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Monday, November 26, 2007
Salisbury: Revenge of the Steelers

By Sean Salisbury
ESPN

Every Monday, ESPN football analyst Sean Salisbury provides his picks and keys to the game for ESPN PlayCaller. Want to put Sean's advice to work? Think you know better? Join now and let's see what you've got.

Predictions

Quarterback with most passing yards: Ben Roethlisberger
Look for Big Ben to have a good game throwing the ball, early and often. Coming off a bad week, the Steelers will want to -- no, need to -- get off to a fast start for Roethlisberger.

Quarterback with most touchdown passes: Ben Roethlisberger
Ben will end up with two or three touchdowns. The Steelers use the tight end in the red zone and will do so tonight, giving Ben additional opportunities for TD passes.

Running back with most yards: Willie Parker
Whenever Parker rushes for 100 yards, the Steelers win. Look for Pittsburgh to go off this week, and don't be surprised if Parker breaks off a long one.

Running back with most touchdowns: Willie Parker
Along with a possible long run for a score, Parker will smash you down inside the 5.

Wide receiver with the most receiving yards: Hines Ward
Ward loves the lights. He's very good after the catch and the Dolphins will have a tough time stopping him. He will also be the beneficiary of Ben's strong start.

Most field goals: Jeff Reed
There won't be many field goals, but I expect the Steelers to have a couple, so give them the field-goal edge.

First team to score a touchdown: Pittsburgh Steelers>
They will most likely be the first to score and the last to score.

First player to score a touchdown: Willie Parker
Look for Parker to be given the ball for a short 3-yard blast, being rewarded for picking up 35 to 40 yards on the opening drive for the Steelers.

Keys to the game for the Dolphins

  1. Protect the quarterback
    Some how, some way, the Miami Dolphins need to protect John Beck, who is getting his second start. The Steelers are going to be relentless and make it appear as if there are 17 guys coming on defense.

  2. Run the ball
    The Steelers let the Jets do it in Week 10, and the Dolphins need to do the same. They will get hammered if they don't run the football.

  3. Do something special
    A blocked punt returned for a touchdown, a Big Ben hit, fumble and recovery for a touchdown. The Dolphins need somebody to step up and do something special. Pull out all the stops, you've got nothing to lose.

Keys to the game for the Steelers

  1. Tackle
    They did not tackle well against an average Jets team last week. Tackle!

  2. Back to the basics
    Hand the ball off, get first downs, convert third downs; play Pennsylvania football.

  3. Play angry
    It's payback time. Pretend those hats have Jets on them and get rid of the Dolphins early.

Sean Salisbury is an NFL analyst for ESPN