Last week the Dolphins closed out their regular season with a loss to the division rival Patriots 14 – 35. This week they will have to rebound in the first week of the NFL playoffs in a wildcard matchup with the Pittsburg Steelers in Pittsburg this Sunday at 12 CST.
The last time these two played one another the Dolphins came out on top 30 – 15 while the Dolphins defense stalled the high powered Steelers offense. I feel like this game will look completely different this time around with the game not only being in the playoffs, but being played in Pittsburg as well. However, I think the Dolphins pull off the upset 20 – 17 and prove that despite having an easier schedule in the regular season they still belong in the playoffs.
A win here and the Dolphins go into Foxborough to play the Patriots for the third time this year. A loss means the Dolphins season is over, however, should the season end Dolphins fans should still be proud of their team for getting farther than most thought they would and should still be very excited about the near future.
As for injuries, the Dolphins kept the same amount as last week staying at 6 total players except this time around the names are a bit different. Offensively quarterback Ryan Tannehill (knee) did not practice and center/guard Kraig Urbik (knee) full practice. Defensively linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee) limited practice, cornerback Tony Lippett (thigh) full practice, cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) did not practice, and safety Bacarri Rambo (chest) limited practice.
As for special teams Kenyan Drake and Jakeem Grant were, yet again nearly identical in returns with 21 and 19 yards respectively. As for punt returns, Jakeem Grant was the sole returner returning two punts for 7 yards each. Dolphins kicker Andrew Franks made both of his extra-point attempts last week.
The playoffs are just a few days away and for the first time in long while Miami fans can be excited about their team rather than already looking into the offseason. However that excitement may be short-lived should the Dolphins come out flat against the Steelers, however contrary to popular belief I think the loss to the Patriots last week helped the Dolphins more than it hurt them, because it gives them a wake-up call as to what they can expect in the playoffs and rather than ending their season they have a chance to learn from their mistakes and correct them against the Steelers it also gives them that little extra drive to want a rematch with the Patriots after playing a much closer game than the scoreboard shows. It’s that little extra drive that will get this team past the Steelers this Sunday at 12CST as the Miami Dolphins prove all the naysayers wrong.