PITTSBURGH – In Mike Wallace’s mind, he envisioned coming back to Pittsburgh, lighting up his former team and picking up a signature victory. But Wallace was only partially correct.
Wallace didn’t put up big individual numbers. But he and the Miami Dolphins picked up a crucial road win, 34-28 over the Steelers at Heinz Field. The Dolphins overcame six lead changes in one of the most exciting games of Week 14.
Wallace caught just two passes for 19 yards in his return to Pittsburgh. The former Steeler was booed heavily after each reception. Although the production wasn’t there, the win made the return worth it for Wallace, who played four seasons with the Steelers.
“It’s different; it’s definitely different being on the other side and coming into the small locker room,” Wallace said after the game. “But it’s cool. Everything in life happens for a reason. I’m happy where I’m at.”
This was not the kind of game for explosive passing plays, thanks mostly to the snowy conditions. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for just 200 yards but had three touchdowns. Most of the damage was done in the middle of the field to tight end Charles Clay, who led Miami with seven receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
Wallace left the Steelers this past offseason when he signed a five-year, $60 million contract with Miami. With the win, the Dolphins (7-6) and Wallace all but ended Pittsburgh’s chances of making the playoffs.
"I had a great time while I was here. I love and respect everyone here," Wallace said. "I will always have them in my heart for my whole life. Things happen for a reason. You aren’t always happy about things but that’s life. You have to do certain things in life that are the best for yourself. I will have love for these guys forever."