A familiar face will return to Heinz Field this coming Sunday in the form of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace and like so many other receivers have done this season, he will be looking to hit a homerun against a Pittsburgh Steelers defense like he did so many times while wearing the black and gold.
According to Pro Football Focus, Wallace caught 43 passes that traveled 20 yards or more past the line of scrimmage, with 22 of them going for touchdowns, during his four seasons with the Steelers. In his first season with the Dolphins, however, he has caught just five of 24 passes that have flown that distance with only one going for a touchdown.
Wallace is finding out the hard way that quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not the equal of Ben Roethlisberger when it comes to the deep ball as he has completed just 12 of 45 passes of 20 yards or more with three touchdowns versus six interceptions. In case you are wondering, Roethlisberger is 23 of 61 with seven touchdowns versus five interceptions when throwing 20 or more yards down the field this season.
Over the course of the last five games, the Steelers defense has allowed 8 of 25 passes thrown 20 yards or more down the field to be completed with three of then going for touchdowns. However, two of those incompletions were flagged for pass interference, so that essentially brings the number up to 10, or right at a 40% completion rate. If the Dolphins have learned anything while watching those games, you can bet that they will go deep Sunday to Wallace.
With only 56 catches so far this season, Wallace hasn’t had a great first year with the Dolphins, but it would get much better with a big day and a win against the team that let him walk away during free agency. Is a homerun or two in his future, or will drop the ball like he’s done 11 times so far this season?