As the Miami Dolphins' ship continues to sink deeper and deeper into the depths of the NFL’s mean sea, Miami’s fans continue to look for any life raft of hope that could rescue this season. But this week the Pittsburgh Steelerscome to town. And they’re not bringing any life rafts, but instead they’re bringing torpedo’s, intent on doing even more harm to the poor Dolphins. The Steelers and Dolphins have played a total of 25 times since their first meeting back in 1971 in a regular season game at the Orange Bowl.
The Dolphins pulled out a 24-21 win as they advanced forward in their first Super Bowl Season. The teams played again in the 1972 AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh the following season. Again, the Dolphins pulled out a close 21-17 victory, which was their 16 th win in a row that year. The Dolphins left Pittsburgh and headed to Super Bowl VII where they beat the Washington Redskins to become the first and last team to finish a season as undefeated NFL Champions. In 1973 Pittsburgh traveled to Miami for a regular season match up. Pittsburgh had upset on their minds but the Dolphins and Coach Don Shula outsmarted them. With Miami holding a 30-24 lead with a little over a minute remaining in the game the Dolphins faced a 4 th down deep in their own territory.
Everyone though Miami would punt but Shula was one or maybe two steps ahead of the fans, announcers, and especially the Steelers. The Dolphins lined up and went for it on 4 th down, but they didn’t really go for it. QB Bob Griese took the snap from Center Jim Langer and dropped back and back and back. He kept dropping back all the way to the end zone, taking the Safety instead of taking a chance on a blocked punt or a great return by the Steelers. Pittsburgh still needed a touchdown to win so the move to give up 2 points was brilliant. The Dolphins could then kick off and pin the Steelers deep. Miami’s No Name Defense then stifled the Steelers offense till the last seconds ran out, and the Dolphins had a 30-26 victory. Other memorable games between these teams are the 1979 Divisional round of the Playoffs.
The hosting Steelers buried the Dolphins that day 34-14 but 5 years later, when the Dolphins hosted, Marino and company returned the favor in the 1984 AFC Championship game, 45-28. Both teams interesting enough own 5 game winning streaks against the other. The Dolphins did it between 1981-1987 but the Steelers have done it more recently between 2004 -2010. However, in 2013 The Dolphins broke the streak winning at Pittsburgh winning 34-28 in a super entertaining game. But this Sunday, The Steelers come to Miami sporting a 4-1 record, which is coincidently the exact opposite of The Dolphins who sport a 1-4 record. The Steelers are 6 ½ point favorites even though they are traveling to Dolphin-Land. That means if Miami can somehow pull out a win, it will probably be the biggest upset of the week.
The Dolphins Offensive Line should be back in tact with Guard, Larmey Tunsil and Tackle, Brandon Albert expected back from injury. Miami’s Defense may be a bit more limited with Safety, Rashad Jones being a game time decision. Can The Dolphins surprise the Steelers and even up the overall series which Pittsburgh leads 13-12? Can Miami even make a game of it? Sunday at around 4pm those questions will be answered.