Monday Night Preview: Can the Dolphins Upset the Steelers?
This week's edition of Monday Night Football features the 0-6 Miami Dolphins . In a key AFC game, the Dolphins will look to increase their chance of landing the number one draft pick, while Pittsburgh attempts to climb back into the playoff race.
On the Miami side, both Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick have played significant snaps this season. Starting this week, Fitzpatrick has breathed life into this offense. Against a stout Bills' defense last week, Fitzpatrick managed 282 passing yards, creating opportunities for Preston Williams and DeVante Parker. This week, Fitzpatrick faces football's ninth-ranked pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics.
On the other side, Mason Rudolph projects to return from a scary concussion. Rudolph has played largely ineffective football, with only one game above 200 yards passing. Without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers offense has thrown the ball at the fifth-highest rate after leading the league in pass attempts last year. Pittsburgh's offense has also slowed to a snail's pace, ranking 31st in plays per game. However, Miami presents a solid get-right spot for the young quarterback.
Running Back Breakdown
With trade rumors swirling around Kenyan Drake, Miami left their leading running back at home. Without Drake in the picture, Miami projects to move forward with Mark Walton and Kalen Ballage. Last week, Walton led all backs with a 52 percent snap share, while carrying the ball 14 times. Walton also saw one target in the passing game, potentially elevating his floor in this spot. Unfortunately for Walton, Miami faces the NFL's third-ranked run defense in Pittsburgh.
On the other side, Pittsburgh should enter this game healthier, with James Conner and Jaylen Samuels getting closer to full health. Prior to Samuels' injury, both backs played significant roles in this offense, with Samuels playing primarily in passing situations. However, Conner remains the leading rusher at just 235 yards on 74 attempts this year. However, Miami ranks dead-last in run defense, creating a potential opening for Conner here.
On the defensive side of the ball, Pittsburgh ranks sixth overall, while Miami slots in 31st.
Pittsburgh, in particular, ranks ninth against the pass and third against the run. On the other side, Miami ranks 31st in pass defense and last in run defense.
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