Today, the killer B’s were great, but the defense was even better. Antonio Brown caught two long passes for TD in the first quarter. Then Le’Veon Bell took over and scored twice. While all of that happened the defense was coming up with big plays to control the Miami offense. The defense would cause 2 fumbles, intercept a ball and sack Matt Moore 5 times on their way to a 30-12 win.
Every time the Miami Offense would start to put themselves in a position to get back in the game, the Steelers defense would get a timely turnover or sack. It was like clockwork all day. What allowed that defense to turn it loose was the offense’s strong start.
Big Ben completed his first 8 passes including two long TD passes to Antonio Brown of 50 yards or more to give Pittsburgh an early 14-0 lead.
Once Miami got on the board with a field goal, the Steelers decided it was time to turn their star running back loose. Le’Veon Bell drove Pittsburgh down the field nearly by himself. He scored a TD to finish off the drive. Boswell would miss the extra point, but at that point the momentum was clearly in the hands of the Steelers.
Miami would put another decent drive together that would yield another field Goal after bogging down near the 20.
With the score 20-6 the Steelers would get a big pass interference call that would lead the into Miami territory. But the Miami defense would get an interception to start turning the momentum with just a couple of minutes left in the first half.
Moore would drive Miami down the field with some very nice passes to open receivers as they would find room in the zone. As Miami neared the red zone, Pittsburgh would get it’s first of three big turnovers. James Harrison would sack Moore as he drifted out of the pocket, and strip out the ball. The play allowed the Steelers to enter the half with a 20-6 lead.
Miami would get the ball to start the second half and once again drive down to the Steelers 37. Mike Mitchell, Steelers safety would cause yet another fumble that would end the drive.
Pittsburgh would add a field goal on their ensuing drive to extend the lead to 3 scores at 23-6.
On Miami’s next drive Ryan Shazier would fake a blitz and drop back in coverage. Moore never saw him and Shazier picked the ball off. It was a Troy Polamalu type of play, from a guy that could be as impactful in his career as long as he can stay healthy.
The Steelers then put the ball in Lev Bell’s hands and he would finish off the Dolphins with several big runs topped off by another Touchdown run. With the game 30-6, the Dolphins were completely out of it and played like it from that point on.
During the Game, Artie Burns was flagged for a helmet to helmet hit on the QB that sent Matt Moore out of the game for just one play. He was knocked out and not moving, and literally 10 minutes later he was sent back in. I don’t want to hear about Moore passing the protocols, there is no way he was not concussed after that hit. Especially knowing that Moore got hammered a couple of times by Burns before that.
That is only an opinion from a guy who failed that day in Medical school.
At the end of the day, Big Ben threw only 18 passes completing 13 of them for 2 TD’s and 2 interceptions. Not his best day at all as his passes were elevated after those first 8 completions. The team ran the ball 37 times including 29 by Le’Veon Bell that led to a Steelers Playoff record 167 yards.
Bell has been the driving force in the last 8 weeks without question and today was just another example of just how good he is.
Big Ben showed up in his press conference after the game with a walking boot and said he tweaked his ankle on the next to last play. Some said the Steelers should have taken them out at the beginning 4th quarter as the game was out of reach. The big three rested the week before so I would imagine that was the reason they stayed in till the end. When asked about it, Ben said it happened on the next to last play. He was then asked if there were any updates or if he was worried about injuries. He said of course you worry, but I will be out there next week. Ben also mentioned no one had any conversation with him about being out there late. He said he always wants to be out there with his guys.
When Tomlin was asked about injuries after the game, he said nothing major or extreme although Sean Davis roughed his shoulder up, but went back in. Tomlin said that will be worth watching this week. Out side of that, they came out healthy. That is just another reason why I don’t by the walking boot deal as being anything more than precautionary.
Tomlin audio followed by Ben’s presser.
Pittsburgh will now travel to Kansas City for a divisional playoff game against the Chiefs Sunday at 1pm. As a note, the Tuesday Tomlin Press Conference should be interesting as we hear him talk about why Ben was out on the field and of course we will get an update on his health. Tomlin was not asked after the game because no one new, or reported it until Ben spoke after Mike.