TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Heinz Field
Weather: High 34, Low 34
Line: Pittsburgh (-3)
Losing a close game on Thanksgiving night, the Pittsburgh Steelers just hurt their chances at making the playoffs, dropping their record to 5-7. It might take winning out in order for Pittsburgh to even have a chance at a playoff spot. The Steelers have been successful after a slow start to the season because of strong play by their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. The elusive veteran quarterback has passed for 3,375 yards and 21 touchdowns on the year, connecting with Antonio Brown 85 times for 1,103 yards and six touchdowns — forgetting Mike Wallace even existed. Le’Veon Bell has come on strong at running back after missing the first few games of the season with an injury, rushing for 528 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie.
The Miami Dolphins started the year as one of the best teams in the league with a 3-0 record, but have gone 3-6 since then and dropped out of many people’s playoff conversations. This game will most likely be playing for a wild card spot and the Dolphins will need a solid performance from second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill who has passed for 3,115 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year. One of his favorite wide outs has been Roethlisberger’s former favorite target in Mike Wallace. The veteran wide out will be returning to Pittsburgh for the first time since leaving and he’s having a down year under his standards, catching 56 passes for 743 yards and three scores. Lamar Miller leads the run game with 547 yards and two touchdowns on four yards per carry.
Defensively, the Dolphins have had one of the top units in the league. Although they rank just 14th in total yards allowed per game, they also rank ninth in both points and passing yards allowed while struggling to stop the run. Pittsburgh has ranked in the top-half in most defensive categories, except rushing yards allowed, all season long. The Steelers rank 14th in points allowed and 13th in total yards allowed while also ranking 11th in passing yards allowed.
PREDICTION: Dolphins 24, Steelers 27
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.