It was a dominating performance on both sides of the ball by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The ending was never in doubt. With 12:15 in the first quarter, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected with wide receiver Antonio Brown for a 50-yard touchdown. And just to solidify their potency, with 6:50 left in the first quarter the Ben to Brown connection connected once more for a 62-yard touchdown. The score after the first quarter was Steelers 14- Miami Dolphins 3. That was as close as it got.
Steelers' running back Le'Veon Bell broke the franchise post season rushing record in his first post season game. Bell rushed for 167 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns. He averaged 5.8 yards a carry. Whenever Bell had the ball, he dominated the Dolphins front line.
Not to be outdone, wide receiver Brown added 124 receiving yards on five receptions with his two first quarter touchdowns.
The Steelers scored on their first three possessions of the game. The first half was a Steelers' clinic in how to run an offense.
But the defense was no slouch either. Containing Dolphins' running back Jay Ajayi was high priority since he had scorched the Steelers for 204 yards and two touchdowns in their first meeting during week six. That was so 12 weeks ago. In this go around in the cold confines of Heinz Field, Ajayi was held to 33 yards on 16 carries.
The defense also sacked Matt Moore five times, caused two interceptions and two fumbles. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons led the defense with 14 tackles and two sacks. "Old man" James Harrison was seemingly everywhere at once. He collected 10 tackles, one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks. Linebacker Ryan Shazier contributed six tackles and one interception. And let's discuss the hit linebacker Bud Dupree put on Dolphins' quarterback Matt Moore. It was brutal ... discussion ended. Dupree finished the game with six tackles, 0.5 sacks and one brutal hit.
The two rookies in the secondary, safety Sean Davis and cornerback Artie Burns kept a lock down on the Dolphins' receivers, only relinquishing their hold in the fourth quarter when the game was out of the Dolphins graps. Dolphins' wide receiver Jarvis Landry ended the game with 11 receptions for 102 yards; Kenny Stills had 82 yards on five receptions; and Devante Parker contributed 55 yards on five receptions. None scored a touchdown.
The Steelers will now travel to Kansas City to meet the Chiefs.