The Steelers victory over Miami should be taken for what it is—a gritty road win against a tough opponent.
Make no mistake, the Steelers were not perfect. Far from it in fact. But, they got themselves a key win in the first of three tough road games.
The defense played superbly in holding the Dolphins to field goal attempts throughout most of the afternoon. Then they put the game away with a defensive stand after Jeff Reed's 19-yard field goal had given the Steelers a precarious 23-22 lead.
Ben Roethlisberger had another solid performance in his second game back from suspension, throwing for two touchdowns and performing another one of his trademark fourth quarter comebacks.
He struggled a bit with ball security, fumbling twice, but his 122.4 quarterback rating through two games is a concise resume of what he is capable of when he has something to prove.
On a day when both teams' rushing games went the way of the dinosaurs, Roethlisberger's efficient passing and consistent big plays from receivers Hines Ward and Mike Wallace carried the Steelers offense to 23 points against a rugged Dolphin defense.
The Steelers defense continues to impress, playing well enough to win despite several key injuries to starters, including Aaron Smith, LaMarr Woodley and Brett Keisel.
The apparent season ending loss of Aaron Smith to a torn triceps is most troubling. The Steelers defense has not fared as well in his absence over the past few seasons.
The Steelers will look to Ziggy Hood and Nick Eason to step up and fill the huge void left by Smith. Ziggy in particular has shown promise in his opportunities thus far, playing a key role in the Steelers' defensive line rotation.
So, the Steelers' key victory in Miami on Sunday came at a heavy price. One they hopefully can afford to pay. But, a win is a win.
Just don't expect the Steelers to apologize for winning on a controversial call. You'll be waiting a long time.
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