It's basically impossible to ask Steelers fans to root for the New England Patriots, but if they want their team to advance to the postseason, the Pats will have to top the Phish. If they don't, Pittsburgh will miss the postseason for the second straight year.
With the backdrop of a snowy and cold Heinz Field, the Steelers defense had a chance to make a late-season statement and help the team remain in the playoff hunt. However, thanks to breakdowns at critical moments, Dick LeBeau's unit is one of the main reasons why Pittsburgh's playoff chances are all but finished.
Dolphins vs. Steelers: News and updates leading into Week 14
This stream has:
The Steelers ensure a 2013 record that's at best equal to last year's with a sloppy loss to the Dolphins. Any combination of Ravens or Dolphins wins, or Steelers losses, eliminates the Steelers from the postseason.
Entering his second year, the Dolphins' 2012 first-round draft pick has started every game the Dolphins have played. He's never played in the snow, however, and he's never played a Dick LeBeau defense.
Neither the Steelers nor the Dolphins utilize play action passing much in their offense, likely due to a variety of reasons. Ben Roethlisberger and Ryan Tannehill both excel in it, but stalled running games and no huddle offenses make it difficult.
Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders isn't afraid to simply state the obvious; Miami's pass rush is nasty, and to protect their quarterback, they will need a short passing game. And the receivers will need to take it from there.
Mike Adams will make his first start since Week 4 Sunday when the Steelers take on the Dolphins. A rocky start to his career eventually led to his demotion from the left side, but he has a second chance to show his potential on the field.
The Miami Dolphins haven't quite yet put their enormous level of talent together for a string of success, but they aren't far from reaching that point. With lots of individual talent to farm here, it makes for one of the better rosters in the NFL.
Despite having more deep targets in 2012 under Haley than in 2011 under Arians, Mike Wallace threw a quiet jab at his utilization in his last season in Pittsburgh. Keeping him in check will be important for the Steelers against Miami in Week 14.