Heavy Favorite Steelers
The Miami Dolphins are coming to town in the cold (forecast calling for a wind chill of 4) to face Le’Veon Bell with the 30th ranked rush defense, a backup QB and an already depleted secondary (from the previous meeting vs Steelers) that could be without their top cornerback in Byron Maxwell who is fighting to play but has yet to practice this week.
The Dolphins have allowed 985 yards in their past two games and have yet to beat a winning team on the road.
There’s a reason everything screams a Steelers win despite the pummeling the Dolphins gave the Steelers two months ago that was dictated by the Dolphins ability to win both lines of scrimmage, the key area the Dolphins must win again and handily.
The Steelers are the biggest favorite among the wildcard games, currently a -10 favorite vs the Dolphins.
It won’t be a surprise to see the line venture to -11 by game time if key injuries for Miami keep piling up.
Expectations Game: 2 Playoff Wins?
Unlike the past two post-seasons, the Steelers go into the playoffs with Ben Roethlisberger-Le’Veon Bell-Antonio Brown all healthy at once.
Everything is going to fall on the shoulders of the offense. There should be no excuses for this offense on Sunday not to deliver a win.
As daunting as playing in Arrowhead might be next week if the Steelers take care of business vs the Dolphins like many are expecting, the expectations game for the Steelers this post-season should be two playoff wins and whatever happens against New England happens.
Coming out of a 4-5 hole to win seven straight and claim a division title already makes this season a success but a loss against the Dolphins would sure change that narrative quickly and not getting the AFC title game will mean this team fall just short of expectations, regarded as a Super Bowl team prior to the season and currently with the third best odds.
Important Playoff Run for Big Ben?
Ben Roethlisberger has lost four of his last five playoff games. Roethlisberger could retire today and he would be a Hall-of-Famer.
Still this is a big post-season for Roethlisberger to deliver as the narrative surrounding Roethlisberger is that he hasn’t won in the playoffs without an elite defense around him.
The first 12 playoff games had nothing to do with having the best defense in the land at the time, did it? https://t.co/OpvEwd4mh0
— Chris Hoke (@hokiebro76) January 4, 2017
Roethlisberger’s last three playoff games, the Steelers offense has produced 17 points vs Baltimore , 18 points vs Cincinnati and 16 points vs Denver.
He had Le’Veon Bell for zero of those games and had a bad shoulder vs Denver.
You just never know how many opportunities the Steelers will have with Roethlisberger – Bell – Brown all healthy for a playoff run and at the top of their games.