Thursday 22 February 2018 / 03:40 PM


If you didn’t watch the Steelers-Dolphins game on Sunday, you would assume that the Dolphins threw a couple interceptions and got buried early – just like any other game in the past few years.

You can’t blame the critics; nearly every football analyst and commentator predicted a Steelers win. The Dolphins have been struggling with Tannehill, along with several injuries, and the Steelers had hot momentum from their 31-13 win over the Jets last week.

But once in a blue moon, the Dolphins get superpowers.

In Miami’s stunning 30-15 victory, Tannehill went off for 24 completions out of 32 attempts for 252 yards with no interceptions. No interceptions for the Dolphins – guys, this is a big deal. There was even a play in the 2nd quarter where Tannehill escaped a sack to launch a 50+-yard pass to Marquis Gray to put them within 5 yards of the endzone. Roethlisberger played poorly, with 19 completions out of 34 attempts for 189 yards, with two interceptions.

Miami started off taking the lead with a field goal. The Steelers then had an aggressive run by Darius Heyward-Bey to raise Miami a touchdown, as well as a bold two-point conversion. Heyward-Bey’s 60-yard run was a flash of what the Steelers should have been doing to the Dolphins the entire game. Up until then, the game was going just as everyone predicted, and the cocky move for the extra two points is almost embarrassing compared to how the rest of the game went.

The Dolphins chipped away at the Pittsburgh lead slowly in the second quarter with two field goals, but then topped it off with a touchdown. The second quarter was when Tannehill started playing more like Roethlisberger usually does…and Roethlisberger started playing like Tannehill usually does. The plays in which Tannehill chucked the football 30+ yards to complete a perfect pass were juxtaposed with plays in which Roethlisberger was throwing interceptions.

The final score might have been 30-15, but it was nowhere as close as it seems. With a few lucky passes in the 4th quarter, Roethlisberger was able to add seven points to their first-quarter lead. Anyone watching the game could tell that ‘Big Ben’ played like trash and the Steelers got manhandled for 75 percent of the game. The Williams scramble-turned-touchdown put Miami up 16-8. Even though the field goal was blocked, Miami was still clearly running the show.

Big Ben threw another interception in the 3rd, his final one for the night. Miami eventually scored and increased the lead to 23-8. The Steelers stayed at eight points for the entire quarter, failing to score until the final minutes of the 4th term. The chance of a Steelers victory now was very slim, but the 62-yard run by Jay Ajayi sealed the deal.

The Dolphins had a phenomenal game all around. Tannehill played great, and his offensive line kept him from getting sacked the entire game. If the Dolphins offense play the rest of its season like it did today, they could have one of their better seasons. I’m not saying that Sunday was a critical turn for the Dolphins franchise, but they did come out on top over one of the better teams in the NFL. Winning a game like this at home is a good way to get the disillusioned Miami fans back on your side. The same people that were booing Tannehill last week might end up wearing a Tannehill jersey for the next game.

The Steelers come off this embarrassing loss to play the Patriots next week, and if the game hinges on how Brady and Roethlisberger performed this Sunday, you might as well give the Patriots the win.

The Dolphins will be playing fellow AFC competitors the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets in the next two weeks, so hopefully for Dolfan nation their team can play with the same intensity and intelligence they did on Sunday. It won’t be an easy feat. The Bills just blew out the 49ers 45-16, so let’s see how Miami can handle the #2 AFC spot holder next week in Sun Life Stadium.

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About the author

Alex Moskov

Alex has come on board with CBS as our basketball and gridiron expert, providing opinions and analysis from the bright lights of the NBA and NFL.

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