The Miami Dolphins made the playoffs and that is about all it looks like Dolphin fans will have to hang their hats on this off-season if things do not turn around quickly. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown seem to be dialed in. One quick strike touchdown pass of fifty yards, followed by a 62 yard touchdown pass and run, and the Steelers led 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Earlier this season, the Dolphins beat the Steelers in Miami 30-15 in a home stadium filled with Dolphin fans. Roethlisberger went down to injury in that game, and Miami running back Jay Ajayi ran for 204 yards, scoring two touchdowns.

That was then, and this is now, in Pittsburgh, where the temperature at game time was 18 degrees, with a 14 mph wind, making it feel like 1 degree.

Steelers fans a special breed

The stands were filled with some of the most loyal fans in the league, and they were loud. Levian Bell seemed to be waiting his turn after the Roethlisberger/Brown show is over. Bell was running strong, dragging Dolphin defenders with him into the open field. With three minutes gone in the second quarter Bell scored on a one yard run, making the score 20-3. Miami fans could start making plans for next weekend, Pittsburgh might start loading up for a trip to Kansas City next week.

Who scored next for the Steelers?

Pittsburgh can score in so many ways that if you get behind them on the scoreboard it takes drastic adjustments in your game plan to try to catch up.

Miami, with back-up quarterback Matt Moore, did not have a chance to turn things around. Adversity often tests and educates the younger team. Roethlisberger and the Steelers looked much more settled, and they have experience in this kind of weather, Miami, not so much.

When that happens it becomes the part of the game when you start hearing the names of the Steelers defensive players for big hits.

Moore took a huge hit from Bud Dupree, leaving Moore sprawled out on the ground, obviously shaken-up. One would have to admire Moore’s determination in the face of such adversity when you consider the weather and opponent.

Miami not rolling over

Miami tried to make a game of it, 20-6, with 5 minutes until halftime.

The first half ended with James Harrison strip-sacking Moore, stopping the Dolphins from making a game of it by scoring at the end of the half. Harrison made sure that did not happen, a play that will be overshadowed by Bell, Brown, or Big Ben that may have been the play of the game. This game looked a lot like the Texans and Raiders yesterday.

Had the Dolphins scored to close out the first half, coupled with getting the ball first in the second half, this game could have had a very different atmosphere. In the end the weather won. The players wore down, the game became less sharp, giving way to Rugby-like running scrums. Tackles were missed, passes dropped, fumbles, interceptions, and Bell runs in for another Steelers touchdown, increasing the lead to 30-6.

With six minutes left, the Dolphins finally got a touchdown, but the tow point conversion failed, leaving the score at 30-12. Pittsburgh moves on to Kansas City next week, and the next round of the NFL playoffs, while Miami goes home to warm up.

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