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14
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Miami 14 0 0 0 14
Pittsburgh 0 10 7 10 27
27
5:15 PM PT6:15 PM MT7:15 PM CT8:15 PM ET0:15 GMT8:15 5:15 PM MST7:15 PM EST6:15 PM CT4:15 UAE (+1)20:15 ET23:15 , October 28, 2019
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  Weather: 59°, Clear  Attendance: 59,244

Dolphins-Steelers Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers

  1. The Dolphins and Steelers will face one another for the first time since the Wild Card Round of the 2016 AFC playoffs, when Pittsburgh posted a 30-12 home win to avenge a 30-15 loss in Miami during that year's regular season. Miami had lost five straight in the series before earning a 34-28 win in their most recent regular-season visit to Heinz Field in 2013.
  2. Pittsburgh has won 17 straight home games on Monday Night Football since a 23-20 loss to the Giants on Oct. 14, 1991, and owns the best winning percentage (26-5, .839) in the NFL in the history of the TV series. The Steelers are 14-2 with seven consecutive victories on MNF under Mike Tomlin.
  3. The Dolphins have played the most Monday Night Football games (84) of any NFL team and are an even 42-42 in those contests. Miami will be making its first appearance on MNF since a 27-20 win over New England on Dec. 11, 2017.
  4. Miami has lost nine straight games dating back to last season, the third-longest streak in franchise history and longest since a 10-game skid from Dec. 19, 2010-Oct. 30, 2011. The Dolphins also have nine consecutive losses on the road, their longest in away games since dropping a franchise-record 11 straight from Dec. 17, 2006-Sept. 14, 2008.
  5. Miami and Pittsburgh are the only two teams without a 100-yard rusher or receiver this season. It's the first time the Steelers have gone six straight games without a player rushing for 100 or more yards to begin a season since 2013 (14 straight).
  6. Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will face the Dolphins for the first time since being traded from Miami to Pittsburgh on Sept. 14. Since inserting the 2018 first-round pick in the lineup in Week 3, Pittsburgh has limited opposing quarterbacks to a 68.0 passer rating -- third-best in the NFL over that span.
Team Comparison

Miami
 
Pittsburgh
10.5 Points 20.5
214.0 Pass Yds 205.3
66.7 Rush Yds 76.5
2 Takeaways 15
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Mike Tomlin chose his words carefully. Partly out of habit. Partly out of respect.

Asked why the winless Miami Dolphins (0-6) have taken steps toward competency after a horrific start heading into Monday night's visit to Pittsburgh (2-4) - their last two losses have come by a combined 11 points - the Steelers coach played it down the middle.

"They are a professional football outfit," Tomlin said.

One that is starting to look like one - at least just a little - on defense. So forgive Tomlin if he views Miami as something more than a mere speed bump for his own banged-up team, which has a very slim window to resurrect its season. Yes, the Dolphins are rebuilding under first-year coach Brian Flores. Yes, they haven't won a game in over 300 days. Yet there's a freedom amid the misery. With no expectations, Flores can experiment as he pleases. He can order a fake field goal or an onside kick, as he's done in each of the last two games, and if it doesn't work, so what?

"What do you have to lose, right? What do we have to lose at this point?" Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "I think that's part of the mentality and part of the mentality is just trying to get that to trickle down and rub off on everyone else, that aggression."

Tomlin said that aggressive approach could be "troublesome" for an "inexperienced quarterback."

He's talking about Mason Rudolph, whose last appearance at Heinz Field ended when he slowly - very slowly - made his way to the sideline following a hit to the head by Baltimore's Earl Thomas that briefly left him unconscious. Given three weeks to recover, Rudolph said he's not concerned about any long-term effects of the harrowing collision that Thomas literally wiped from Rudolph's memory.

"I'm going to go play the game I've always played and play with the aggressiveness and if I need to extend the play, that's what's going to happen," Rudolph said. "I'm not going to think twice about worrying about getting hit in the right spot. That's just the luck of the draw."

Pittsburgh's path forward in 2019 without injured franchise cornerstone Ben Roethlisberger will rely heavily on how quickly the offense can create a distinctive identity behind Rudolph and whether the defense can continue its hot start even with defensive end Stephon Tuitt out for the season with a pectoral injury .

The Steelers are tied for second in the NFL in takeaways (15) and rank fifth in sacks (20). Yet they remain wary despite being 6-0 all-time against Fitzpatrick, who threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns against Pittsburgh last season while playing for Tampa Bay.

"We have everything to lose," Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds said. "We can't really worry about what they've got going on. We've just got to come in and play our game because we've got to win. That's just our whole mindset. We don't want to lose any more games. That's how we're approaching each week. Regardless of their team record, if they're coming in undefeated, if they come in here with all losses, we've still got to go out there and play our game."

MESHING?

The Dolphins' offensive line became a revolving door this year with personnel turnover that extended past the end of training camp. As coaches sort out their options and deal with injuries, Miami has had the same five starters for two games in a row only once.

But there are signs the group is beginning to mesh. Fitzpatrick wasn't sacked in last week's loss at Buffalo , and Miami topped 100 yards rushing for the first time.

"There's been so much improvement from Week 1 to now," Fitzpatrick said. "A lot of that is just working together, whether it's at practice or just sitting at a lunch table. I think we all know each other a little bit now. Everybody knows each other's names, and that's something we didn't have in the first few weeks."

OUTSIDE THE LINE(BACKERS)

The Steelers will be without backup outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo, who is on the commissioner's exempt list following his Oct. 20 arrest on misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident with his girlfriend at a resort during the team's bye week. Chickillo was a fixture in the linebacker rotation alongside Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt. Now it will be up to Ola Adeniyi and perhaps recently re-signed Jayrone Elliott to help pick up some of the slack.

"I think all of our guys that aren't front-line starters better have big-time versatility," Tomlin said. "Playing right or left should not be significant in terms of their ability to put their hand in the pile and aid us, particularly at the outside linebacker positions."

TARGETS

The Dolphins rank last in the NFL in passer rating, but their wideouts are a bright spot in the sputtering offense.

DeVante Parker has caught a touchdown pass in the past three games, the longest streak of his five-year career. Undrafted Preston Williams ranks second among all NFL rookies with 23 catches, which leads the Dolphins, and he also leads team with 314 yards receiving.

"I take pride in it, but it's nothing without wins," Williams said. "Winning is No. 1 on my list."

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AP Sports Writer Steven Wine in Miami contributed to this report.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated October 25, 2019

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