The Miami Dolphins are in a bad spot, CBS Sports color commentator Dan Dierdorf says.
They're a good team that just happens to be in the AFC East with the New York Jets and New England Patriots and will host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Those other three teams just happen to be among the four most elite in Dierdorf's mind.
That said, Dierdorf has a lot of respect for the Dolphins. He will be in Sun Life Stadium to call this week's big AFC game.
On the best NFL teams so far:
"There are a group of teams that are on a level above everybody else at this point in the season. They are Pittsburgh, the Jets, Baltimore and, after their performance last week, I move the Patriots up there as well. Those four teams at this stage seem to be playing better football than any other team in the league. There is a long way to go, but those four teams are way better than any team I've seen in the NFC."
On Miami and keeping pace in AFC East:
"You look at how weak some of the other divisions in the NFL are, and then you look at the AFC East and see how loaded it is. Nobody said life was fair. Heck, I played my whole career in the NFC East [with the St. Louis Cardinals], and we were always chasing Dallas and Washington. Nobody really cares about your predicament. But the Dolphins are playing good football. They are one of these teams on an upward curve. They are better than they were last year. Tony Sparano is doing a heck of a job coaching that football team. When I look at them, they are on a graph that has an upward arrow to it."
On Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall:
"I know the Steelers' defense doesn't fear anybody, but there is not a defensive back in football that looks forward to the week when you have to play Brandon Marshall. In an era when many may be looking for the sidelines, Brandon Marshall is looking for someone to run over."
On Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's return from a four-game suspension last week:
"He looked comfortable. A couple of throws went where he didn't want, but overall I would think he had to be pretty pleased. He's one of the five best quarterbacks in football. What would you expect?"