Adams/Max Starks vs Cameron Wake: Wake is quite the handful for any Tackle and will most likely get consistent double teams from our line. I expect we could see Heath and Mendenhall/Redman chipping on whatever side of the field he is on.
James Harrison vs. Jake Long: Long is one of the best tackles in the game. Harrison is one of the best OLBs in the league. This battle will be epic. Even if Long prevents Deebo from getting to Henne, I expect that Harrison will flush Henne towards Woodley a few times. Additionally, I have yet to see a Tackle dominate Harrison in the running game, so I expect him to win there.
Troy Polamalu vs. Chad Henne: His Hairness has been "quiet" the last two games and has not gotten a pick since the Titans game. I have heard rumblings from Dolphins fans that Henne has a tendency to stare down his WRs. If he does that today, Troy is going to make him pay. The reason Troy is such a great safety is that he learns quickly during a game. If you run an out a three times to the same WR, you can bet your butt he will be in front of the fourth.
Lawrence Timmons vs. Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams: Timmons has been tremendous against the run this year and I do not expect that to change today. The Dolphins line is very good at opening holes and Brown is very good at finding them. However, today Brown will find that more often than not Timmons will be filling that hole (TWSS).