Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dolphins: What are the Chances...?

Forget about the individual matchups and forget that key players like Troy Polamalu and Santonio Holmes are out with injuries. If Pittsburgh plays anywhere near its collective potential the Dolphins have no chance. But as we know, last week Pittsburgh failed to put its breast -- I mean, best -- foot forward against the 1-8 Jets, so one never knows....

Of course, the big storyline for Steelers' fans will be the less-than-triumphant return of former Steelers' LB Joey Porter, who hasn't done much thus far in Miami. In a recent post we noted that Pro Football Weekly named Porter the worst FA signing of the past offseason.

As for our prediction, "What are the Chances...?" is giving the Steelers an 85 percent chance of defeating the Dolphins (our highest percentage to date). The only thing really holding us back from going to 90 or 95 percent is the fact that Ben Roethlisberger is banged up and there are those key injuries to consider. Still, the Steelers haven't lost a Monday Night home game since the Chuck Noll era, and it's difficult to imagine the Dolphins breaking that streak.

But this raises an interesting question: If the game is close late in the 4th quarter would Steelers' fans begin rooting for the Dolphins? I highly doubt it; it's not like Miami is 0-15 or anything. But consider this: Back in the early '80s I went to a game at New York's Shea Stadium between the 0-14 Saints and the hometown Jets. With the outcome in doubt late in the 4th, Jets fans began rooting for the hapless Saints, who squeaked out a one-point victory and narrowly escaped a winless season.

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