Steelers Versus Dolphins Winners And Losers Week 14

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost 34-28 to the Miami Dolphins and below is my list of winners and losers from the game. Feel free to add your own in the comments below.


Cameron Heyward – Heyward was a big kid playing with the little kids in the snow on Sunday and he led the Steelers with 10 total tackles to go along with a sack, a hit and a batted down pass. He is and has been the Steelers best defensive lineman so far this season and his strength was on display against the Dolphins.

Jason Worilds – The Steelers made a smart decision in letting Worilds stay on the left side even with LaMarr Woodley returning to the lineup. He rewarded them with eight total tackles, two sacks, two hits and a few pressures. Sure, one of those sacks was a gimme, but that wasn’t his fault. Worilds now has seven sacks in the last six games and his free agency meter has been running wide open for several weeks now.

Jonathan Dwyer – Dwyer didn’t see the field much, but he made the most of his limited playing time. He converted two third downs on the ground and had a great cut block on a long completion to Heath Miller early in the second half.

Ben Roethlisberger – Roethlisberger’s 349 yards passing and three touchdowns should have been enough to win the game. Considering the conditions, I thought it was a solid performance.


Cortez Allen – Allen allowed Dolphins tight end Charles Clay to beat him down the sideline for a double explosive play that led to a touchdown. If that wasn’t enough, Allen’s poor tackle attempt on Clay late in the game also resulted in a touchdown.

Troy Polamalu – Sure, Polamalu’s pick-6 was a huge game changer, but so too were his two key missed tackles and poor run fill on the long run by Daniel Thomas. Polamalu only registered one tackle in the game and instead of making sure of the tackle that Allen first missed, he went for the strip unsuccessfully. If he and Allen make that tackle, perhaps the Dolphins settle for a field goal.

Will Allen – Allen missed several tackles in the game and he also lost contain on the long scamper by Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Marcus Gilbert – Gilbert allowed two and a half of the three sacks in the game and a few more pressures to boot. To add insult to injury, he also had a holding call against him in the second quarter that effectively killed the drive.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • CrazyTerry

    Losers: Woods, Jarvis Jones and Woodley: Going against a tackle whose prime is way past and Woodley was not terrible, but he didn’t earn his pay scale by any remote measure. And Jarvis was humiliated by McKinney. This is the worst OL in the league with all the controversies , injuries, replacements and the Steelers managed to make them look OK.

    Neither winner nor loser: If AB didn’t inexplicably step out of bounds (contrast that with how Clay stayed inbounds despite getting double tackled), AB could have been the hero of the year especially with the excellent game he otherwise had. What makes this loss so frustrating is we had a potential once in a generation game winning play nullified because of that toe stepping out of bounds.

    Winner: Red zone offense. All TDs since the Ravens game despite Ravens being an excellent red zone D and playing Miami in the snow.

  • CrazyTerry

    In game winner; Big Ben.
    post game loser: Big Ben: Geez, ben, I don’t remember you throwing Arians under the bus when he would have his empty set playcalls on 3rd and 1. The offense in recent games is more consistent than we were used to in the Arians tenure. So give the guy credit for giving you more freedom to make your plays. Was Haley to blame for some mistakes. Hell yes? But Ben’s attitude is really putting a chill in this offensive unit from trusting their coaches more. Right now, Sanders is a bigger hindrance to the offense than Haley and the reason Sanders is here is because of Ben.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    The losers list is always incomplete without putting Jarvis Jones and Ike Taylor. Le’veon Bell should be a winner, Antonio Brown had a decent game but be failed us for not keeping himself in bounds.

  • joed32

    Cortez made a couple of outstanding plays on Wallace though.

  • Jay

    Winners- Jericho cotchery Big Ben antonio brown laveon bell
    Losers- the whole defense exceptions for cam heyward and Jason worilds. The biggest loser of all reward goes to emanuel sanders. I said it from the beginning the steelers should have never matched the pats offer sheet the dude can’t play outside he’s a slot guy. He plays so small on the outside. So really were only playing with 2 1/2 WR. Damn how do u let Jericho cotchery out play u nothing against Jericho he’s a good WR but he’s kinda old

  • dgh57

    Losers List: Entire Defense minus Heyward & Worilds for letting a backup RB who had 77 carries going into the game gash them for over 100 yards. Same for big plays by Clay & Tannehill.

  • RW

    AB on the winners list for sure. Don’t care that he stepped out of bounds – his effort was heroic.

  • steeltown

    Its becoming more and more evident that Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark are becoming liabilities. We NEED to draft CB and Safety early in this next draft. Re-sign Al Woods and Keisel on 1yr modest deals and somehow get Worilds under contract so that we can focus primarily on the defensive back position in the early and mid Rds

  • steeltown

    He had 2PDs, I think he needs more playing time, he has the tools

  • 20Stoney

    I don’t see any way they get a contract done with Worilds. I hope I’m wrong, but I think we’re stuck with Woodly and his contract, and he’s breaking down at a young age.

  • Shawn S.

    Good take. I was surprised by that post-game comment, too. I think Haley has done a better job of late, and I thought Ben was past making comments like that, especially since he’s been calling plays at the line himself more and more. I’m sure he’s frustrated after a loss like that though. Great game by Ben.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I would play the young guys now. Garvin, Arnfeldt, Julio, Thomas, Wheaton…heck, don’t laugh- even Landry Jones. See what they are made of. We’re screwed on Worilds, but I wouldn’t be so sure Woodley couldn’t be a June 1 casualty… If there is a time to move to a 4-3… it’s now!!! The defense is in transition and Lebeau will retire. We have some linemen to wok with in Woods, McClendon and Heyward… and now we can focus on Jarvis, Timmons, Garvin (?) Spence, and Wiliams at the linebacker spot. The secondary needs completely rebuilt, save maybe Gay and/or Allen… not giving up on them.

  • steeltown

    Well we’re screwed if that happens, this Team and primarily this Defense is built around the 3-4OLBs and we have absolutely no depth behind Woodley and Jones…they’ll be spending another valuable draft pick (or two) at the position if they fail to retain Worilds, draft picks that could be used at DB or WR/TE or DL


    I’m looking forward to SDepot showing a GIF of Ben’s lateral on the last play. Forward?


    Losers – The Rooney Family. In the course of any team’s demise, fans first turn on individual players. Then Ass’t Coaches. Then Head Coaches. Then GMs. Then the owners themselves. Ask Cowboys and Redskins fans. I know the Rooney Family is a sacred cow in Pittsburgh, but the townspeople with pitchforks are taking a few steps closer to the castle after this loss.

  • Chad H

    4-3 defense is becoming a dinosaur in the league. The problem is when we lost Foote for the season and now we are running a 3-3 with 5 DBs and Troy playing all over. So as a fan we are surprised we are giving up big yards on the ground? I like McLendon but he is not a huge force in the middle. As discussed several times on this site we could not convert to a 4-3 without spending the majority of picks on defense and wait 2 years before they are key players.
    I am a Woodley fan but injuries the last 3 years are bothering me. He has to be asked to take a pay cut period. We need to keep Worilds who pisses me off because he is the jack that made us spend a pick on Jones and plays lights out on a contract year. Then move Jones inside and see if he can be a force there. He is not an OLB in the NFL.

  • treeher

    I disagree. Ben is saying what most of the rest of the world is saying. We were all wondering what happened to the run. As bad as the defense was playing, it would have been crucial to keep the Miami offense off the field. I don’t think Haley is particularly good game coach.

  • treeher

    I’m very surprised JJ was not on the losers list. Dolphins successfully targeted him the whole game.

  • Anthony Renzelli

    This site was all on Cortez Allen’s nuts this summer about him being a breakout corner and a turnover machine/game changer. They said we didn’t need Keenan Lewis, this kid has more upside. Well he has shown again and again why he went to Citadel and was a late round pick. 2 of the biggest plays of the season: Jennings long td pass in Minnesota game and the play to clay in this game should’ve been stopped by that “impact” player. You know you suck when William Gay is better than you lol

  • Chad H

    Everything you said contradicts what Ike Taylor has done (he is old and falling off) but C. Allen is from the same back ground. The kid is showing ability and will get better with more playing time. He was a solid late rd pick.

  • CrazyTerry

    Did Ben forget the empty sets Arians ran on 3rd and SHORT? So if Haley is to take blame for the lack of runs, shouldn’t he get credit for the improved point production in the second half?

  • 20Stoney

    I’m not thrilled with Jones either. I know it’s early, but he needs to show SOMETHING. He’s had a lot of snaps. The last time I looked Ziggy Hood had more tackles.

  • Ahmad

    Don’t forget that dropped pick 6 by Polamalu on the first drive. That really proved to be costly.

  • joed32

    Agree, I think he’ll blossom with experience.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I was thinking the same thing. Funny how we used to talk about the plays that Troy P made as game changers but now we seem to talk more and more about the plays he doesn’t make as being the real game changers. It’s becoming a constant. A pick 6 is great but what about the impact that almost pick 6 would have made. Hate to say it but Troy P has seen better days. When they start playing you almost exclusively in the box and you still don’t make plays it’s time to move on.

  • Steeler Wheeler

    Ouch. Crazy that o coordinators are saying “ike? Sure, cortez?, yeah….but stay away from willie gay!

    My god I never thought I’d type anything like that.

  • Douglas Andrews

    He really needs to hit the weights build up the upper body strength. Maybe a move to ILB and we find a way to keep Worilds?

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m starting to hear the same thing! A few readers here have mentioned that. I hope it was forward; takes the blame off AB!

  • steeltown

    Its not even that I like the potential of Jones, but even if/when Jones gets acclimated and contributes on a regular basis, we still need TWO more (backup) OLBs because Woodley misses multiple games every year with injury and C.Carter is a nonfactor

  • Anthony Renzelli

    My point was people thought he was a sure thing stepping in to start and he’s not. He’s raw and has some talent, i give him that, but makes a ton of mistakes that lead to big plays and touchdowns

  • steeltown

    Agreed. No way we’re switching to a 4-3 we have a few guys that are versatile in that regard but that’s no reason to change philosophies, most of the best Defenses in the League run the 3-4 from the KC Chiefs to the 49ers to the Ravens/ Browns /Steelers hell Seattle runs a 4-3 but often uses a 3-4 hybrid

  • Dorkewicz

    It took until 4:09pm EST the next day to really grasp the fact that the Steelers were literally an INCH away from being 6-7 and having a legitimate shot at the 6th seed. That Brown run was one of those rare plays that could get a whole bar screaming one second, then silent the next. Disappointing to say the least…

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I think Jones can still develop… it might take him a bit of time (see Cam Heyward)… agree moving to the 4-3 is a bit radical.. I’m over Woodley, what’s the point of him performing 50 percent of the time… when he is always hurt. Although the o’line could use some help, I’m convinced we have to spend the next two drafts (and a few free agents) on the defense. (save a tight end and a big receiver)… that’s another problem- when we lose a slightly above ‘backer like Foote (and I like him)… then we have an overall talent issue.

  • MC

    Haven’t read the article yet but a few things I must say;
    The game appears to have slowed down for Leveon Bell.
    Heyward uses every bit of his strength and size/weight when he plays.
    He could be the most athletic player on our defense.
    I hope this next draft has a more of a defense focus as the age is really showing with the inability to stop big plays and close out games. With an addition of a big time receiver and some o lineman, i think the offense is going to improve going forward, defense is what needs to be addressed on each level.

  • MC

    Can’t say i’m too dissapointed about missing the playoffs. If you’ve watched every game this year it was evident that this team wasn’t built for the playoffs.
    If you have to hold your breath every time we punt the ball that shows this team isn’t elite when special teams can’t execute something as simple as a punt.
    We lost to inexperience qb’s, we would of been shredded against the top tier qb’s (see the pats game).
    Looking at the draft, I hope they pick a big body receiver who can high point the ball, i’m getting tired of Manny Sanders not being able to make those catches down the field. I would love a Boldin type posession guy, we need a physical receiver next year along with a lot of defensive playmakers.

  • sean mcmartin

    Troy P. is also playing a LB because the front line sucks and cant stop the run. and losing foote was too much to overcome, add no more Harrison and you have this pile of dung.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I think the biggest loss was Harrison. I thought that was the Worst offseason move they made. Silverback had at least a couple of years left and that would have been a perfect time to groom JJ along. Losing Foote was a big blow also but Troy is not the same Troy anymore.

  • bgsteelfan

    He wasn’t ready to start. I hope he is next year. I have to disagree on Gay though. He gets a bad wrap but he has always been solid when used properly.

  • treeher

    They might franchise him.

  • treeher

    I don’t know, I remember a lot of angst at letting Lewis go. I think they could have afforded him, but my bet is that he wanted to play in his home town so badly, he’d have signed there for a lower offer.

  • treeher

    As we often see, offenses can rack up good stats and still lose the game. With the defense not performing, it would have been crucial to establish ball control and keep Miami off the field. It at least seemed that Steelers had some ability to run in that game, but the run was abandoned. Haley’s game management is poor – and Tomlin takes some of that rap as well.