First came the rain.
Then came a flood of points by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh took advantage of five Miami turnovers, all inside the Dolphins 40-yard line, and scored 34 points in a 23-minute span for a 34-14 win.
Further dampening the Dolphins' mood was a shoulder injury that forced quarterback Dan Marino from the game late in the third quarter. By then, Miami's early 14-0 lead had dissolved in the rain, and Pittsburgh led, 27-14.
The Dolphins (7-5) lost for the first time in four games and fell out of a first-place tie with Buffalo in the AFC East. Pittsburgh (6-6) beat a Don Shula-coached team in Miami for the first time in seven tries.
"Playing in the mud and winning in the mud makes you feel good," said Coach Chuck Noll, whose Steelers did not commit a turnover in the poor conditions.
"We practice in rain and snow in Pittsburgh all the time," quarterback Bubby Brister said. "We don't go to an indoor facility. Coach just says get your butt out there and practice, so the weather didn't bother us any."
A downpour that lasted most of the first half produced two inches of rain, ankle-deep lakes under the benches and water on much of the field. Most of the rain fell after Miami scored on its first two possessions.
"I guess we just washed away with the rain," Dolphin linebacker Barry Krauss said. "As soon as the rain hit, something happened to us. We made mistakes, and they capitalized on them."
Shula said the loss was "a real disappointment," adding: "We didn't get anything done in the second half. Nobody gave us a lift to get back in the game."
Marino bruised his right shoulder in the second quarter, struggled for several series before leaving the game. He completed eight of 16 passes for 128 yards.
Three fumble recoveries and an interception thrown by Marino replacement Scott Secules helped the Steelers score their 34 points in the second and third periods.
The surge started with Merril Hoge scoring on the first of his three short touchdown runs.
Three plays later, Pittsburgh's Carnell Lake picked up a fumbled handoff, ran two yards and lateraled to Dwayne Woodruff, who splashed along the sideline the final 21 yards to score.
Brister threw two long completions to Derek Hill to set up Pittsburgh's next two scores. A 33-yard completion on third down led to Gary Anderson's 27-yard field goal on the final play of the first half for a 17-14 lead. A 53-yard pass set up a five-yard touchdown run by Hoge.
Pittsburgh's final 10 points were set up by Tim Tyrrell's recovery of a fumbled kickoff return and Greg Lloyd's 31-yard interception return to Miami's five-yard line.