After narrowly escaping losses to both the Browns and Raiders, the 1-0 Dolphins and Colts are looking to get off on a more offensive foot this Sunday.
This game features two Sophomore Quarterbacks with two totally different 52-man rosters.
Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins have weapons on offense like no other team in the AFC East. They have burner WR Mike Wallace, underrated Brian Hartline and RB Lamar Miller. The problem with the Dolphins this season has been execution.
In week one vs. the Browns, Miami rushed for only 20 yards. 20 yards. The entire game.
Absolutely embarrassing. Even Ravens backup Bernard Pierce rushed for more yards than the Dolphins did. It just goes to show how right I was when I said letting go of Reggie Bush was a huge mistake. If the Dolphins are going to have any success with these Colts, they’re going to have to get this running game back on its feet.
Their passing game has been drastically improved as Tannehill proved last week that he could manage the starting position with 272 yards and a touchdown against a good Cleveland defense. It will be interesting to see if Tannehill will have similar success this week with the Colts.
For the home team Colts, this off-season featured some good pickups in WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and RB Ahmad Bradshaw. Although the Colts main roster remains similar, they have really started to blend as a team.
Unfortunately though, this past Thursday during practice, starting RB Vick Ballard (877 yards and 2 touchdowns) tore his ACL, leaving him out for the entire season. Thus, former Giant Ahmad Bradshaw will be the starting man out in Indy.
Not that I don’t trust Bradshaw with the starting role, it’s just that while he was a giant in 2012 he was as inconsistent as they come, rushing for 200 yards one game, then rushing for under 50 yards in 6 games.
The passing game for Indy is one of the most legitimate in the NFL with veteran Reggie Wayne (1,355 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2012), Sophomore T.Y. Hilton (881 yards and 7 touchdowns last season), and TE Colbie Fleener (288 yards and 2 touchdowns). Especially last game against the Raiders, Luck and the Colts orchestrated their spread offense perfectly as Luck rushed 38 yards and touchdown and threw for 2 touchdowns.
This game should be a tight one considering both the Colts and Dolphins rushing offense are basically non-existent.
Colts have home field advantage, but don’t count these Dolphins out, they have been known to surprise some people.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
When: September 15, 2013, 1 PM ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Miami Player to Watch: Mike Wallace
After paying $60 Million to get Wallace from Pittsburgh, Miami Dolphins fans are questioning whether or not Wallace was worth the extra cap space? After averaging 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns over the past 4 seasons, Wallace went into Miami with high hopes, but now after a 17 yard performance against the Browns, he might be questioning his decision. Wallace has great ability and may be one of the fastest wide outs in the NFL, but he first Tannehill needs to get the ball in Wallaces hands in order for him to really make a play. In this game against the Colts, if the Dolphins could set up some WR screens or deep balls, it would be perfect for Wallace who can make plays in the open field. Watch for Wallace to show why he’s worth 60 million, or prove that Miami fans are exactly right.
Indianapolis Player to Watch: Andrew Luck
After leading all rookies in the league with 4,374 yards along with 23 touchdowns passing and 5 touchdowns rushing. Even though luck threw for only 178 yards in his 2013 debut against the Raiders, he still was able to lead this Colts offense to victory. All eyes will be on Luck as he attempts to bring the Colts back to the playoffs for back to back seasons. He should perform admirably against the Dolphins mediocre pass defense considering he has Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton helping him out.
Matchup to Watch: Brent Grimes vs. Reggie Wayne
This matchup will be huge for the Dolphins and could determine the outcome of the game. If Grimes lets Wayne slip past him, Luck will make sure to burn him deep for huge points. Grimes and the Dolphins secondary have the opportunity to give the Dolphins a win if they can shut down the Colt’s passing game. Without a huge rushing back, the Dolphins will have their hands full as they will have to prevent the deep ball.
Quite frankly this game comes down to Quarterbacks. Which QB will be able to take control of his offense and lead his team to victory? Which QB will be able to control the tempo of this game? In my estimation it will be Luck who will be the better QB. He has shown that he can succeed even in the face of adversity. As well, even though the Colts running back situation isn’t preferable, it is still better than that of Miami. And even if Miami’s rushing offense does get its feet off the ground, the Colts defense will be right there to stop it. The Colts and Andrew Luck will be too much for this Dolphins defense to handle
Miami Dolphins-17 Indianapolis Colts-24