They should really flex more games out of primetime.
If you look at the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins, you see two teams that probably aren’t going anywhere. The Steelers faithful had a faint hope that the AFC North would be so bad that they could squeak into the playoffs, but with the Ravens’ smack down of the Seahawks last week, that dream seems dead.
Pittsburgh’s offense is not good. Backup quarterback Mason Rudolph is a limited thrower who can’t really toss the ball far enough to unlock JuJu Smith-Schuster’s potential. James Conner is a runner, but he isn’t particularly special as starting running backs go.
In the two games the Steelers have won, the formula has been pressuring the quarterback and forcing turnovers. This young Steelers defense, with the likes of Devin Bush, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and T.J. Watt, looks like a very good unit that will continue to grow for years to come.
When things go right for Pittsburgh, they can win games with their defense. In Week 6, we saw what that looks like as Bush had seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery which he returned nine yards for the touchdown. While the Steelers entered their bye at number 9 in Defensive DVOA, they feel like a unit that could swing any game at any time. They feel dangerous.
The Dolphins aren’t scaring anybody. The worst team in football is still winless as we approach the halfway point of the season. One of its best players at the start the season, Minkah Fitzpatrick, is now a Steeler. Miami may have even fewer talented players as they approach the October 29th trade deadline, as they are clearly approaching this as a lost season.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick does give this team a better chance to win than Josh Rosen did, and Fitzpatrick is probably a more competent quarterback than the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph. While Fitzpatrick might throw picks, he can lob the kind of deep ball we haven’t yet seen from Rudolph.
There could be some FitzMagic left in the tank, but this Miami team is so talent poor that the QB would need one of his best games in memory to beat this mediocre Steelers squad. If the Dolphins turn the ball over, this game could be over in short order.
Barring a catastrophic offensive game from Pittsburgh, expect the Steelers to win here.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins
- When: Monday, Oct. 28 at 8:15pm ET
- Where: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Streaming: Monday Night Football airs exclusively on ESPN. You can stream ESPN on a number of streaming platforms.
Steelers vs. Dolphins live stream: How to watch MNF online
- Cost: $44.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
2) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Both Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month) include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels and NBCSN—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
For $10 extra per month, you can get NFL RedZone via the Sling Blue Sports Extra package.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels. While select NFL and college football games (on Fox, FS1, and FS2) are no longer on Sling, you can still catch Fox games with AirTV.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
4) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
Fantasy football: Who should I start?
Defense/Special Teams: This has been a high scoring fantasy defense in recent weeks, thanks to the turnover-hungry ball-hawking that has been the hallmark of this unit. And you couldn’t wish for a better matchup.
No One: Don’t even think about it. Just don’t do it. Rumor has it Kenyan Drake could even be traded by Monday Night. Just awful.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins: Why it matters
If the Steelers have a prayer of catching the Baltimore Ravens, they need to win here. Already two games behind, and running a far less ambitious offense than Greg Roman has stampeding in Baltimore, this feels like a reach. If this weak passing attack loses to any more bad teams, they can start thinking about next year.
Pittsburgh has played hungry though, and look for more of the same here. With good coaching and a tough defense, the Steelers should keep beating up on bad teams, gutting their way to maybe as many as eight wins.
Miami has played like a team that is tanking. Which they are. While they may win a game or so (look for the Bengals matchup in Week 15), this probably isn’t it. If Fitzpatrick has a great day and the Steelers just can’t get to him, which seems highly unlikely, this could be competitive. But that probably won’t happen.
Look for the Steelers to keep hope alive for one more week as the defense dines on seafood all game long.
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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