Thursday, December 05, 2013

Miami v Steelers (Talent Even) 3 Concerns

Before I really looked at the Steelers, I felt we were the far superior team.  And, I do still feel we have a better, healthier team. 

However, these are my 3 areas of concern.

1.  The Field / Weather:   Heinz field is in notoriously poor condition.  Some have said the surface itself is the worst of the 32 teams.   If you add in 32 degrees F weather with a snowy rainy mix, you have conditions that favor the home team.  Tannehill admits he has never even thrown a ball in snowy conditions.  Throw in a 10-16 mile and hour wind and you have a passing game and kicking game that will have issues all day long.

2.  The Dolphins I dare say have a better Offensive line (for this one game anyway), but Pittsburgh has the better QB, especially at home.  Ben Roethlisberger has more TDs, higher completion %, roughly the same number of turnovers, and is by far harder to take down under pressure.  Tannehill runs faster.  Arm strength is about the same...    I think in this game:  QB play gives Pittsburgh a huge advantage.

3.  The Fans:  I have been to Pittsburgh.  The fans are much better than in Miami.  They are loud obnoxious, and when their team is 5-7, they still come out to root for their team.  They will be there until the last snap.  Part of that has to do with, and unlike Miami, their is not much else to do in Pittsburgh (no offense).

All that said, the defenses are almost even (Miami is slightly better statistically according to the Bruschi index).  Now, let me say this out loud.  Miami's passing defense is in the top ten.  Wow that felt good.  Dolphin's top 5 receivers have slightly more yards than Steelers' top 5.   The running games are about the same.  Miami might be healthier.   The hunger factor may be slightly in favor of Pittsburgh....

Overall, this one is a tough call.   I first thought we were the clear favorite from a talent standpoint, but given the 3 factors above, I am very nervous.  Miami will need to dominate from the starting whistle, and fight through the elements and the environment.   It is a tall order.  BUT, if our team really wants the post season, we must have this one.  It is a tiebreaker game...

Miami 24 - Pittsburgh 13

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Don't forget coaching. I have to assume that the Steelers will have the advantage when it comes to making adjustments.


Maybe... I thought of that, but I felt in the last few weeks, the play calling on both sides of the ball had been better. We have not quite executed to the highest level yet on offense... But we have been pretty consistent... and with Tomlin being fined this week -it was a distraction. I felt even if they are slightly better, it was a push this week.


I would hope the coaches know how to prepare for the weather. Sherman and Philbin are long time Green Bay coaches running a very similar offense and O-Keefe was the O-Cordinator at Iowa for years. They have had to coach in many cold weather games. I hope they really work on ball security especially with Lamar Miller and Tannehill since those two will be handling a lot of balls and have not played in much for cold weather. If it is blowing snow field position and turn overs become huge.


Good points all the way around. Not sure how distracted the fine became. He probably had about ten minutes on the phone with league office and Rooney. Coaches only alot so much time for mandatory press conferences anyway, so if the press wants to ask about the fine, then there would be less "canned responses" about the Dolphins. He seemed to be handling that well. If he cuts the check, then he loses 2 minutes doing that. If it is deducted from his salary, then no change there. I guess the only distraction could be dealing with his wife and her reaction to losing $100K.