Ben Roethlisberger takes his reformed tour on the road, facing a tougher opponent than the Browns squad he beat in his 2010 debut. Roethlisberger threw three touchdowns in the 2009 season finale in Sun Life Stadium, and he threw three touchdowns against Cleveland last Sunday. The Dolphins have beaten Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers this season, but cornerback Vontae Davis proved he was vulnerable last week, giving up an 85-yard touchdown. He’ll need to keep Mike Wallace from getting over the top.
Keys for the Dolphins
• Protect Chad Henne. The young quarterback is still making mistakes, but he’s also developing a real rhythm with Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, who have 63 catches between them. The Steelers come in waves, and the offensive line must shut them down, to give Henne time. He’s the Dolphins’ best hope, since the Steelers are allowing an average of only 63.8 yards on the ground.
• Get the crowd into it. The Dolphins are 3–0 on the road, and 0–2 at Sun Life. This is the closest thing to a traditional hot-weather game that the Dolphins might get this season, after prime-time kickoffs in the first two home contests. Some heat, and some noise, would help Miami.
Keys for the Steelers
• Watch Cameron Wake. Just as James Harrison came out of nowhere to become a major star for Pittsburgh, Wake, a product of the CFL, has exploded in his second season. The linebacker had three sacks last week, and won’t be a secret much longer. Roethlisberger tends to hold the ball a long time, trying to make a play. That could make Wake’s day.
• Spring Heath Miller. The Dolphins still need to prove they can handle a quality pass-catching tight end, after getting lucky and missing Jermichael Finley last Sunday in Green Bay. Miller had five catches and a touchdown against Miami in 2009, and three catches for 101 yards and a touchdown against the Dolphins in 2006.
A tough-minded, physical team keeps the Dolphins winless at home. Steelers 24–17.