Sunday, October 24, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Steelers 23, Dolphins 22
By Tim Graham
MIAMI -- The Pittsburgh Steelers caught a giant break late in the fourth quarter and edged past the Miami Dolphins 23-22 in Sun Life Stadium.
What it means: The Dolphins have a reason to complain after a controversial ending, but that won't erase their 0-3 record at home. A Dolphins victory would have propelled them into the conversation of best teams.
Play of the game: On third-and-goal from the 2 with 2:37 left in the game, Ben Roethlisberger scrambled toward the end zone. He was met at the goal line by Dolphins safety Chris Clemons and apparently fumbled. The play was ruled a touchdown. The Dolphins challenged. The play was overturned, but there was no video evidence the Dolphins recovered. Jeff Reed kicked an 18-yard field goal.
A less-controversial critical play: With the Dolphins up two points with about three minutes left, the Steelers had third-and-5 on the Dolphins' 43-yard line. Roethlisberger flipped a short pass to Mewelde Moore for a 29-yard gain. One play later, Dolphins defensive lineman Tony McDaniel commits unnecessary roughness to give the Steelers a first down on the doorstep.
Two-minute grill: The Dolphins had more than two minutes left and needed only a field goal against an injury-depleted defense, but they couldn't muster anything. Chad Henne passed three times before losing the ball on downs.
Worthy of debate: Dolphins fullback Lousaka Polite is virtually automatic when it comes to gaining 1 yard for a first down. On third-and-1 from the 50 early in the fourth quarter, the Dolphins handed to Ronnie Brown for no gain and then punted on fourth-and-inches.
Injury report: The Steelers lost three players during the game: right tackle Flozell Adams (ankle), defensive end Aaron Smith (arm) and linebacker Lamarr Woodley (hamstring).
What's next: The Dolphins visit the Cincinnati Bengals next Sunday.