Pittsburgh Comes Off Bye to Host Woeful Miami for Monday Night Football

Posted on: October 28, 2019, 02:51h. 

Last updated on: October 28, 2019, 06:02h.

The Pittsburgh Steelers play on Monday Night Football for the second time this season, and once again, they’ll be hosting a winless squad, as the Miami Dolphins roll into town.

Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph (center) talks with wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (left) and James Washington at a recent practice in preparation for Monday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. (Image: Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers)

However, unlike when Cincinnati came to visit nearly a month ago on a Monday night, the Steelers find themselves as substantial favorites against the hapless Dolphins (0-6), considered by many to be the worst team in the league.

Pittsburgh has won two of its last three games, including a 27-3 win over the Bengals. Despite their 2-4 record, the Steelers have been in all but one of their six games, as three of their losses have been four points or less.

Handicappers are expecting a similar performance from the Steelers as they produced a month ago. Both FanDuel and DraftKings have the Steelers as 14-point favorites. FanDuel offers a slightly better price on the moneyline, offering Pittsburgh at -750, where DraftKings is -770.

DraftKings offers the better moneyline price on Miami at +600, while FanDuel is +560.

The over/under at both is 43.5 points at both books.

Dolphins Bad on Both Sides

The Bengals game marked Mason Rudolph’s first career start at home. He completed 24 of 28 passes for 229 yards and two scores to lead the offense in that game, while the defense did most of the heavy lifting. Pittsburgh held Cincinnati to just 175 total yards and forced two turnovers.

Pittsburgh’s defense doesn’t necessarily resemble the old Steel Curtain days, or even of the defenses coach Mike Tomlin has fielded in recent years. However, that shouldn’t be necessary against a Miami offense that’s last in the NFL in scoring (10.5 points per game) and next to last in total offense (258.7 yards per game).

Miami is equally as inept on the other side of the field. The Dolphins defense ranks last in scoring (35.2 points per game) and is 30th out of 32 in total defense (417.3 yards per game).

With Ben Roethlisberger out for the season, the Steelers offense is a gangbusters attack, but there are enough weapons surrounding Rudolph that beating Miami by double-digits shouldn’t be a problem. In the win over the Chargers two weeks ago, Steelers rookie running back Benny Snell ran for 75 yards. That production means he could end up sharing some duties with starting running back James Conner on Monday night.

Steelers Are Healthy

Another thing that’s going for the Steelers is their health. Pittsburgh’s injury report lists no one who is expected to miss the game. Last week’s bye week allowed the team to get healthy.

That includes linebacker T.J. Watt, who is still limited by an abdominal muscle injury. But he told reporters having the last week off helped his recovery.

I’m still not where I want to be at all, but if I’m safe enough to be able to go where I’m not going to reinjure myself, I’ll definitely give it a shot on Monday night,” he said.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, will be without their leading rusher, as they traded Kenyan Drake to Arizona on Monday. In exchange for the back, who has rushed for 174 yards this year on 47 carries, the Cardinals will give Miami a conditional draft pick.

It’s the second in-season trade Miami’s has made. Last month, the Dolphins traded Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers for a collection of three draft picks, including a first-round selection in next year’s NFL Draft.