Steelers vs Dolphins Sunday Night Football Picks and Predictions
NFL Week 7 Sunday Night Football Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Miami Dolphins on October 23, 2022 at Hard Rock Stadium at 8:20pm et.
Steelers vs Dolphins
When: 8:20 PM ET, Sunday, October 23, 2022
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
Fresh off snapping a four-game losing streak last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers will try to extend Miami’s own skid to four in a row when they face the Dolphins on Sunday night in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Both teams have been forced to change quarterbacks in recent weeks for different reasons. The Steelers (2-4) got back in the win column after recently supplanted starter Mitch Trubisky entered in relief of rookie Kenny Pickett and completed 9 of 12 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown to lead Pittsburgh to a 20-18 home win over Tampa Bay.
Pickett, who was making his first NFL start in the stadium where he played his college ball at the University of Pittsburgh, was knocked to the ground by Bucs linebacker Devin White and entered concussion protocol. The team announced Friday that Pickett had cleared concussion protocol, and coach Mike Tomlin previously said Pickett would start when ready.
“If he’s cleared to play, he’ll play quarterback for us,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said this week.
The Steelers will look to follow up a strong performance by its defense, which despite having four of its top five players in the secondary unavailable, held Tampa Bay to 75 rushing yards and frustrated Tom Brady, who passed for 243 yards and one touchdown.
Two of the key figures from that defense — former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, who is now Pittsburgh’s linebackers coach and special defensive assistant, and starting safety/former Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick — will coach and play their first games in Miami respectively since departing the Dolphins organization. It will be the first time back for Flores, who filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL, alleging racial discrimination in the league’s treatment of minority coaches and executives after his firing at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
The Dolphins (3-3) are also expected to have their starter back as Tua Tagovailoa cleared concussion protocol late last week and returned to practice on Wednesday. Tagovailoa has been out since Sept. 29 when he suffered a concussion in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, which prompted plenty of debate as to whether he should have been playing following another hit he took the previous week against Buffalo.
Tagovailoa said Wednesday he went through a rigorous process that involved interviews with the NFL and NFL Players Association, as well as being seen by multiple doctors externally before clearing protocols.
“A lot of it has been pretty stressful, but it’s all done for player safety and I’m glad that I got to go through those things and kind of understand more of the deals of concussions and the effects long-term and short-term, things like that,” Tagovailoa said. “It was great to go through that process and get cleared.”
The Dolphins offense struggled without Tagovailoa the past two weeks, and its depth had reached a tipping point after rookie Skylar Thompson suffered a thumb injury in the second quarter of last week’s 24-16 loss to Minnesota. Backup Teddy Bridgewater, who cleared concussion protocol late last week as well, completed 23 of 34 passes for 329 yards and threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions in relief of Thompson.
The Dolphins will also be honoring the surviving members of its 1972 team — the only team in NFL history to complete a season undefeated — as part of the 50th anniversary of that season.
The Dolphins placed cornerback Nik Needham (Achilles) and linebacker Trey Flowers (foot) on injured reserve. Needham is out for the season. Several Dolphins did not practice on Wednesday — cornerback Keion Crossen (knee), tackle Terron Armstead (toe), defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (back), defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (hand) and linebacker Melvin Ingram (veteran rest). Thompson (thumb), wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (shoulder), cornerback Kader Kohou (abdomen), linebacker Jerome Baker (hip), cornerback Xavien Howard (veteran rest), running back Raheem Mostert (knee), defensive tackle Zach Sieler (hand) and tight end Durham Smythe (hamstring) were all limited.
For the Steelers, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (knee) and wide receiver Steven Sims (hamstring) did not practice. Fitzpatrick (knee), linebacker Myles Jack (ankle), cornerback Cameron Sutton (hamstring), cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring), defensive end Chris Womley (ankle), offensive lineman Mason Cole (foot/ankle) and guard James Daniels (ankle) were limited. Tight end Pat Freiermuth and cornerback Levi Wallace participated fully in practice and were cleared from concussion protocol on Friday.
–Field Level Media
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For this Steelers vs DolphinsSunday Night Football game, I’m on the Dolphins First Half -4 points (-110).
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