The Pittsburgh Steelers snapped a 4-game losing streak in Week 6, but their opponent in Week 7, the Miami Dolphins, are coming into this game on a 3-game skid. However, the Dolphins get their quarterback Tua Tagovailoa back in the lineup on Sunday Night Football as the organization honored the 50th anniversary of the 1972 undefeated team.
Nonetheless, when the game was ready to be kicked off, it was the Steelers choosing to defer their possession to the start of the second half. Following the kick return, Tua and the Dolphins high-flying offense took the field starting at the 29-yard line. Despite two negative plays to start the drive, it took just three plays to move the ball into Pittsburgh territory. After completions to Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins face a red-zone appearance. On a 3rd and 3, it was Tua who pitched it to Raheem Mostert for the touchdown. The extra point made the score 7-0 with 10:45 left in the opening quarter.
The Steelers’ first drive of the game lasted just three plays before Pressley Harvin was called on to punt. Miami took a 23-yard Harvin punt and had tremendous starting field position. Their offensive success continued, but this time when they hit the red-zone the Steelers’ defense won the battle, forcing a field goal attempt. The kick was good, making the score 10-0 with 5:32 left in the quarter.
The next Pittsburgh drive lasted only two plays before Pickett’s pass intended for Chase Claypool, who got tangled up with a Miami defender and fell down, was intercepted. Luckily for the Steelers, the Dolphins were unable to turn the turnover into a touchdown, and instead just settled for a 41-yard field goal. The kick made the score 13-0 with 2:27 left in the first quarter.
It took almost the entire opening quarter, but the Steelers were able to finally get a first down, and more, on the third drive of the game. Pickett used his arm and legs as the team moved their way down the field; however, when the team reached field goal range they had to settle for a Chris Boswell 45-yard field goal. The kick made the score 13-3 with 11:44 left in the half.
The Steelers’ defense did something in the second quarter it hadn’t done the entire game, and it was force a Miami punt. Pickett and the Pittsburgh offense started to settle in, and they put together their best drive of the game. With over 9 minutes remaining in the half, the Steelers orchestrated a drive which featured key third down conversions to a multitude of players, and resulted in a 2nd and goal at the 2-minute warning.
The first play coming off the two-minute warning was a beautiful pass from Pickett to fellow rookie George Pickens for the first Steelers touchdown of the game.
The Boswell point-after was good, making the score 13-10 with 1:50 left in the first half.
Miami wasn’t about to go into halftime without trying to add to their point total. Tua and the quick-hitting offense moved quickly down the field, utilizing their timeouts wisely to give them options when it mattered most. Miami was able to add a field goal to their point total, to make it 16-10 heading into halftime.
The Steelers started with the football to start the second half, and the drive lasted just three plays. Tua and the Miami offense quickly moved the ball into Pittsburgh territory and in the red-zone. After being stopped on a 3rd and 2 from the 11-yard line, the Dolphins chose to go for it on 4th down and were stopped again, turning it over on downs.
HUGE STOP ON FOURTH DOWN pic.twitter.com/XQPdLp3jMo— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) October 24, 2022
Outside of flipping field position, the Steelers weren’t able to take advantage of Miami’s gamble. For the first time in the game, the Pittsburgh defense forced a three-and-out of the Miami offense, giving the ball right back to Kenny Pickett and company.
Miami had a second straight three-and-out as both defenses started to catch up with the offenses in the second half. To start the 4th quarter, the Steelers’ next drive did nothing more than the previous drive — flip the field.
Offensive football was not good for either team as both exchanged three-and-outs throughout the second half. Miami didn’t have a three-and-out midway through the fourth quarter, but they weren’t able to add to their point total before sending the ball back to Pickett and company.
Desperately needing a drive, Pickett and the Pittsburgh offense woke up. Kenny Pickett hit huge conversions to Chase Claypool and George Pickens as the drive neared the red-zone. As the Steelers looked as if they would be threatening to take the lead, penalties started backing up the offense. An illegal shift and holding calls created a 3rd and 16 situation. Pickett’s pass intended for Diontae Johnson was intercepted, and it ended the Steelers’ drive and looked like their chances of winning the game.
After the Steelers defense forced a three-and-out, Pickett and company got the ball back at their own 13-yard line with 2:31 left and no timeouts remaining. Pickett hit Pat Freiermuth on a huge 4th down conversion, and then Diontae Johnson moved the Steelers’ offense within striking distance. However, Pickett was scrambling on a 2nd down play and the pass was intercepted in the end-zone to end the game.
The loss moves the Steelers record to 2-5 on the season as they now prepare for a Week 8 trip to the Philadelphia Eagles prior to their Week 9 bye week.