Dolphins — 3-3-0-6–12
Steelers — 14-6-10-0–30
The Steelers offense took care of business early, and the defense did their job late.
Antonio Brown scored two long touchdowns on the first two Steelers drive to propel the team to a 30-12 win over Miami. Matt Moore had a strong game for Miami, but committed three turnovers over a nine-play period to dig a deep hole.
In a game that was to be determined by each teams ability to run the ball, Le’Veon Bell dominated from the beginning. He finished with 167 yards and two scores, including a second half drive that saw him carry the ball ten straight times. Jay Ajayi finished with 33 yards on 16 carries, and left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury.
With the win, the Steelers move on to face the Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff is scheduled for next Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Eastern. The Steelers have opened as a narrow favorite.
Dolphins First TD Comes Late
The Dolphins refuse to give up, and Matt Moore continues to deal. Outside of a rough nine-play stretch at the half, Moore is having a very solid outing. He finds Damien Williams on a bootleg for a short TD, and the Dolphins get a quick interception to get the ball back with less than ten minutes remaining.
Bad Penalty Gives Pittsburgh Another TD
After the pick, it looked like Miami had forced the Steelers to hold for a field goal attempt. But Dolphins safety Tony Lippett tried to jump over the line to block the kick, and inadvertently jumped offsides.
On fourth and three.
The free first down was all Pittsburgh needed, and Bell was in the endzone three plays later.
Moore Commits a Third Straight Giveaway
Ryan Shazier, who missed the game against the Dolphins in the regular season because of injury, picks off Moore for another turnover. It was a poor throw from Moore, who had thrown the ball well until that point. That’s now three turnovers in the last nine plays for the Dolphins offense.
Moore Fumbles Again to Start Second Half
For the second time in as many drives, Matt Moore didn’t see it coming.
This time Mike Mitchell came untouched on a safety blitz, bringing down Moore at full speed. Moore stepped up to avoid the pressure, but collided with Jay Ajayi and lost the ball. Huge play for the Steelers defense.
Matt Moore’s Fumble Ruins Late Chance
After the Dolphins drive it inside the red zone, the Steelers defense responds. James Harrison sacked Moore and forced the ball loose, giving the ball back to Pittsburgh just before halftime.
Dolphins Intercept Roethlisberger Before Halftime
The Dolphins defense makes their first big play of the first half, picking off Roethlisberger with less than one minute remaining. It’s a defense that has given up a handful of big plays and 20 points in the half, but the interception gives Miami a chance to score before getting the ball to start the second half.
Matt Moore Gets Cracked by Bud Dupree
The Dolphins cross into Steelers territory on a much-needed response drive, but Steelers LB Bud Dupree ended all positive momentum. Matt Moore rolled to his right for a pass and was destroyed by Dupree, leaving Moore on the ground for over one minute. Moore sat out for one play and returned, but the Dolphins were forced to settle for three.
Bell Bangs Home His First Postseason TD
He needed another carry to make it actually count, but Le’Veon Bell owned the Dolphins on the first drive of the second quarter. Nine straight carries took the Steelers to the goal line, with the tenth earning Pittsburgh their third TD of the first half.
Brown Busts Loose For 62 Yard TD
After the Dolphins go four-and-out, Roethlisberger and Brown hooked up for another long TD. This time Brown was loose over the middle, and he was able to outrun the coverage for another long TD. Miami is in trouble early.
Antonio Brown Breaks Away For Opening TD
The Steelers go 85 yards in five plays, finished with Antonio Brown running in a screen pass from 50 yards out.
Stats will be updated throughout the game
Passing: Moore: 20/24, 229 yards, INT, 2 fumbles lost
Rushing: Ajayi: 16 carries, 33 yards
Receiving: Landry: 6 catches, 64 yards
Passing: Roethlisberger: 13/18, 197 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Bell: 29 carries, 167 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Brown: 5 catches, 124 yards, 2 TD
Two elite running backs will try to run their team into the divisional round when the Steelers host the Dolphins.
The Dolphins hired first-year head coach Adam Gase to help with their quarterback issues. Instead he took their running game to new levels, letting loose Jay Ajayi for over 1,200 rushing yards. The Dolphins may have to start Matt Moore as their quarterback Sunday, but it’s a situation Gase has encountered before. When he was the quarterback coach in Denver, he coached Tim Tebow to a playoff win over the Steelers.
For Pittsburgh, it’s a long-awaited playoff debut for Le’Veon Bell. Bell’s teams have been to the playoffs all three years of his NFL career, but he has spent the last two postseasons sidelined with injuries. Bell isn’t just healthy right now, he’s playing at his best. Bell was recently named AFC Player of the Month for December, after totaling 187 yards per game during the final stretch.
The Dolphins are the biggest underdogs of Wild Card Weekend, with oddsmakers giving them as many as 12 points at some betting sites.
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