The Miami Dolphins (6-6) will try and build momentum in the month of December on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7) this Sunday in the steel city. It’s no secret that every win will build excitement and move this franchise closer to a playoff berth as the season winds down. The Dolphins must change their luck on the road against the Steelers because Pittsburgh has won five straight meetings and hasn’t lost at home to Miami since 1990. Here are some of the keys to victory this week.
1) Contain Big Ben – Containing the quarterback and limiting his big play is probably the biggest concern for most defenses when facing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. His ability to extend plays with his strength and vision is something the Dolphins must control this Sunday. If defensive ends
2) Keep The Hammer Down – This offense is based upon balance and is most effective when the running game complements the passing game. Saying that, the most important key is for quarterback
3) Start Fast – Nothing will help lead to a win more than playing with confidence on the road and winning the first 15 minutes of this game. This cannot be a game where you let a veteran team that has their backs against the wall easy yardage or turnovers in the first quarter at home. Miami must start by controlling the lines of scrimmage and making it difficult for Pittsburgh to generate any rhythm early. Getting points on the first offensive drive or changing the field position on defense will take the home crowd out of the game, and should give the Dolphins the jump they are looking for on the road.
4) Sturgis Needs To Be Money – Forget about everything that the rookie placekicker has done up to his point of the season, and focus on Sunday.
5) Front Five – McKinnie, Garner, Pouncey, Jerry and Clabo. If that’s the last time you hear these five names until Sunday night that means the Dolphins continue their march to the playoffs in 2013. As much as we like to think that quarterbacks or wide outs can win games by themselves, it’s the big fellas up front that make it happen. Protection will be vital against a defense that loves to bring pressure from everywhere. Defensive coordinator Dick Le Beau is considered to be one of the greatest defensive coordinators ever in the NFL, and will have a plan to attack and bring pressure like the Dolphins faced in the second half against New England a few weeks ago. If Miami can handle it up front, Tannehill and company will take advantage of the Steelers secondary and gash them for run after catch opportunities.