Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Steelers Sink the Winless Dolphins 3-0

The Steelers-Dolphins game was even worse than the Dolphins-Giants game in London as far as weather and field conditions go. The field was so muddied and destroyed from the storm, that ESPN had to provide on screen computer graphics to tell the viewer where on the field the players were because the numbers on the field vanished. A terrible field and dreadful weather caused the Dolphins and Steelers to rewind to a different NFL era, a time when points came at a premium and one field goal could decide a game. They trudged through the quagmire of Heinz Field, nearly going all night without scoring. Nearly.

Jeff Reed's 24-yard field goal with 17 seconds left Monday night gave Pittsburgh a 3-0 victory over winless Miami, the first time in 64 years an NFL game went that long without any points. Hanging with the first-place Steelers (8-3) for 59½ minutes, Miami (0-11) almost pushed this mess to overtime, where Pittsburgh is 0-2 this season, but the Dolphins managed only 159 yards while going nowhere nearly all night.

The field was covered during the daylong rain, but quite a bit of water found its way under the protective tarps and there were numerous puddles and mushy spots once the covering was removed. Wide receivers slipped on several pass plays, and running backs repeatedly lost their footing before tacklers arrived. This was a game in which the weather dictated the style of play more than any offensive or defensive scheme. Pittsburgh struggled to get its running game untracked as the field was too sloppy for their offensive line to pull or trap to make the off-tackle play work, and neither team was able to run the ball outside the tackles with any effectiveness.

If anything, this was a game Miami had the best chance of winning because the weather conditions nuetralized any advantages the Steelers could have had over them.

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