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 Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread

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stlrtruck

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PostSubject: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:51 am

Yep, it's time to get it started.

I know, I know, still a few days away, but it's 'Hump Day', what better day to start tailgating (sort of)?

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:06 am

I'm excited about this weekend, not only because I have friends who are Dolphins fans, and I'm feeling a bit of redemption coming on, but because our team is healing and coming together, as the media types call it, 'at the right time'.

Bonus for the Steelers:
Le'Veon Bell is finally healthy for a playoff game
Brown is rested
Ben is healthy and looking for redemption for his last couple of poor performances.

Key Additions/Next Man Ups for the Steelers will prove key:
Ladarius Green - still in concussion protocol, but all signs look good he'll be available this week. If not, then we still have threats at the TE position.

Jesse James - being a Penn State fan, seeing how great James' has improved and IMO can be considered a threat down field and a go-to guy.  I've seen a few plays where Ben went deep but sitting comfortably in the zone, past the first down market was none other than 'The Outlaw' Jesse James.

Gimble - 4 months ago I couldn't have told you who this guy is, but he's becoming an asset to the offense.

Ayers - where did he come from may not be as important as where can he go.  He's made some key catches and may prove to be the lesser known player that makes a huge difference.

Hamilton - the last couple of weeks has been his coming out party.  Big guy with some sure hands.

Burns - while earlier in the season he proved how green behind the ears he was, but through the course of the year he's improved on tackling and coverage.  He still makes mistakes, but they're not as bad as they were before.  I'm looking forward to continued improvement through the playoffs.

Tuitt - I'm excited to get him back on defense and having someone to fill the hole.  It sucks missing a few other key guys but the health of our defensive line will be the key to making it deeper in to the playoffs.

Hargrave - 'The Grave Digger' will need to do just that on Sunday.  He'll need to plant some bodies in the turf at Heinz Field.

Last but not least, HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE! - Steeler Nation is known as one of the most rocous crowds at home.  That feeling intensifies during the playoffs.


We're 4 days, 2 hours from kickoff, not that I'm counting, but this is the game where the 53 men wearing Black and Gold show this isn't a fluke.

LET'S GET IT ON!

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Last edited by stlrtruck on Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Drizztbob

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:34 am

I believe Avery is actually Ayers, correct?

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stlrtruck

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:07 pm

@Drizztbob wrote:
I believe Avery is actually Ayers, correct?

TWICE

I'll shall fix it

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stlrtruck

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:07 pm

@stlrtruck wrote:
@Drizztbob wrote:
I believe Avery is actually Ayers, correct?

TWICE  

I'll shall fix it

Like it never happened

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:30 pm

Hoping Green can get some game time this week to be ready for a deep playoff run, but feel somewhat comfortable with James and Grimble too. I really like James too, but the flashes we've seen of Green when healthy could be huge

Ryan Tannehill didn't practice today, ESPN shows a picture of him watching everyone in shorts with a knee brace.

Tomlin said he didn't think weather a factor, but in the Tannehill picture mentioned above lots of people were in shorts, it's hard to imagine coming from that into 20 degree temps and wind chill won't have some effect.

Really glad Tuitt and Hargrave are a go too.

I'm more excited with the Steelers going into the playoffs than I have been for a while. The Big 3 are healthy, I know there are some big obstacles, but feel like with good games we can compete and go deep.

Go Steelers!!

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:17 pm


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solardave

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:38 pm

I would love to see us jump out front fast and run the ball well. We also need to stop Ajaye this time.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:46 pm

its the Steelers they'll start out slow and hopefully in the second they'll kick some booty.

keeping you on the edge of your seat.

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:36 pm

Is our defense a top 10 defense now? We started off being in the high 20's, and ended the season at #12. That's definitely a marked improvement.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:08 pm

@Atlanta Dan wrote:


Awesome news. Lots of weapons
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:50 pm

Yeah, I think Rogers and Green are enough to still be productive if the Dolphins try to bracket AB and put 8 in the box against Bell. The Steelers O line will be the key to whether or not they put up 30+points.

Having Matthews would help, but I think the Steelers can still occupy gaps in the run game with Tuitt, Hargrave, Walton, McCullers and Maxey.
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Master_Of_Puppets



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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:54 pm

i believe the weather in the burgh should be about 20-25 degrees on sunday. should be the coldest weather the phins have see in awhile.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:57 pm

@Fire Arians wrote:
Is our defense a top 10 defense now? We started off being in the high 20's, and ended the season at #12. That's definitely a marked improvement.

Yeah, but you have to look at they got the Browns x 2, the Bills, Luckless Colts and an injury depleted Bengals down the stretch, so those stats were going to get better if it was yardage based.

If Bob Griffin, Tyrod Taylor and Scott Tolzien are lighting your defense up, then you really have some issues. I think the Steelers D is middle of the pack, but would be top 1/3 if they had everybody healthy.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:17 pm

@El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
@Fire Arians wrote:
Is our defense a top 10 defense now? We started off being in the high 20's, and ended the season at #12. That's definitely a marked improvement.

Yeah, but you have to look at they got the Browns x 2, the Bills, Luckless Colts and an injury depleted Bengals down the stretch, so those stats were going to get better if it was yardage based.  

If Bob Griffin, Tyrod Taylor and Scott Tolzien are lighting your defense up, then you really have some issues.  I think the Steelers D is middle of the pack, but would be top 1/3 if they had everybody healthy.

With acknowledgement of the cliche there are lies, damned lies and statistics (aka Garbage In, Garbage Out), Football Outsiders attempts to take into account not everyone playing the same opponent for 16 weeks with DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Rankings).  As stated in this excerpt from a lengthy discussion of those analytics:

DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. DVOA measures not just yardage, but yardage towards a first down: Five yards on third-and-4 are worth more than five yards on first-and-10 and much more than five yards on third-and-12. Red zone plays are worth more than other plays. Performance is also adjusted for the quality of the opponent. DVOA is a percentage, so a team with a DVOA of 10.0% is 10 percent better than the average team, and a quarterback with a DVOA of -20.0% is 20 percent worse than the average quarterback. Because DVOA measures scoring, defenses are better when they are negative.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/info/methods

Steelers finished up with an overall DVOA ranking of 5th, with a weighted DVOA (an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games) ranking of 3rd. With regard to the defense, the DVOA ranking is 11th (a drop from 9th after week 16 before the week 17 siesta against the Browns) and the offense was ranked 8th.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2017/final-2016-dvoa-ratings

Link to more detailed DVOA offense rankings here

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamoff

And DVOA defense rankings here

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef

The Pats*** finished with the #1 DVOA ranking, but that was with an offense ranked 2nd and a defense ranked 16th.  FWIW I think the Pats*** defense, contrary to its ranking of 1st in points allowed, is journeyman quality due to a sketchy pass rush and feasting on such dregs as the Jets - the Steelers may be the only AFC team able to exploit that, but the weakness is there.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:16 am

Well Ryan T may be out. But do not let backup Matt Moore fool anybody. As really it will be that of the defense as well as Big Ben and Bell and Brown coming down clutch.

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:16 am

@Atlanta Dan wrote:
@El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
@Fire Arians wrote:
Is our defense a top 10 defense now? We started off being in the high 20's, and ended the season at #12. That's definitely a marked improvement.

Yeah, but you have to look at they got the Browns x 2, the Bills, Luckless Colts and an injury depleted Bengals down the stretch, so those stats were going to get better if it was yardage based.  

If Bob Griffin, Tyrod Taylor and Scott Tolzien are lighting your defense up, then you really have some issues.  I think the Steelers D is middle of the pack, but would be top 1/3 if they had everybody healthy.

With acknowledgement of the cliche there are lies, damned lies and statistics (aka Garbage In, Garbage Out), Football Outsiders attempts to take into account not everyone playing the same opponent for 16 weeks with DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Rankings).  As stated in this excerpt from a lengthy discussion of those analytics:

DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. DVOA measures not just yardage, but yardage towards a first down: Five yards on third-and-4 are worth more than five yards on first-and-10 and much more than five yards on third-and-12. Red zone plays are worth more than other plays. Performance is also adjusted for the quality of the opponent. DVOA is a percentage, so a team with a DVOA of 10.0% is 10 percent better than the average team, and a quarterback with a DVOA of -20.0% is 20 percent worse than the average quarterback. Because DVOA measures scoring, defenses are better when they are negative.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/info/methods

Steelers finished up with an overall DVOA ranking of 5th, with a weighted DVOA (an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games) ranking of 3rd. With regard to the defense, the DVOA ranking is 11th (a drop from 9th after week 16 before the week 17 siesta against the Browns) and the offense was ranked 8th.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2017/final-2016-dvoa-ratings

Link to more detailed DVOA offense rankings here

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamoff

And DVOA defense rankings here

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamdef

The Pats**** finished with the #1 DVOA ranking, but that was with an offense ranked 2nd and a defense ranked 16th.  FWIW I think the Pats**** defense, contrary to its ranking of 1st in points allowed, is journeyman quality due to a sketchy pass rush and feasting on such dregs as the Jets - the Steelers may be the only AFC team able to exploit that, but the weakness is there.

Interesting read. Thanks for posting

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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:52 am

Thanks Dan, good read indeed.

My biggest recollection of DVOA was when a poster kept pointing out that in 2007 the best RB in the NFL via DVOA and Football outsiders was Mewelde Moore. It drives home your cliché about statistics and lies.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:35 am

The key of beating the Dolphins IMO:

1) O-Line protection
2) Stopping the run
3) Special team performance

As long as the Steelers could address these 3 areas, Ben, Brown and Bell will take care of the rest.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:27 am

Dolphins suck ass. Steelers 31-10 blow out.
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:48 am

Ayers is my X Factor for this game. Kid can play, he's shown as much being productive the past two games when he's been given opportunities. He has the speed to take the top off of a defense, he can draw PI penalties as we saw against Baltimore, and he gets open. I think he could be the missing link. Sammie Coates himself said his fingers won't be healed up until the offseason, so I think we should use Ayers. If Miami doesn't respect his speed, Ayers can burn them, and he could open up more opportunities for Brown. If Ayers can step up and be a decent WR2 for us, this offense could get really scary with Brown, Ayers, Rogers, Green, and Bell. Could be the most prolific we've been all season.

Really hoping this Ayers kid continues to produce.

I'm just hoping that Suh doesn't act like an asshat in this game, but my guess is he'll be up to his usual antics. I can tell you, our O-Line is not going to stand for it. One or two of our bigs might have to plant his ass once and get the point across that we're not putting up with dirty play.

Other than that, really just need to shut down Ajayi, and play sound pass defense from a defensive standpoint. Can't let them break off the big runs and gash us the way they did the first time. I think our defense is up to the task this time around.

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:24 am

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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:30 am

@IowaSteeler927 wrote:
Ayers is my X Factor for this game. Kid can play, he's shown as much being productive the past two games when he's been given opportunities. He has the speed to take the top off of a defense, he can draw PI penalties as we saw against Baltimore, and he gets open. I think he could be the missing link. Sammie Coates himself said his fingers won't be healed up until the offseason, so I think we should use Ayers. If Miami doesn't respect his speed, Ayers can burn them, and he could open up more opportunities for Brown. If Ayers can step up and be a decent WR2 for us, this offense could get really scary with Brown, Ayers, Rogers, Green, and Bell. Could be the most prolific we've been all season.

Really hoping this Ayers kid continues to produce.

I'm just hoping that Suh doesn't act like an asshat in this game, but my guess is he'll be up to his usual antics. I can tell you, our O-Line is not going to stand for it. One or two of our bigs might have to plant his ass once and get the point across that we're not putting up with dirty play.

Other than that, really just need to shut down Ajayi, and play sound pass defense from a defensive standpoint. Can't let them break off the big runs and gash us the way they did the first time. I think our defense is up to the task this time around.

TBH Ayers reminds me of AB / Sanders in their rookie seasons. Didn't do much all year (lack of opportunity), but late in the season became difference makers in games. And despite being rookies, carried themselves with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. Some just have that X-factor, and I believe he does.
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Atlanta Dan



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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:07 pm

Post-Gazette has gone into its archives for photos of the three previous Steelers-Dolphins playoff matchups

December 31, 1972

Coach Shula with the long sideburns, the Chief with a stogie and photographer in the background with the '70s porn star 'stache

Link to all 12/31/1972 P-G photos
http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/photos/2017/01/04/steelers-vs-dolphins-dec-31-1972/

December 30, 1979

R.I.P.  Myron

Lambert pays his post-game respects to Coach Shula

Link to all 12/30/1979 P-G photos
http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/photos/2017/01/04/steelers-vs-dolphins-dec-30-1979/

January 6, 1985

Pregame chat between two men on the Mount Rushmore of NFL coaches

Link to all 01/06/1985 P-G photos
http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/photos/2017/01/04/steelers-vs-dolphins-jan-6-1985/
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PostSubject: Re: Dolphins @ Steelers: Wild Card Weekend: Game Day Thread   Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:37 pm

Injury updates from Thursday's practice

Tight end Ladarius Green was a full participant in practice again Thursday, and all signs point toward him being available Sunday. Green will speak with reporters Friday for the first time since he sustained a concussion against the Bengals Dec. 18.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt (knee), receiver Sammie Coates (hamstring) and tight end Xavier Grimble (ribs) also were full participants for the second day in a row. Safety Robert Golden (ankle) and defensive end Johnny Maxey (ankle) were limited Thursday.

Linebacker Anthony Chickillo (ankle), defensive end Ricardo Mathews (ankle) and linebacker Vince Williams (shoulder) did not practice.


http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2017/01/05/pittsburgh-steelers-miami-dolphins-afc-wild-card-nfl-playoffs-injuries-ryan-tannehill-mike-pouncey/stories/201701050179
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