In the 30-15 loss, the Steelers‘ defense allowed Jay Ajayi to romp around the field for 204 yards and gave up 474 total yards. Defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt wants revenge against the Dolphins on Sunday in Pittsburgh.
“I’m still salty about that game,” Tuitt said this week, via the Palm Beach Post. “It’s going to be a physical football game because I’m not happy about that. It’s different terms; it’s our territory. It’s going to be a different game, a very physical game.”
The Steelers helped Ajayi throw his breakout party that day with missed tackles and blown assignments. Since that week Ajayi has rushed for the most yards in the NFL, 1,155 including that day in Miami.
Much has changed for the Steelers defense since that Week 6 tilt. For one, Ryan Shazier returned from injury. Not having the speedy, sideline-to-sideline tackler that day surely aided Ajayi busting the 200-yard barrier. As one of the fastest linebackers in the NFL and a downhill running menace, Shazier will close angles that were wide open in Week 6.
Also the insertion of rookie safety Sean Davis into the starting lineup and return of Bud Dupree from injury made Pittsburgh more athletic and versatile on defense. During their current seven-game winning streak, the Steelers lead the league in sacks with 25 while allowing 5.6 fewer points per game and 87.2 fewer yards per game than their previous nine tilts.
The Steelers D also gets a boost from Tuitt’s salty return. The defensive lineman missed the last two games with a knee injury but still leads the Steelers with 14 QB hits this season. He was not listed on Pittsburgh’s injury report this weekend.