- The Miami Dolphins (3-3) are 7-point home favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) in Week 7
- Tua Tagovailoa will return to action for the first time since being concussed on September 29
- NBC’s Sunday Night Football kicks off from Hard Rock Stadium on October 23 at 8:20 pm ET
While NBC won’t choose to market it as such, this week’s Sunday Night Football matchup is a battle between two concussed starting quarterbacks. The Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa returns after missing two games with a head injury while Steelers rookie Kenny Pickett will suit up just one week after sustaining a concussion versus the Buccaneers.
Dolphins vs. Steelers
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+7.0 (-105)||+265||Ov 44.5 (-110)|
|Miami Dolphins||-7.0 (-115)||-315||Un 44.5 (-110)|
Tua Tagovaila returns
Tua Tagovailoa helped the Dolphins get off to a surprising 3-0 start this season with wins over the Patriots, Ravens, and Bills. But, after the 24-year-old suffered a scary concussion in the second quarter of a Week 4 game against Cincinnati, everything has turned dark for Miami.
Mike McDaniel’s club has lost three straight to the Bengals, Jets, and Vikings. And both Teddy Bridgewater and seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson were forced to leave their respective starts with injuries of their own. The hope now is that Tua can stay healthy while regaining the early-season form that saw him pass for 1,035 yards, 8 TDs, and 3 interceptions with a robust 9.0 YPA.
"There was a point where I was unconscious. I couldn't tell what was going on."
Tua Tagovailoa says he doesn't remember being tackled and stretchered out following his concussion vs. the Bengals pic.twitter.com/FN47Fb3M2e
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 19, 2022
Is Kenny Pickett healthy?
The Dolphins organization faced heavy criticism for their decision to play Tua on Thursday Night Football. Just four days after, he sustained a suspected concussion in Week 3 versus the Bills. So, it’s a bit surprising that Mike Tomlin will start his rookie QB only one week after he left a game with a head injury.
Kenny Pickett has been a full participant in practice this week, suggesting he’s on track to clear concussion protocol. The 24-year-old has thrown for 514 yards, 1 TD, and a pick in parts of three games this season.
Dolphins vs. Steelers
Miami is a 7-point home favorite over the Steelers on Sunday, with the over-under for the game set at 44.5 points. Last week’s victory over Tampa Bay was Pittsburgh’s first-ever win without T.J. Watt since he was drafted in 2017 (0-8 entering the game). Mike Tomlin will still be without the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Sunday. However, star safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is set to return against the club that drafted and traded him.
Fitzpatrick and the entire Pittsburgh secondary will need to be sharp against Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Cheetah leads the league with 701 receiving yards, with 2 TDs, while the speedster from Alabama ranks fifth in yardage (533) with three scores.
Tyreek Hill is on pace to finish this season with 1,986 receiving yards
The NFL record is 1,964 receiving yards by Calvin Johnson in 2012 👀 pic.twitter.com/1KxPNKzGdy
— Dolphin Nation (@Dolphin_Nation) October 17, 2022
We can’t ding the Dolphins too much for three losses against quality teams (Bengals, Jets, Vikings) while starting a backup and third-string quarterback. Pittsburgh has also allowed the second-most passing yards (1667) in the league so this should be a comfortable spot for Tagovailoa to get re-acclimated to the NFL.
While we like Pittsburgh to cover with the UNDER, we can’t see Mike Tomlin’s team scoring enough points to pull off the upset in Miami.
Final Score Prediction: Miami 19, Steelers 16
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