MIAMI (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – Sunday’s game in Miami will feature a pair of NFL quarterbacks heading in opposite directions.
While Ben Roethlisberger made a few headlines by asking the team to re-evaluate practice habits, there’s nothing wrong with his performance in actual games this season.
The 34-year-old Roethlisberger (league-leading 15 touchdowns) looks to continue his torrid pace on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the reeling Miami Dolphins.
Roethlisberger has thrown for 680 yards and nine scores without an interception in his last two games for Pittsburgh, which has answered a lopsided loss to Keystone State rival Philadelphia with convincing home victories over Kansas City and the New York Jets.
At the other end of the spectrum is Miami’s Ryan Tannehill, who has four turnovers (three interceptions, one lost fumble) in his past two contests and has been sacked 11 times in that stretch.
The Dolphins’ offense ranks 29th overall (303.8 yards per game) and 31st on the ground (72.4) while their defense is dead last against the run (150.8).
Le’Veon Bell will look to exploit the latter statistic as the electric back has amassed 332 yards from scrimmage since returning from his season-opening three-game suspension.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Steelers -7.5. O/U: 47
ABOUT THE STEELERS (4-1): While Antonio Brown (NFL-leading 37 receptions, league high-tying five TDs) is a constant, the Steelers are expected to usher slot receiver Eli Rogers into the lineup with Sammie Coates (hand laceration) in question after posting a career-high 139 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-13 win over the Jets.
“I feel like I was on the verge of becoming a factor a team needed to account for,” said Rogers, who has nine receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown in three contests.
Mammoth tight end Jesse James had a season-high six receptions last week and has found the end zone in three of his last four games.
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (1-4): Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph hasn’t liked what he’s seen from Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams and cornerback Byron Maxwell this season, saying the former “has got to play harder; he’s got to play better,” while stating the latter “has not played overall well.”
Williams only has seven tackles and one sack this season, without registering one of either last week as Miami was gashed for 235 yards on the ground in a 30-17 loss to Tennessee.
Maxwell was benched two games ago, but a knee injury to rookie Xavien Howard will send him back into the lineup with the enormous task of shadowing Brown rumored to be on his plate.
- Pittsburgh C Maurkice Pouncey will be on the opposite sideline of his brother (C Mike Pouncey) for the first time in their NFL careers.
- Miami’s Jay Ajayi has rushed for a touchdown in two of the last three games and could see his fair share of carries even if fellow RB Arian Foster returns from a hamstring injury.
- Steelers DE Cameron Heyward (team-leading three sacks) will see his streak of 85 consecutive games played come to an end on Sunday due to a hamstring injury.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sports Direct Inc. contributed to this report.)