MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-6) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (5-7)
DATE: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013
TIME: 1 p.m. ET
SITE: Heinz Field
TV ANNOUNCERS: Ian Eagle, play-by-play; Dan Fouts, analysis
DOLPHINS RADIO NETWORK: Clear Channel, WBGG (105.9 FM) and WINZ (940 AM) and a network of affiliates throughout Florida; WQBA (1140 AM-Spanish)
RADIO VOICES: English broadcast — Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Kim Bokamper; Spanish broadcast — Raul Striker, Joaquin Duro
SERIES RECORD: Pittsburgh leads 13-11 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 8-6
At PITTSBURGH: Steelers lead 7-3
LAST MEETING: 2010 at Miami; Steelers 23, Dolphins 22
HISTORY LESSON: This will be the fourth time the Dolphins have played in Pittsburgh in December, and two of the first three meetings came in the playoffs. The Dolphins played at Three Rivers Stadium on Dec. 31 in the 1972 AFC Championship Game and left with a 21-17 victory (the game was in Pittsburgh even though the Dolphins had a 14-0 regular season record because home-field advantage was awarded on a rotating basis back then). Then on Dec. 30, 1979, the Dolphins returned to Pittsburgh for a divisional playoff game, with the Steelers taking that one by a 34-14 score.
SERIES TREND: Things haven’t gone very well for the Dolphins in this series lately, with Pittsburgh taking the last five meetings. Most of the games have been close, though, with the last three decided by six points or less. One of those was a 3-0 Pittsburgh victory in a Monday night game in 2007 when heavy rains turned Heinz Field into a muddy mess.
STEELERS’ RECORD: 5-7
LAST GAME: Lost at Baltimore, 22-20
OVERVIEW: The Steelers have been fighting an uphill battle to get themselves in playoff contention after starting the season 0-4, and they continue to do so while being hit by injury after injury. The Thanksgiving night game at Baltimore was another example, with the Steelers losing after a failed two-point conversion attempt in the final two minutes while losing four players — including three offensive linemen — to injury in the second half. The Steelers had won three games in a row before the tough loss against the Ravens.
KEY NEW FACES: LB Jarvis Jones (draft-1st round), RB Le’Veon Bell (draft-2nd), WR Markus Wheaton (draft-3rd), S Shamarko Thomas (draft-3rd), QB Bruce Gradkowski (Cincinnati), RB Felix Jones (Dallas)
KEY VETERANS GONE: C Maurkice Pouncey (IR), LB James Harrison, QB Byron Leftwich, NT Casey Hampton, QB Charlie Batch, CB Keenan Lewis, T Max Starks, RB Rashard Mendenhall, WR