Dolphins shake off snow, Steelers 34-28
Once the Miami Dolphins got used to the snow, the Pittsburgh
Steelers were no problem.
Charles Clay caught two touchdowns, including a 12-yard pass
from Ryan Tannehill with 2:53 remaining and the Miami Dolphins beat
the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-28 on Sunday.
Daniel Thomas ran for 105 yards and a score. His zig-zag 55-yard
yard burst at snowy Heinz Field set up Clay’s game-winner.
Tannehill completed 20 of 33 passes for 201 yards and three scores
for the Dolphins (7-6). Miami blew a 10-point third-quarter lead
but rallied to win for the third time in its last four games.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 297 yards and three scores but the
Steelers (5-8) lost their second straight game to all but end any
outside shot of making the postseason. Antonio Brown raced into the
end zone after a series of laterals on the final play, but
officials ruled he stepped out before scoring.
Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu returned an interception 19
yards for a score with 8:05 into the third quarter to put the
Steelers up 21-17, but his fifth career touchdown was overshadowed
late. Polamalu and Cortez Allen both had a shot at Clay on the
game-winning score but couldn’t bring the 6-foot-3, 255-pound tight
end to the ground.
Clay muscled his way out of the arms of both players then
skipped into the end zone to give the Dolphins the lead for good.
Caleb Sturgis added a late field goal and the Dolphins survived –
barely – a frantic final play.
The Steelers snapped the ball at their own 21 just before the
clock hit all zeros. Emmanuel caught a short pass from
Roethlisberger, starting a flurry of laterals that included getting
the ball into the hands of 330-pound tackle Marcus Gilbert. Gilbert
flipped it to Roethlisberger who then appeared to throw it forward
to Brown. No flags were thrown, however, as Brown raced down the
While he celebrated, an official pointed to the Miami 11,
sending the resurgent Dolphins spilling onto the field after the
franchise’s first win in Pittsburgh in 23 years and came in the
unlikeliest of settings.
The snow started in earnest 30 minutes before kickoff and
intensified in the first quarter. It hardly seemed to bother the
Steelers early. Bell did most of the heavy lifting during a 74-yard
touchdown drive that ended with Roethlisberger hitting Emmanuel
Sanders for a 5-yard score.
The pass was the 213th career touchdown toss for Roethlisberger,
breaking a tie with Terry Bradshaw for the most in team
Miami, finding its footing after some early struggles, pulled
within 7-3 after a 48-yard sprint down the left sideline by
Tannehill. The Dolphins went in front midway through the second
quarter after Roethlisberger fumbled while getting sacked by
Cameron Wake. Miami needed just five plays to go 31 yards, with
Tannehill lobbing it to a wide-open Clay for the touchdown.
The snow slowed after halftime, setting the stage for a wild
back-and-forth affair in which the teams exchanged the lead four
times in the last 23 minutes.
Miami wide receiver Mike Wallace caught two passes for 19 yards
in his return to Pittsburgh, where he played from 2009-12 before
signing with the Dolphins in the offseason.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin stayed well inside the rules during
kickoffs a week after being fined $100,000 by the league for
stepping onto the field in a loss to Baltimore.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org