Pre-Game Warm Up: Steelers vs Dolphins

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Location: Pittsburgh PA;    Stadium: Heinz Field;    Weather: 31 degrees, snow showers;    Kickoff: 1:00 PM ET;  Line:  Pittsburgh -3;    TV Coverage: CBS;    Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst);    Coaches: Mike Tomlin (Steelers) vs. Joe Philbin (Dolphins)

Pittsburgh Steelers: Coming off of a loss against the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers need a win on Sunday more than ever to keep their season alive. The Steelers went 3-1 in the month of November and changed their season completely around. The Steelers stand at 5-7 and must win out to keep hopes of a winning season.

Offensively, the Steelers are really looking dangerous, however, their loss of center Fernando Velasko could be a huge set back for the black and gold. The Steelers will turn to Cody Wallace as their starting center. Coaches and players seem confident in Wallace’s abilities. Running back Le’Veon Bell looks to be back on the field after suffering a concussion on Thanksgiving.

Defensively, the Steelers have to match up against Mike Wallace who has been picking up some slack as of late. The defense played well in the month of November but gave up some key plays against the Ravens. The defense will need to help set the tone in Heinz Field.

Miami Dolphins: Offensively, the Miami Dolphins have been up and down. Quarterback Ryan Tannehil has been sacked more than any quarterback in the National Football League (45). The offense has started to click as of late. Head coach Joe Philbin told the media they had a great week of practice and will be ready to go on Sunday.

Defensively, the Dolphins rank 14th in the NFL. They give an average of 343 yards a game but have recorded 37 sacks in 12 games. The defensive line may be their biggest strength led by Cameron Wake.

Injury Report:

Steelers:

Date Pos Player Injury NFL Status
12/08/13 T Mike Adams ANKLE PROBABLE
12/08/13 G Kelvin Beachum KNEE DOUBTFUL
12/08/13 RB Le’Veon Bell CONCUSSION PROBABLE
12/08/13 G David DeCastro FOOT PROBABLE
12/08/13 DE Brett Keisel FOOT OUT
12/08/13 NT Steve McLendon ANKLE QUESTIONABLE
12/08/13 LB LaMarr Woodley CALF PROBABLE

Dolphins:

Date Pos Player Injury NFL Status
12/08/13 S Chris Clemons KNEE, HAMSTRING PROBABLE
12/08/13 TE Michael Egnew NECK PROBABLE
12/08/13 G John Jerry CONCUSSION PROBABLE
12/08/13 RB Lamar Miller PECTORAL PROBABLE
12/08/13 CB Dimitri Patterson GROIN QUESTIONABLE
12/08/13 LB Austin Spitler KNEE PROBABLE
12/08/13 QB Ryan Tannehill RIGHT THUMB PROBABLE
12/08/13 CB Jamar Taylor HAMSTRING OUT
12/08/13 RB Daniel Thomas ANKLE QUESTIONABLE

Tale of the tape:

Offense

Season Stats Rank
Total Yards 338.6 15
Passing Yards 261.8 8
Rushing Yards 76.8 31
Points Scored 21.9 22
Field Goal % 92.3 6

Defense

Season Stats Rank
Total Yards 340.5 13
Passing Yards 225.4 11
Rushing Yards 115.1 18
Points Allowed 23.2 14
Field Goal % 92.6 28

Dolphins:

Offense

Season Stats Rank
Total Yards 321.9 26
Passing Yards 233.2 17
Rushing Yards 88.7 25
Points Scored 21 24
Field Goal % 76.7 27

Defense

Season Stats Rank
Total Yards 343.4 14
Passing Yards 221.7 9
Rushing Yards 121.8 25
Points Allowed 20.7 9
Field Goal % 86.7 19

Spotlight Player: Cornerback Ike Taylor will be lining up against Mike Wallace or Brian Hartline. Both receivers are effective but completely different. Taylor will need to be on his A game.

Bottom Line: The Steelers need to win in week 14 to stay alive. If they lose, their playoff hopes will just about be gone. It’s win or go home on Sunday.

Steeler Nation, make sure to check back in after the game to read Steelers N Stuff’s Post Game Huddle. You can only get all of this access here so please spread the word!

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