Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week 14 picks: Dolphins at Steelers

Publisher Nick St. Denis and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the Miami Dolphins' matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sean's take:
The Dolphins' playoff lives likely hinge on them doing something they haven't since the George Bush the elder was in the White House -- beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh. To do so, Miami will need Ryan Tannehill to do a good job finding favorable receiver matchups in the Steelers' declining secondary. A once great unit will leave plays out there for the taking, but well-designed pressure packages and disguised coverage schemes will make it tough for Tannehill and the Dolphins to capitalize. Miami's defense does its part, playing disciplined on the back end and generating pressure up front but as has been the case so often this season, the Dolphins' offensive struggles puts too much burden on their defensive teammates. Pittsburgh deals a lethal blow to Miami's postseason hopes. 
Prediction: Steelers 24, Dolphins 13

Nick's take:
The Dolphins should have no problem containing a porous Steelers rushing attack, but as always with Big Ben, the key will be keeping Roethlisberger from extending plays. Offensively, Miami will try their quantity-equals-quality approach with the run game, something that worked last week against the Jets. The run game will be especially important in less-than-ideal conditions, but the Dolphins will certainly take at least one or two shots downfield to former Steeler Mike Wallace.
Prediction: Steelers 20, Dolphins 14