It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. I imagine you’ve heard that before but the Pittsburgh Steelers flipped the script on that today in their AFC Wild-Card win over the Miami Dolphins.
The Steelers scored on their first three drives highlighted by two quick strikes from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown and capped off by a Le’Veon Bell TD run for a 20-6 lead at the half.
Despite the offensive outburst the biggest play of the game in my opinion was made by the defense and the ageless wonder James Harrison. The Dolphins had the ball deep in Steelers’ territory near the end of the half. A touchdown would have made it a one-score game.
Harrison fell off the line of scrimmage prior to the snap which was the last time Miami QB Matt Moore would see him. Harrison came sprinting around the left side of the Dolphins’ formation and hit Moore’s blindside. The ball went flying and was recovered by Stephon Tuitt. From that point on, the game was never in doubt.
For his part Bell, went on to record the greatest rushing day in Steelers’ history. He ran for 169 yards on 29 carries and a TD. He was the clear running star of the game with Miami’s Jay Ajayi being limited to just 33 yards.
This game was a certain departure from the October match-up that saw Miami win 30-15. Steelers’ fans must be careful not assume the Steelers’ 43-14 regular season win over Kansas City means anything if they discredited the Dolphins’ earlier win.
The Chiefs’ game will be a stern test for the Steelers who will have to deal with a hostile environment far different from the home environment of today. To add to that, Ben Roethlisberger was in a walking boot at the press conference but we’ll have more on that tomorrow. [Update]: His ankle is not expected to be serious.
For today, the Steelers took the first step towards the ultimate goal of seventh ring and they did it with a fast start we’ve all been waiting for.
Photo courtesy macon.com