Coming up on the halfway point of the NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are trying to save their season, and the Miami Dolphins are trying to save their pride. Let’s take a look at three takeaways from Pittsburgh Steelers’ Monday night match-up against the Miami Dolphins.
3 Takeaways from Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins
A Rookie in the Fire
Certainly, no one on the Steelers thought they would only see Ben Roethlisberger on the sidelines helping rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph. But life and football is funny that way. This is a test of not only Rudolph’s skill but his perseverance as well. The NFL is a true test of anyone’s mettle and so far, Rudolph is showing that he is able to grow every week. Even when mistakes are made, he is able to focus on going forward and not dwell on the error.
One of the biggest things helping him on a weekly basis is the coaching staff and aid from Roethlisberger. They are playing smart and daring football. This week in a post-game conference, Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco harshly criticized his coaches for not taking chances in play-calling as time was running out. In contrast, the Steelers coaches were calling plays for long throws downfield. Two attempts in a row just missed, but is giving Rudolph what he needs the most. The confidence to try and hone the skill, and the knowledge that the coaching staff is also behind him. Going forward this is going to make him a better and better starter.
Too Many Changes?
On the other side of the field, the Miami Dolphins are struggling, really struggling. They have had the lead as they did on Monday night but still have not been able to walk away with a win. Is consistency a problem with the Dolphins? They have had ten different coaches since 2000. Current head coach Brian Flores has no lack of passion for the game. If his argument with the referees over an overturned play is any indication. But he is starting from scratch on a team that has gone in too many directions over the years.
The quarterback position is almost as bad as the coaching position. The Dolphins haven’t really had a truly solid quarterback since the Dan Marino era. But they also haven’t given a lot of them the time to establish themselves as a franchise quarterback either. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the latest in a string of decent quarterbacks that just can’t seem to jump-start the team enough to get in the win column. The big question is, how long until the powers that be in Miami make a change yet again.
Can the Steelers Ride the Big Mo?
At the end of the first half, the Steelers were at three and 20 and looking as if they were going to the half badly losing. Then after a strong 45 yard gain, the entire momentum of the game changed. The Dolphins could no longer get anything done against a strong confident Steelers team. Can they take that feeling and bring it to next week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts? They will still be home, with their fans in full force. They will still have a combination of a talented young rookie being taught by an elite future Hall of Famer. One more win will put the Steelers even for the year at the exact halfway point. The season is far from over for them if they stay focused. Onward to week nine.
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