This is a game that has so many backstories to talk about starting with Brian Flores returning to Miami after being fired and filing a lawsuit against the NFL and the Miami Dolphins for discrimination and the “Pay to Tank” allegations made by Flores once he was let go.
Miami brought in Mike McDaniel as the new HC and so far, it looks like the right move despite a 3-game slide due to multiple injuries including Dolphins starting QB Tua Tagovaiola. Tua and former Dolphins HC Brian Flores had a rocky relationship, and many felt Flores did not even want Tua as his starting QB even during the draft.
I realize Flores was more about coaching through “Tough Love” and some did not take well to it. Tua on the other hand was used to tough love from his father and Nick Saban and he handled himself quite admirably. Flores did a very good job with Miami’s defense; it is a shame that he and McDaniel did not link up together and both be part of the coaching staff today.
Jerome Baker On Flores
“One thing I’ll say about ‘Coach Flo’ was he always honest. That was the one thing that never changed. He didn’t care if he hurt your feelings. He didn’t care if it got under your skin a little bit. You knew the guy just wanted to be honest and he was going to tell you the truth and he wanted the best out of you. I always respect that just as a man. He never lied. He never spared my feelings. He was honest and he just proved to me and showed me that he really cared and wanted the best for me. I always respected that.”
Unfortunately, Flores, as good as he was on the defensive side of the ball, was just the opposite on the offensive side from instability from his O-line and OC positions as he replaced them every year! That did not allow for Tua to have stability and forced him to have to learn different systems both years under Flores.
The next back story is the health of Tua as he has suffered one if not two concussions in his first three weeks and was in concussion protocol since week 4 and just this past week was cleared to play.
Despite much criticism from talking heads throughout the offseason and if he had a strong enough arm to throw to the weapons Miami surrounded him with, he has answered all his critics. Before he was injured Tua was a top ranked QB in the league and even now Tua Tagovailoa has completed 55.6% of his deep passes this season, the best mark in the league.
Since Tua’s injury Miami is on a 3-game losing streak leaving no doubt who Miami’s best QB is. Tua’s stats (before his injury) were among the top in the league, having to rely on back up QB’s Bridgewater and rookie 7th round Thompson Miami has dug a hole that they can easily work their way out of starting this Sunday Night vs the Steelers.
The Dolphins, when healthy, are one of the most talented teams in the league and can play with anybody, including Buffalo!
Let’s take care of the Steelers who are next up on the list!
On to the Matchup:
- Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL
- When: Sun • Oct 23, 2022
- Time: 8:20p.m. ET
- Weather: 75°F / Mostly Clear
- Point Spread: Dolphins (-7)
- O/U 45.5
- TV: NBC Family
The matchup: on Offense
Miami enters the game 8th place in total offense with 366.2 yards per game, they are in 2nd place in passing averaging 285 YPG. They are 30th in rushing with just 81.2 yards rushing per game.
Pittsburg enters the game 29th place in total offense with 291.5 yards per game. They are 8th in passing offense, averaging 204.8 YPG. They are 28th in rushing, averaging 86.7 yards rushing per game.
The matchup: on Defense
Miami enters the game 24th in total defense giving up 361.3 YPG. They are 24th against the pass allowing 256.7 passing yards per game. Miami is 11th against the run giving up 104.7 rushing yards per game. Allowing 4.2 yards per rush.
Pittsburg enters the game 29th in total defense giving up 398.0 YPG. They are 30th against the pass allowing 277.8 passing yards per game. Pittsburg is 17th against the run giving up 120.2 rushing yards per game. Allowing 4.1 yards per rush.
Tua is back and that means Miami will score more points than they have since Tua was out. Miami averaged 27.6 points per game with Tua starting vs just 16 points per game with Teddy and Skylar at the helm.
Looking at the Steelers’ stats it is obvious that they’re having a hard time adjusting to the retirement of Big Ben even though it was time for him to go. Their Defense is improving with Brian Flores’ help and will present some challenges for Miami’s offense despite the numbers showing they are not particularly good overall.
Miami should be able to attack at will with their passing game as the Steelers are just bad at pass protection and I can see the Dolphins two best offensive weapons having a very good day with Tua back.
Miami’s run game took a step back last week after having one of their best games the previous week. Hopefully Miami can get back on track and work to improve the run game as the season moves along.
Miami’s defense had one of their best showings last week despite the loss and they will need to be just as aggressive and attacking with a rookie QB (Potentially) starting for the Steelers.
If Miami can put at least 21 points or better on the board and our Defense plays to its potential and if we do not TURN THE BALL OVER! Miami should win this game.
Despite all the juicy back stories of this game it’s just another game and one that on paper leans more Miami’s way we are the more talented team and just having Tua back I am sure every fan who doubted the need for Tua or thought that Skylar Thompson or Teddy were better options at QB can now put those ideas to rest.
Here’s hoping for Tua to wise up and throw the ball away and LIVE for another play!
Miami 24, Pittsburg 10