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A Glimpse At Steelers @ Dolphins Showdown

Recently, myself and Matt Loede sat down for a short discussion on the upcoming matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Miami Dolphins. Here are the questions I posed to him, and you can find the questions I answered here

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Dolphins Gab: What are some of the Steelers strengths and weaknesses in the second half of the season?

Matt Loede: Well, the secondary has been pretty bad much of the season, but in the second half it’s been awful.  They allow too many teams to rally and come back after building leads, and they also have not been able to run the ball with a lot of success when they need to run the clock.  As far as strengths, they have been able to score points, and this season has been Ben Roethlisberger‘s best by far, and Mike Wallace as the teams #3 WR has been a nice surprise.

DG: Who do you expect to have a breakout week based on some of the Dolphins strengths and weaknesses?

ML: I think the game plan will still be to throw quite a bit, and that means that they will try to exploit the Dolphins secondary.  If the team can find a way to build a lead, you can bet you’ll see a lot of Rashard Mendenhall trying to kill the clock, and also I can see tight end Heath Miller, who is having his best season as a pro, having a few big plays as well.

DG: Is the Steelers defense nearly as ferocious without Troy Polamalu inserted in the secondary?

ML: No.  They simply do not have the firepower without Troy to do the things they want to do.  Ty Carter, who has the role of trying to be Polamalu, cannot do the things either in the run game or pass coverage game that Polamalu can.  Plus he doesn’t have the make up speed to cover ground like Polamalu does.  I expect the Dolphins to do what every team for the most part has done, and that is attack a secondary that has failed for most of the year.

DG: What are some of the positions that the Steelers will target in the off-season? Will there be any lost jobs after this season?

ML: You can bet that there will be some changes.  Special teams has been awful all year, and I think a change will be made there.  As far as positions go, I think they will take a long look at the letdowns in the secondary and look to target that through both the draft and free agency.  I think the O-line has been about as good as anyone could have expected based on the issues last season, but I wouldn’t doubt if they look at that as well.  Also their D-line has been getting older, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see a player or two in the mix there.

DG: What are some of the things that you will be looking for in this game, and what do you think will be the outcome? Final score predictions?

ML: Both teams have a lot to play for.  The Steelers need a couple teams to lose and to win themselves, while the Fins to me are playing the role of spoiler and want to end the year at .500.  I expect a nip and tuck hard fought game, but at the same time the Steelers on offense have been playing at a pretty high level, scoring 60 points in their last two games in wins over the Packers and Ravens.  I think Roethlisberger will go for about 325 and the Steelers will win a tough game 24-21
Thanks to Matt for partaking in this interview on the game!

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