Why the Steelers beat the Dolphins

steelers dolphins
My favorite Steeler and my favorite Dolphin locked in combat

So I wrote a piece earlier this week about how dangerous a no win team can be in the NFL.  People may want to blow that off and normally I’d argue but in fact it looks like the Dolphins are even more dedicated to earning the first pick in the next NFL draft than even I imagined.  Today the Dolphins traded their leading rusher for draft picks.  According to ESPN.com this leaves the following backfield situation for the Dolphins:

The Dolphins are likely to give 2018 fourth-round pick Kalen Ballage, undrafted rookie back Patrick Laird and rookie seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin bigger reserve roles with Drake gone from the rotation.

The only name I know from that list is Gaskin from Washington State, let’s hope he’s not going to turn out to be another Gardner Minshew, that’s a coming out party I don’t want to see.  But is also unlikely given the line situation for Miami who has already traded away their starting left tackle.  Ryan Fitzpatrick has a tough gig playing behind a suspect line, he has a talented Devonte Parker to throw to.  The Steelers need to shut Parker down tonight, without Drake that should give the line and linebackers time to get to Fitzpatrick.  Hopefully the offense, after losing Parker, will be even more dejected than they’ve been.  So far this season the Dolphins are averaging 10.5 points per game, take away any running attack and they should have a hard time scoring enough points to win.

But what about the Dolphin Defense?  They’ve been giving up 35.2 points per game and that’s before they sent Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh and before Rashad Jones sat out injured.  The Steelers are averaging 21 points per game.  So an average night for both teams should mean a 10 point Steeler win.  However, over the last few years this is exactly the kind of game the Steelers have been losing.  So there is a bit of anxiety tonight, especially with Tuitt gone, Watt coming off an injury and Rudolph’s lack of deep balls so far.  But tonight could also be Mason’s coming out party.  The line looks to be back on track, Conner and Snell are running well, give Mason a good running game, two weeks of prep and hopefully he’ll finally start cutting loose downfield.  We’ll find out in a few hours, here we go!

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