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Opponent Breakdown: Miami Dolphins

A look at what the Steelers will be up against on Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins:


BIG-PLAY CAPABLE:** Miami finished No. 24 in the NFL in total offense (ninth rushing, 26th passing) but the Dolphins were No. 1 in the league in plays of 40-plus yards (20 _ 15 passing, five rushing).

Wide receivers Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills are all capable of hitting home runs either by getting behind the defense or running through it, and they've taken turns doing so throughout the season. There isn't one obvious big-play threat to take away in the passing game. And that's a capability that didn't go away when Matt Moore replaced Ryan Tannehill at quarterback.

On Dec. 17 at the New York Jets, Landry had a 66-yard TD reception and Stills scored from 52 yards away.

And at Buffalo on Dec. 24, running back Jay Ajayi had a 57-yard run and Parker had a 56-yard TD catch.

New England was able to take away much of Miami's combustibility in the regular-season finale on Jan. 1 (the Patriots won, 35-14, and Miami's longest play was a 25-yard Moore-to-Stills touchdown in the third quarter). But the Dolphins remain an offense capable of scoring in a hurry from distance.


GETTING OFF THE FIELD:** The Dolphins' defense was No. 29 in the regular season (30th rushing, 15th passing) and finished with both of the starting safeties (Reshad Jones and Isa Abdul-Quddus) among the six Miami starters on offense and defense who ended up on the Reserve/Injured list.

Miami survives defensively via takeaways (25, tied for No. 11 in the league) and by holding opponents to a 36.2-percent conversion rate on third downs (fourth in the NFL behind Tampa Bay, 34.4; Baltimore, 35.0; and the New York Football Giants, 35.3).

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is the headliner up front and is preceded by his reputation for being disruptive and for being capable of just about anything at any given moment, within or outside of the boundaries of good taste. But the Dolphins are deep enough along the defensive line that 11th-year pro Mario Williams was a healthy scratch for the New England game.

The depth in the secondary has been stretched to the extent that safety Bacarri Rambo, who played in 32 games (11 starts) with Washington and Buffalo from 2013-15, was signed on Oct. 25. Rambo wasn't in an NFL training camp this season but has appeared in nine games and started five for Miami.

TO THE HOUSE: Wide receiver Jakeem Grant has returned a punt for a touchdown and running back Kenyan Drake has returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season.


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