PITTSBURGH — The Big Three made their first playoffs together a memorable one and they received a large assist from their defense as the Steelers throttled the Miami Dolphins 30-12 in their playoff game Sunday at Heinz Field.
The Steelers advanced to next Sunday’s divisional playoff game at Kansas City, which had a bye as the No. 2 seed. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
Le’Veon Bell set a Steelers postseason record with 167 yards rushing in his playoff debut. He also ran for two touchdowns.
Antonio Brown caught touchdown passes of 50 and 62 yards from Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter. He caught five passes for 124 yards.
Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi, who ran for 204 yards in Miami’s victory against the Steelers in October, was held to 33 yards on 16 carries.
The Steelers defense also came up with three turnovers — two fumbles by Miami quarterback Matt Moore off sacks by James Harrison and Mike Mitchell, and Ryan Shazier’s interception. Moore was sacked five times, two by Timmons, 1 1/2 by Harrison.
Miami did not reach the end zone until Moore’s 4-yard pass to Damien Williams with 5:57 left in the game.
Bell ran for his second touchdown in the third quarter as the Steelers stretched their lead to 30-6.
The Steelers made it five drives, four scores when Chris Boswell kicked a 34-yard field goal. It came after Mike Mitchell sacked quarterback Matt Moore, who fumbled at the Steelers’ 42 on a play in which the Dolphins had a first down at the 37. The Steelers moved to a first down at the Miami 6, but two plays went nowhere and then Roethlisberger was sacked on third down for a 9-yard loss.
On Miami’s next series, Ryan Shazier intercepted Moore and the Steelers had a first down at the Dolphins’ 25. They set up for a 36-yard field goal try but Miami was offsides, giving the Steelers a first down at the 13.
On third down, Bell ran to the left behind the blocking of David DeCastro and David Johnson, cut it up and scored on an 8-yard run.
That boosted the Steelers into a 30-6 lead, after leading 20-6 at halftime.
Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw two TD passes of 50 yards or more in the first quarter of a playoff game. He also was intercepted with 56 seconds left in Miami territory.
After Brown’s two TD catches, the Steelers went to a different script for their third scoring drive. Bell carried the ball all 10 times on that 83-yard series. Because of a 5-yard penalty against the Dolphins, he rushed for 78 yards on that drive, scoring from the one. He had apparently scored on a 26-yard run but replay judged him to be down at the one footline. Boswell’s PAT hit the upright
Miami countered with Andrew Franks second field goal of the first half, from 47 yards, and it was 20-6 Steelers.
The Steelers’ fourth series reached Miami’s 24 late in the first half but a holding penalty followed by Michael Thomas’ interception of Roethlisberger — after the ball went through Brown’s hands — ended that threat with 56 seconds to go in the half.
The Dolphins, after a 37-yard pass from Moore to DeVante Parker, had a first down at the Steelers’ 8 after that but Harrison sacked Moore, who fumbled and Stephon Tuitt recovered seconds before halftime.
The Steelers warmed up the cold crowd quickly on the first series of the day, which covered 85 yards on five plays. It began with Bell’s 11-yard run. Then Eli Rogers picked up a third-down with a 19-yard receptions. Finally, Brown scored on a 50-yard screen pass, waiting nicely for tight end Jesse James to get in front of him to throw a key block and then outrunning Tony Lippett along the left sideline to the end zone.
Their second series was nearly a repeat. It took them 6 plays to cover 90 yards with the final one a 10-yard pass over the middle to Brown, who caught it over Lippett this time and outran Bacarri Rambo to the end zone for the 62-yard touchdown.
Roethlisberger completed all seven of his passes on those two drives for 162 yards.
Miami finally scored on Franks’ 38-yard field goal with 3:06 left in the first quarter. The Dolphins had a third-and-13 before that on their 38 when Moore threw a deep pass that Kenny Stills caught over William Gay for a 36-yard pickup to the Steelers’ 26.
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