Five snapshots from the Dolphins-Steelers series, focusing on games in Pittsburgh...
Dec. 31, 1972
The NFL awarded home-field advantage in the playoffs on a rotating basis back in those days, which is why the Dolphins had to travel to Three Rivers Stadium to face the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game even though they had gone 14-0 in the regular season. The 21-17 Dolphins victory always will be remembered for two key moments — Larry Seiple’s first-half run on a fake punt to set up a touchdown when the Dolphins trailed 7-0, and Don Shula’s decision to replace Earl Morrall at quarterback in the second half with Bob Griese, who had missed most of the regular season with an ankle injury. Jim Kiick’s two second-half touchdown runs turned a 10-7 deficit into a 21-10 lead and the Dolphins made it stand thanks to late interceptions by linebackers Nick Buoniconti and Mike Kolen.
Oct. 7, 1984
Dolphins fans no doubt remember the 45-28 victory in the 1984 AFC Championship Game, but probably few will recall that was a rematch of a regular season game that the Dolphins dominated. The Dolphins improved to 6-0 on the season with a 31-7 victory at Three Rivers Stadium when Dan Marino threw touchdown passes to tight ends Bruce Hardy and Joe Rose and Bob Baumhower returned a fumble for another score that made it 21-0 in the second quarter.
Sept. 30, 1990
The 1990 Dolphins had the team’s best defense in several years and it was in full form in this Week 4 matchup at Three Rivers Stadium. The Dolphins moved to 3-1 on the season with a dominating 28-6 victory against the Steelers, thanks to three sacks by Jeff Cross, two interceptions by Tim McKyer and two rushing touchdowns by Sammie Smith. Steelers quarterback Bubby Brister was chased from the game after completing only seven passes and throwing three interceptions.
Nov. 26, 2007
The poor field conditions is what stood out the last time the Dolphins faced the Steelers in a Monday night game. With rain falling in the Pittsburgh area, the surface at Heinz Field showed the effects of a full weekend of football (high school, college and pro). The lasting highlight from the 3-0 Pittsburgh victory on this night was the football literally stuck after getting imbedded on the field after a punt by the Dolphins’ Brandon Fields. Steelers kicker Jeff Reed scored the only points of the game with a 24-yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Dec. 8, 2013
Almost exactly five years before the Dolphins produced the “Miami Miracle,” they came agonizingly close to being on the wrong end of a similar finish on a snowy day at Heinz Field. Leading 34-28 with 3 seconds left and Pittsburgh at its own 21-yard line, the Dolphins watched Antonio Brown race down the left sideline after a Ben Roethlisberger completion was followed by five laterals. Fortunately for the Dolphins, Brown stepped out of bounds — but just barely — at the Miami 12-yard line. In the end, it was big plays that helped the Dolphins improve to 7-6 on the season. There was a 55-yard run by Daniel Thomas, a 48-yard run by quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and a 40-yard completion from Tannehill to tight end Charles Clay.