Here at TheRx, we take a look at Sunday’s night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins.
Sunday saw the Pittsburgh Steelers win their first game since NFL Week 1 after they sneaked a home-field win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This will have buoyed confidence for this week’s road trip to the Miami Dolphins who have lost their last three NFL games after a bright start to their season.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins
Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 08:30 PM EDT at Hard Rock Stadium
Spread: Miami Dolphins -6.5 (-110)
Over/Under: 45 (-110)
The opening spread was set at 6.5 to the Dolphins according to the lines posted by OddstTrader.
I noticed it had edged up to 7 in a couple of spots, but it feels like it’s settled at -6.5 so far. That is a test of character for the Dolphins and particularly head coach, Mike McDaniel given the high hopes of a few weeks ago.
The Pittsburgh Steelers though never really had high expectations for this season coming in without the retired star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger in the crucial position but as we know, head coach, Mike Tomlin is well used to being under the cosh in recent years.
The total was set at the key number of 45.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Team Analysis
As mentioned above, Mike Tomlin is well versed in handling pressure and scrapping points from NFL seasons and that crucial quarterback position has been something of a conundrum since “Big Ben” retired.
Former Chicago Bear, Mitch Trubisky started the season but was benched in favor of rookie, Kenny Pickett after NFL Week 3. Pickett suffered a concussion that ruled him out of the rest of the game on Week 6. To be fair to Trubisky, he came in and did a solid job on Sunday night with a 75% completion rate, one touchdown, and 144-yards.
That sort of team spirit is often prevalent in Steel City under Mike Tomlin when their backs are against the wall. Coming into last Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers the Steelers were big underdogs (10-point spread).
Their secondary was badly banged up, missing four starters but the replacements finished the game with much praise from Tomlin, who said, “I can’t say enough about the secondary group we had today. It was a great opportunity for a lot of these guys. First opportunity in some instances, redemption in some instances”.
You can see Tomlin fostering the team spirit and bringing positives to the locker room. With the possibility of a couple of players returning from injury this week, perhaps the starters will have a slightly stronger look in Miami.
Miami Dolphins – Team Analysis
This week we get a window into how Dolphins’ new head-coach Mike McDaniel can rally his troops after a debilitating run of three successive losses since those early three NFL wins.
Like Tomlin, McDaniel has also been affected by the new concussion protocols that ruled out Tua Tagovailoa from recent action, and this past week’s duties were shared between veteran, Teddy Bridgewater and rookie Skylar Thompson.
Thompson’s first-team debut was brief, having to be replaced by Bridgewater before the first half concluded with a thumb injury to his throwing hand.
In his post-game conference, McDaniel insisted he is not worried and said, “every indication that I’ve had since being in the building, I don’t have anything to worry about how the players are – how the organization, how the staff, how the coaching staff are going to respond”.
This week’s clash is an early acid test of those beliefs, and he did rightly point out that in their three losses, the Dolphins quarterback that finished the game was not the one who started the game.
I think, with the pressure on both sides in this game, points may be hard to come by, then we have the quarterback issues for both franchises so there is no need to second-guess things too much when you see the total number set at 45.
Take the under 45 while that key number survives for your NFL picks.
NFL Pick: Under 45 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook