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