Miami Begins Turnaround with Victory Over Steelers
If anyone had doubts about the Dolphins’ ability to turn a disappointing start to the season around, their victory over the Steelers proves that Coach Adam Gase’s team is far from beaten. Granted, their NFL sportsbook betting odds still don’t look especially promising.
But at least the Dolphins have begun to show signs of improvement, having put opposing Steelers players on their backsides with a surprisingly consistent offensive line. It isn’t enough to simply say that the Dolphins players did a better job of blocking.
Watching the performance of Ryan Tannehill and Jay Ajayi, one had to conclude that Miami was on its way to eliminating all the problems that had been plaguing it since Adam came on board. With a 2-4 record at the moment, Coach Adam is determined to spin the Steelers victory as a first step in turning things around.
It would be easy to dismiss the win as a fluke. However, the coach believes that his players have the determination to build off the win. Safety Reshad Jones didn’t have nearly as good a game as his colleagues, making an interception that caused a shoulder injury for which Jones might miss out on the rest of the season.
When the Dolphins face Buffalo at home on Sunday (for the third time), they will seek to build upon the momentum of the Steelers win. Right now, it is a matter of maintaining the right mindset.
If they can conjure the same mindset they nurtured in the week that saw them beat the Steelers, they shouldn’t have a problem going toe-to-toe with Buffalo. The offensive line didn’t let the Dolphins down and was crucial to the team’s overall success.
This was the first time the Miami team was whole and healthy, boasting all five of their best players, from Branden Albert to Mike Pouncey, Laremy Tunsil, Ja’Wuan James and Bushrod.
All five players played together for the first time in 2016, and their hard work paid off as an offensive line that has been taking heat all season finally stepped up and put the Steelers in their place.
Miami has struggled to find decent backups to fill some of those positions that have been vacated as a result of injuries. Coach Adam’s boys needed to make a statement and they did just that.
Of course, it would be a mistake to become overconfident. But they do not need to be modest about the sort of threat they now pose with their best players finally back in the fold.
Tannehill probably manifested the best performance, at least with regards to the level of improvement seen in his game. Sacked a disappointing 17 times in the first five games, Tannehill wasn’t sacked even once this time, and neither did it look like he was being pressured.
Ajayi, on the other hand, proficiently took advantage of the numerous holes in the Steelers’ defense. At one point, Miami enjoyed a 13-minute advantage in possession time.
The team, as a whole, was simply superior: fresh and far more physical than the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger’s situation only made the Steelers more vulnerable.