The Pittsburgh Steelers are due to appear on Monday Night Football again this week and once again, their opponent will be another winless opponent. After clobbering the still winless Cincinnati Bengals a few weeks ago, the Steelers have a date with the winless Miami Dolphins. While much has been made about Mike Tomlin’s struggles against bad teams, these Dolphins are not your ordinary bad team. In the midst of what is essentially a tanking season, the Dolphins have not seemed very interested in winning so far this season. Much of what follows will be dedicated to turning doubt into positivity as the Steelers look to move to 3-4 after Monday night.
3:04 – Time is of great essence but apparently the Steelers did not get the memo as putting together long drives has been one glaring issue with the offense this season, especially with Mason Rudolph under center. The Steelers are averaging just over two minutes per drive this season but luckily for them, the Dolphins’ defense has enjoyed staying on the field. The Dolphins are currently allowing opponents to occupy just over three minutes of possession per drive, good for 29th in the NFL. Rudolph and the offense should also be able to drive down the field at will as the Dolphins are allowing 38.5 yards per drive this season as well.
6 – There has been only one magician to ever play quarterback and his name is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzmagic has swept across the NFL year after year but if there is one team that has not been a believer in his magic, it is the Steelers. Fitzpatrick has not had any success against the Steelers, hosting an 0-6 record against the Steelers. The last time these two met, the Steelers sacked Fitzpatrick three times and forced three interceptions. The magician is going to need to pull out an abundance of tricks if he hopes to beat the Steelers this Monday.
7 – Few coaches have a better track on primetime football than Mike Tomlin. The Steelers’ coach has appeared in 28 primetime games at home and owns a 21-7 record. What is even more reassuring is that not one of those seven home losses occurred during Monday Night Football. Tomlin’s Steelers are 6-0 at home during Monday Night Football and will go up against the 0-6 Dolphins this Monday. For a team that always comes out to play under the limelight, there could not be a better formula for a victory than the one the Steelers will have for this Monday’s matchup.
47 – One area that the Steelers have visibly struggled in is on third downs. The offense has converted just 35-percent of their third down attempts this season, though they did show life last week against the Los Angeles Chargers, converting 8/13 attempts. There is a real chance that the Steelers could pick up some more momentum against the Dolphins as they rank 28th in the NFL on third down defense, allowing 47-percent of all third down attempts to be converted.
50.8 – It goes without saying by now that the Dolphins have not been very good, and that starts with their defense. The Dolphins have allowed opponents to score on 50.8-percent of their drives, second worst in the entire NFL. The odds of the Dolphins allowing a scoring drive have been essentially a coin flip this season and the Steelers need to be ready to take advantage. Rudolph will be making his first start in over two weeks and the Dolphins defense are the best possible match up if he is looking for a tune up to get back into rhythm.