The Pittsburgh Steelers are 4-1 and aiming to claim their 5th win of the 2016 NFL regular season. To do so, they will have to go through the Miami Dolphins (1-4) to achieve such a goal. When looking at the roster, there are several players who will need to step up their game to ensure Pittsburgh leaves South Beach 5-1 as they head back to the Steel City for a huge Week 7 game against the New England Patriots.
Check out the 5 impact players for the Steelers vs. the Dolphins in Week 6:
The Dolphins are one of the worst run defenses in the league, and the Steelers offensive line, and Bell himself, should be salivating looking at this matchup. Expect a large dose of Bell in this Week 6 game, and this is a contest where the Steelers can impose their will on a lesser opponent. The team often out thinks themselves preparing for the opponent to load the box to stop the run, and they come out pass-happy. Good teams should be able to run and pass on any down regardless of the defense. Look for Le'Veon Bell to be a huge impact player in this game.
Javon Hargrave / Ricardo Mathews
Losing Cameron Heyward is a big deal. Some might dismiss it, but his leadership, tenacity and skill set is almost impossible to duplicate. The job of replacing Heyward will fall on Hargrave and Mathews. The rookie from South Carolina State has seen his snaps increase steadily throughout the regular season, and Mike Tomlin praised Mathews "motor" this past week. Stopping the run is paramount, and is one of Heyward's best attributes. Time for these reserve players to step up and be the "next man up" when they see the playing field.
News broke early this week that Burns would be the third cornerback on the field, rather than fellow rookie Sean Davis. Davis will primarily stay at safety, and Burns will see a major increase in his defensive snaps. When Burns is called on for duty, William Gay will move to the slot as Burns patrols the outside with Ross Cockrell. Burns will have to continue to show progress, and consistency, in all aspects of his game. He has struggled with tackling his rookie season, but has been praised for his work ethic every week. Time for the work to pay off, hopefully in the form of the secondary's first interception of the season.
When it comes to Brown's standards, he has gotten off to a slower start than normal. Yes, he leads the league in receptions, but there just seems something is off between Brown and Ben Roethlisberger. Defenses are doing their job in keeping Brown from making the big play against them, but you know it is only a matter of time until Brown breaks out. Let's hope the breakout game comes in Week 6 against the Dolphins.
Okay, so I know Tomlin isn't a player, but there is only one way to silence the fans who are constantly discussing "let down" games, and waiting for the other shoe to drop. How is that? Stop losing games, especially on the road, to bad teams. They held serve against the New York Jets at Heinz Field last week, and beating the Dolphins in Miami in Week 6 will go a long way to finally putting this narrative to bed.