Last week against the New York Jets, the Steelers showed their common game. Week in and week out, I presume the performance for the rest of the season will resemble Week 5. The Pittsburgh Steelers have improved to 4-1 on the season, 3-0 at home, and have secured the 1st place in the AFC North Division.
They’ll look to improve to 5-1 this Sunday against the Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins. The last regular season meeting between these two teams was in 2013 when Miami defeated Pittsburgh 34-28. It was a surprising high scoring game three years ago when the Steelers offense wasn’t as prolific as it is now.
“We expect professionals to deliver and they did.” –Mike Tomlin The Steelers have a laundry list of injuries including this weeks injured Cam Heyward. His track record of games played is one of the highest active steaks in the league. But this Steelers team is seeing the cliché phrase “Next man up” come to life.
This year, the Dolphins are scoring 17.6 PPG as opposed to the Steelers’ 27.8 PPG, which would have crossed the 30 point threshold if Philadelphia hadn’t clobbered the Steelers 34-3. On paper, I don’t see a way that the Steelers could lose this game. Even aside from the injury list that Mike Tomlin read on Tuesday’s mid-week conference, the offense still is humming. BJ Finny and Vince Williams have stepped up to really protect Ben on one side of the ball and pressure the opposing teams quarterback on the other side.
Let’s get to our steel recognitions of the week:
COAL – He who fueled the fire – Regardless of the five drops that he had, Sammie Coates fueled the fire this week right off the bat with a 72-yard touchdown pass from Big Ben Roethlisberger on the first drive of the Steelers possession. That alone changed the demeanor of the game and immediately put the jets down seven.
ORE – The rock who stood tall – Vince Williams led the team in tackles for the second straight week. Remember, this is a backup subbing for the frequently injured Ryan Shazier. Williams had 8 solo tackles, 1 sack, 2 QB hits, and three rushing stops for losses. This backup has a sack in two straight games. Ryan Shazier doesn’t have a sack on the season at all and as his injury isn’t helping his case. After this week’s performance, you’ll be seeing conversations of whether or not Shazier and Williams will be splitting time.
SCRAP METAL – Scrap it…period – Surprisingly, Sammie Coates is going to make this list twice this week. As his two touchdowns and 100-plus yard game contributed to a Steelers victory, the five drops were incredibly frustrating. As a fan, they were frustrating. For Coates and Roethlisberger I had to be double that. Overall, just scrap all of the drops. If Coates builds more chemistry between the franchise quarterbacks and doesn’t slow down on his routes, you’ll see difficult matchups throughout the league with Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell, DeAngelo Williams, Eli Rodgers, Jesse James, and Sammie Coates. That’s not even considering next year when Martavis Bryant returns from his suspension.
Overall, there will be another Steelers win this week. I don’t see Miami putting up a lot of points even with the mediocre Pittsburgh secondary. Arian Foster won’t see much success against the Steelers’ rush defense, but watch out for the combination of Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills. Fun fact of the week, you’ll be seeing a Pouncey on each team’s offensive line. Maurkice versus Mike Pouncey. They’re identical twin brothers so make sure that you’re watching the uniforms.
Prediction: 38-17 Steelers win