Steelers smash Dolphins; will face Chiefs in Divisional Round

Posted on Jan 8 2017 - 6:23pm by Rachael McKriger
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The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t let the Miami Dolphins get the best of them twice.

The Steelers, who lost to the Dolphins in the regular season, won the game 30-12. It was the first game that Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown all played together in the postseason.

Roethlisberger didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard. Roethlisberger’s two touchdowns came in the first quarter, and both went to Brown for big gains. Brown’s first touchdown was for 50-yards, while his second was for 62-yards.

“We started the game off throwing the ball,” said Roethlisberger. “That created the open running game. We’ve gone into games where we’ve run it to throw. This game we came out throwing to run. We had a mindset on the third series we were going to go to the jumbo and bring in the extra lineman, (Chris) Hubbard, and we were going to run on four straight downs if we had to.”

However, Roethlisberger did throw two interceptions. One went to safety Michael Thomas while the other interception went to cornerback Xavien Howard. The Steelers defense got revenge for Big Ben, as Ryan Shazier intercepted Matt Moore and Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison, Bud Dupree and Mike Mitchell all sacked Moore.

As for the Dolphins quarterback, who was hit hard by Dupree in the second quarter, he threw 289 yards on 29/36 completed passes. His single touchdown went to running back Damien Williams, for four yards. The Dolphins other six points came from kicker Andrew Franks, who scored field goals from 38 and 47 yards.

Steelers kicker Chris Boswell didn’t have the same luck. Boswell did convert his single field goal attempt, from 34-yards, but missed one out of three extra points, ending his streak.

For the Steelers, running back Bell rushed for 167 yards on 29 carries, scoring two touchdowns. That is the most rushing yards in a playoff game for a Steelers running back. DeAngelo Williams relieved Bell twice, rushing for two yards.

“I think the offensive line did an incredible job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” said Bell. “It made my job real easy. The receivers on the edge, getting on their defensive backs and the safeties, and Ben (Roethlisberger) putting us in the right situation. It was a total team effort today. I was trying to run hard and get what I could.”

As for the wide receivers, Brown led the group with five receptions for 124 yards. Demarcus Ayers was behind him on the chart, catching two passes from Roethlisberger for 21 yards.

The defense was led by Ross Cockrell in tackles, as the cornerback made eight tackles. Timmons was behind him, with eight tackles and six assisted tackles, while Harrison and Mitchell recorded forced fumbles. Making his return to the game was defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt, who has recovered from injury.

“I have been feeling good later in the season,” said Harrison. “I work on my body. I pray a lot harder. Since I am getting older I need more help from God than anything. I am just feeling all right.”

However, after the game there was a bit of worry around the Pittsburgh air. Roethlisberger attended his post-game press conference, but did so in a walking boot. Instead of worrying, Roethlisberger announced that he will play next week against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City.

“We don’t know anything yet, but well find out soon enough,” Roethlisberger said. “You’re always worried about being hurt, but I’ll be out there next week.”

Photo of the Steelers’ Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger courtesy of Justin K. Aller/Getty Images.

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