Welcome to Wild Card weekend! The NFL regular season has come to a close, and that means it is playoff time.We will get two games on Saturday, January 7th and two more on Sunday, January 8th. The third of those games will be held at 1:o5 pm EST on Sunday, and will see the Miami Dolphins travel to Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Dolphins will enter as the second wild card team with a 10-6 record, as they hold the six seed, while the Steelers claimed the three seed after winning the AFC North with an 11-5 record.
This may be seen as the biggest miss match of the NFL’s opening playoff weekend. The Steelers will enter the game as the biggest favorites in the four games. The Steelers are coming off a 27-24 victory over the Cleveland Browns, in a game that was not the best representation of who the Pittsburgh Steelers really are, as many key starters were given the week to rest. The Dolphins, on the other hand, had a three-game winning streak snapped by the New England Patriots, who demolished the team from South Florida by a score of 35-14.
This will certainly be an uphill battle for Miami, but nothing can ever be considered a total lock in the NFL. Ryan Tannehill has a very slim chance to suit up this week, which would mean the club will once again be turning to Matt Moore. Moore has started the last three games for the clubs, and they won two of those three games. Moore played pretty well overall, but he is by no means a big time difference maker. The club will likely rely heavily on breakout running back, Jay Ajayi, who had three different games where he ran for over 200 yards this season. The club’s defense has shown some promise this season as well, but will really need to step up against the high powered Steelers offense if Miami wants to move on to the second weekend.
As for Pittsburgh, it is all about their offense. The club possesses three of the top offensive players in the entire league, and that always makes a team dangerous come playoff time. Ben Roethlisberger, who was given week 17 to rest up, will be under center. He is one of the toughest guys in the entire league, and always finds a way to win ballgames in the playoffs. Behind him will be Le’Veon Bell, who is a top three runner in the NFL. If that wasn’t enough, one of the best receivers in football will be hauling in passes, as Antonio Brown always finds a way to make big plays. Their defense may not be the best, but with these three guys on offense, it will be hard for opposing defenses to slow down this offense over the next month. Like Ben, Brown, and Bell, along with others, were given week 17 to rest up.
Simply put, I cannot see Matt Moore and the Dolphins being able to trade points with Big Ben and the rested Steelers. I think the Dolphins will be able to put up a decent amount of points, but when all is said and done, it will not be enough to match Big Ben and his crew.
If the Steelers win this game, they would travel to take on the two seed Kansas City Chiefs. If the Dolphins pull off the upset, they would travel to Foxborough to take on their divisional rivals, the New England Patriots, for the third time this season.
Line: Pit -10, O/U: 47
Prediction: Steelers 31 – Dolphins 20, Steelers and the over