Sunday Night Football Preview: Miami Dolphins vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is set to make his dramatic return when the 2-4 Pittsburgh Steelers visit the 3-3 Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football in Week 7. The Steelers will look to build on their shocking Week 6 upset of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Dolphins will hope to seize back the momentum they'd built before Tagovailoa's horrifying injury. The Dolphins are 7-point favorites to win their first game since the young quarterback exited in Week 4. Things couldn't have gotten off to a much better start through three weeks for the Dolphins. Fresh off an enormous win over their AFC East rival Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins were flying high ahead of their Week 4 Thursday Night Football matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. But then tragedy struck. Tagovailoa was stretchered off the field with a terrifying head injury, and the Dolphins' season took an ugly turn. After beginning the year 3-0, the team has lost its past three games by a combined score of 91-48.

The Dolphins will hope Tagovailoa will pick up where he left off and restore their offense to their earlier glory. The third-year passer netted 882 passing yards and eight touchdowns across his three healthy starts, and if he isn't suffering any lingering effects from his nasty injury, there's no reason he can't provide more of the same. Wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have maintained every bit of their effectiveness over his absence. Hill leads the league with his 701 receiving yards, and Waddle is proving an excellent compliment with 533 receiving yards at a robust 10.9 yards per target. With their help, Tagovailoa should have every opportunity to elevate the Dolphins offense back to elite status.
Meanwhile, the Steelers have their own young quarterback recuperating from a head injury. Rookie Kenny Pickett exited in the second half of the team's surprising 20-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he appears poised to return for Week 7. The young passer has had a middling beginning to his career, netting 485 passing yards with four interceptions across his three appearances. The Steelers will hope Pickett can improve with experience and eventually lift the team's offense to at least competence; the team ranks 30th in scoring through six weeks.

In a perfect world, Pickett would have a typically potent Steelers defense to fall back on, but that hasn't been the case this year. Ever since AP Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt exited in Week 1 with a pectoral injury, the Steelers defense has gone to pieces. After nabbing five turnovers in their season-opening 23-20 upset over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Steelers have allowed 126 total points while only forcing five takeaways across five games. For the season, the defense ranks 23rd in points allowed and 29th in yards allowed. If the Dolphins offense is firing on all cylinders, Pickett may need to pile up yardage just to keep up.

The Miami Dolphins host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football in Week 7.
Photo Credit: © Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK