Dolphins at Steelers: 7 players to watch

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Cameron Wake #91 of the Miami Dolphins looks on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Hard Rock Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Cameron Wake #of the Miami Dolphins looks on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Cameron Wake — He’s played 115 games as a Miami Dolphin, but none in the NFL playoffs. Wake had 11.5 sacks this season and the Dolphins were 10-0 in games in which he had a sack, 0-6 when he didn’t. Wake needs to beat Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva and/or right tackle Marcus Gilbert for at least one sack, preferably two with at least one forced turnover.

Jay Ajayi — Ajayi rushed for 204 yards in the first meeting, in a game that changed how the running back from Boise State was perceived and defined the identity of the 2016 Dolphins. Miami believes if Pittsburgh stacks the line with eight players that Ajayi will burst through for some big gainers, just as he did in October at Hard Rock Stadium.

Matt Moore — Moore is not a typical backup quarterback. The Dolphins players legitimately believe they can win with him under center. Moore has eight touchdowns and three interceptions this season. Although he would like to go through a game without an interception, his gunslinger mentality should at least prevent intimidation Sunday.

Tony Lippett — It’s not certain that Lippett will cover Antonio Brown, but he may draw the assignment ahead of rookie Xavien Howard. Lippett is the player defensive coordinator Vance Joseph identified first when asked about who made the most progress in 2016. Lippett struggled early in the season against A.J. Green but lately has broken up a lot of passes and battled hard on contested passes.

Bacarri Rambo — Rambo had a bad missed tackle on a long Patriots touchdown. Rambo has taken some bad angles and must be careful not to do so if put in that position against Brown or Eli Rogers. The Dolphins secondary is a major liability on Sunday with injuries to Byron Maxwell, Reshad Jones and Isa Abdul-Quddus. Even Rambo isn’t healthy, with a chest injury.

Ndamukong Suh — He did not play particularly well against New England. But perhaps Suh was saving his superhuman strength for a playoff game. Suh had a career-high 72 tackles along with five sacks and was voted to the Pro Bowl. The middle of the Steelers offensive line is really good. But Suh can’t just take up double teams. The surly behemoth must cause wreckage.

Jarvis Landry — Landry averaged a career-high 12.1 yards per catch and came close to his career-high with 1,136 receiving yards. Against Pittsburgh in the first meeting, Landry had seven catches for 91 yards. William Gay is a pretty good slot cornerback. The Steelers are actually vulnerable on third down, so Landry should have some opportunities on third-and-short.

Miami Dolphins need another freaky, rare, outlier effort from Jay Ajayi against Steelers

Cameron Wake to doubters of Dolphins and him: ‘Here we are. Here I am.’

Why Miami Dolphins QB Matt Moore is ridiculously underrated

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill returns to practice; surgery future uncertain

Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook.

 

Reader Comments 0

0 comments