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Keys to the game for the Dolphins vs. Colts

Indianapolis -- The forecast here tonight is for temperatures in the 40s. Awesome, right?

This Florida boy is loving the escape from the heat. But the weather won't matter because the Lucas Oil Stadium has a retractable roof and it will be 77 on Sunday afternoon. So weather is not a key to this game.

What are the keys to this game?

These:

When the Dolphins pass the football: Mike Wallace must get the ball early and often otherwise the Dolphins risk losing their alpha receiver for the second consecutive week. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman talked to Wallace about getting him the ball more often so that should happen. It remains clear, however, that quarterback Ryan Tannehill feels a tighter kinship with Brian Hartline and so it’s doubtful the QB will simply disconnect from Hartline to feed Wallace. The Colts secondary seems susceptible to the pass because left cornerback Greg Toler is merely mediocre while free safety LaRon Landry is excellent in supporting the run but his lateral movement against the pass is sometimes a step slow. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins.

When the Dolphins run the football: Nothing happens. Well, at least that was the story last week against the Browns. The Dolphins left that game last in the NFL rushing the football. Miami offensive linemen and running backs have promised improvement this week. Makes sense. How can there not be improvement from terrible? Running back Lamar Miller said the Colts are similar to the Browns except faster. Yes, they might be faster but they’re not nearly as stout up front. This week is a much better match up for the Dolphins than a week ago. ADVANTAGE: Even.

When the Colts run the football: This team passes to set up the run instead of the other way around. that doesn't mean it wasn't a little shocking when starting running back Vick Ballard, a solid, workmanlike runner who is in his second season and gained 814 yards last season, injured his knee and was lost for the season in practice on Thursday. The Colts now have to overcome that loss by asking Donald Brown and Ahmad Bradshaw to play more and do more. Bradshaw is still coming back from foot surgery but seems the most likely next man up.The Miami front seven was so effective last week, the Browns basically quit running the football in the second half despite being ahead at halftime. The Colts offensive line is a zone-blocking unit that includes Dolphins castoffs Samson Satele at center and Donald Thomas at left guard. Each is on his third team. That doesn’t suggest they are dominant. ADVANTAGE: Dolphins.

When the Colts pass the football: This is a not a good match up for the Dolphins defense, particularly with starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson slowed by a groin injury. Even with Patterson healthy the Colts receivers corps that includes Reggie Wayne, T.Y Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey is a combination of speed and experience that might be the best the Dolphins face this year. A hobbled Patterson against the speedy Hilton in the slot is not a good match up for Miami. Andrew Luck has directed eight fourth-quarter come from behind victories which is a ton considering he’s only started 17 NFL games. That means he’s dangerous with the football late in a game that has yet to be decided. The Dolphins must avoid this situation at all costs. ADVANTAGE: Colts.

Special teams: Adam Vinatieri continues to be among the best clutch kickers in the league. He has kicked 24 game-winning field goals inside the final minute of a game during his career. T.Y. Hilton is a major weapon on returns. The Dolphins have the second-rated punter in the NFL because Brandon Fields is second in both net and gross average. And rookie Caleb Sturgis has shown no sign of struggle. The Dolphins are looking to improve their kick and punt coverage this week. ADVANTAGE: Even.

Coaching: Chuck Pagano is healthy now, which is great news, but the emotion and motivation of rallying behind his fight against cancer last year – a palpable advantage for the Colts as it happened – may have faded. Pagano also lost offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who got the head coach job in Arizona. That is a loss. Dolphins’ coaches need to make sure they avoid the drama suffered after last week’s victory. They need to find a way to keep Mike Wallace happy, keep Randy Starks playing well while also overcoming a talented Colts team. ADVANTAGE: Colts.

Intangibles: The Colts know how to win games late. They’ve done it before behind Andrew Luck – including last week. The Dolphins haven’t done it nearly as much behind Ryan Tannehill. The home crowd in Indianapolis is also rabid when their team is in a game. OVERALL ADVANTAGE: Colts.

 

Comments

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ETF,

Luck was hit a lot last week and sacked 4 times against the Raiders. We have a better front seven than the Raiders. If the Cots want Luck to pass 50 times in this game he's going to get hurried and hit all day long. I respect Luck but if this is their strategy they are playing right into our hands. I welcome it. Luck is at his bet when their is also some semblance of a running game to go with him. Even Irsay is worried about Luck and our defence this week.

Good morning to me I'm serious, if the dolphins win this game tomorrow, they'll go 4-1 to start the season !! Who would've thunk it fellas !! If they start 4-1 then we can start seriously think 11-5 and possible 2 seed fellas !!

WALLACE CAUGHT 63 PASSES LAST SEASON

1 of them went for 80 yds/rec.

62 of them went for 11.9 yds/rec.

Wallace is not going deep all the time. Wallace is not taking the top off of the d every play. Wallace is not catching multiple bombs per game.
Never has.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 14, 2013 at 10:05 AM

A point I've been arguing since we signed him away from Pitt with all the STUPID one trick pony talk. I've seen enough Steelers football games through the Yrs. to know alot of what Wallace was doing (sometimes from the slot) was catching 5 to 10 Yd. slants weaving through the field picking up YAC!

The Steelers with Big Ben pick their spots usually looking to hit one over the top about 5 times a game (alot of it on broken plays with Rothlisberger keeping it alive with his strength/ability) Seems everybody forgets just how putrid the Steelers OL was and pretty much has been in the Tomlin ERA with guys like Willie Colon and Max Starks at Tackle.

The group they took to their SB Vs. the Packers may just be the worst starting group in NFL History to make it to the dance. Rothlisberger has rarely enjoyed time to sit back there and wait for something to break deep he has to dump it off quick or get hit way to much which is something that's happened over time anyway keeping him out of a couple of games every Season. The short crossing routes and slants have been a staple of the Steelers O since the early days of Hines Ward through Santonio Holmes on to Wallace.

Cocoajoe @ 8:07 AM: Sherman's play-calling is slowly starting to resemble Mr. Magoo's, er...I mean Henning's!

Craig,
2 people see the exact same thing and give opposite opinions of what happened; that is why litigation exists.

You and I watched the game last week.

You saw Wheedon getting sacked, hit, hurried and picked.

I saw Wheedon put 280 yards on us without his top WR Josh Gordon.

Tomorrow I expect early on we'll see a couple of screens to Bradshaw for big gains to slow the pass rush down; maybe a personal foul thrown in there.

IF I'M WRONG AND OUR PASS D HOLDS UP

Tanne should be able to walk up and down the field, 3-4 yards at time, and Luck will just have to stand there on the sideline and take it.

ETF,

Yardage means nothing at the end of the day. Cam Newton throws or and runs or lots of yards every year. His team still finishes 6-10.

What i saw last week was a QB who was never a QB that was never allowed to get comfortable, was hurried all day, gave up three picks (could have been more) and was sacked 6 times. Now if you want to say he had a good game because he threw for 280 yards, then that's up to you but when i hear Browns fan ripping him and Richardson say they gave up on the un too soon, that tells me he didn't have a good game. They scored ten points and the TD was only possible because of a dumb Patterson penalty.

Looks like Dwayne Allen is going to miss the game tomorrow too. This is a big break for the 'Phins, IMO. God player.

...I expect to see a much more balanced offense this week. We have to figure out the run game. It is a must. Especially if we want to establish an up tempo offense. It won't work if we continue to be 1 dimensional. Getting the running game going is more important then getting Wallace going.. I hope this was the real focus this week.

..Defensively. I think this is a good matchup for us. We should be able to pressure Luck. This should help the secondary. Keep them contained in the redzone, and we should win the game. I bet our pressure helps us win the turnover battle again. These 2 factors IMO will determine the game..Redzone efficiency(which team is better) and turnovers..

Phins win 27-23

DD,

Good analysis. I can't argue with anything you've said there. Hope you're right.

The match-up between Wake and LT A.Costanzo is one to watch given Costanzo's strength is in pass protection. I know we cut Donald Thomas in the Sparano ERA but remember him in 08/09 and his strength was in pass protection as well. He's a big athletic former Basketball player who for whatever reason blew alot of run blocking assignments and a player in my estimation the Sparano crew gave up on to early, especially when you take into consideration the revolving door on the right side were he played RG for us.

When DJ sees the field he's shown that the inside move (sliding inside the Tackle) is his pass rush move forcing the LG (Thomas) to account for him as well aside from drawing the assignment Vs. Odrick/Starks. Satele is the guy a BIG Tackle can muscle (remember N'Gata throwing him back in Pennington's face in the 08 Wild Card game was the primary reason he was traded) and he draws Big Paul in this one were I imagine Colts RG McGlynn will offer support in double team leading to A KEY IN THE GAME which is RT Cherilius Vs. Vernon (and maybe Jordan switching sides) with Shelby alternating one on one, his ability to hold down our rush will dictate alot of what the Colts can do Offensively from my perspective.

If the Colts are forced to keep a T.E. in to help Vs. our rush it limits there packages outside. I know DC Coyle likes the zone Cover scheme at DB but am curious if he leaves Patterson on Hilton or has Grimes spy him all over the field given he's the home run threat not Wayne.

Craig,
If Wheedon put 280 yds on us without his top WR then how many is Luck gonna put on us? 450?
I expect Indy to score 35.
I expect us to score between 10 and 17.
I hope I'm wrong.
I hope it happens completely opposite.

Keep in mind that for 6 months I've been saying this whole offseason is a smokescreen to cover for the players that we lost. I've been saying for 6 months that our CBs and OL are the weak link on this team.

We'll now by tomorrow evening if I was wrong or right.

I NEVER HEARD OF DOING WINDSPRINTS TO CURE A HAMSTRING

That is what Dmitiri will be doing in game tomorrow, until he can't go anymore.

I saw Wheedon put 280 yards on us without his top WR Josh Gordon.

Tomorrow I expect early on we'll see a couple of screens to Bradshaw for big gains to slow the pass rush down; maybe a personal foul thrown in there.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Alot of that has to do with the fact they abandoned their rungame and in they're must drive they turned it over on downs. The only player they had that did any damage was T.E. Jordan Cameron who accounted for about 40% of that yardage with 110 Rec. Yds. Some of those Yds. by the way were clearly blown assignments (he was running underneath alone) were either Wheeler lost his man in coverage or the S.Safety blew the coverage. Given the impressive speed of Wheeler who despite this flashed last Week and the strong play of our S.S. R.Jones I suspect we clean it up even with Dwayne Allen sidelined (we took Egnew right after sometimes the draft is just luck) given Fleener will draw the start and Luck loves his T.E.'s!

The key to this game is the Dolphins defense. If they manage to put much pressure on Luck then we got many chances to win. Otherwise T-hill would have to score many TDs. It seems that the Dolphins passing game is still on development so putting 30 ppintd or more on the board will be difficult, but of course not impossible.
Furthermore, if the rushing game works, then the WRs will get more opportunities to succeed.
Tough game though !
The sad news is that NE managed to win as usual. The good news is that the Jets lost.

What i saw last week was a QB who was never a QB that was never allowed to get comfortable, was hurried all day, gave up three picks (could have been more) and was sacked 6 times. Now if you want to say he had a good game because he threw for 280 yards, then that's up to you

Posted by: Craig M | September 14, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I saw it this way as well! Given the amount of 3 and outs the Dolphins O had the Browns had the ball plenty and were one dimensional passing every down, IMO 280 isn't all that impressive considering the circumstances.

fin4, Craig & Everybody,

You cannot deny that for 6 months I've been saying that our OL and CB suck.

I would prefer to be wrong but I'm afraid that we're going to get lit up tomorrow.

However right or wrong, win or lose, I will have fun with all of you guys in here.

This blog will go nuclear before the 3rd series, guaranteed!

I got 2 words for you all. Speed package. I have faith in Wake and the rest of this veteran defense.

This defense was built in mind to keep T-hill from having the pressure of having to score all the time. It was the offseason strategy to solidify the defense and add some weapons for T-hill. Now we're going to find out how good that strategy works.

It's very nice to see the blog unpolluted.

You cannot deny that for 6 months I've been saying that our OL and CB suck.

I would prefer to be wrong but I'm afraid that we're going to get lit up tomorrow.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

You forgot WR,RB,T.E. along with suspect LB's who couldn't offer much of anything in pass D. The team was stacked with needs across the board, no revelation! I believe the D got better (FASTER) on the back end and our Pass rush (like 2011 Giants pass rush) will not force the DB's to have to hold their coverage long, JMO!

QB and RB are bigger questionmarks than OL.

It's weird our schedule doesn't give us a division rival for so long. But as this team must see every game against an AFC opponent as a must win it's still as important. Back to back road wins would be pretty sweet.

Darkoak,

Agree it's weird not seeing an AFC East opponent till so late but can be a big plus given we'll have a better idea of how the Div. is shaping up going into those games this Yr.

UCLA getting hammered by Nebraska but isn't it like 9:00 A.M. for the Bruins?

fin4,
WR, TE, RB, QB and front 7 have no problem with.

Miami HAS to get their running game going this game! And, for the two games after that!

The Colts are 31st against the run. The Falcons are 29th and the Saints are 32nd! Without a running game, our passing game will struggle.

Philbin HAS to fix this! Even if it means taking the play calling away from Sherman.


On another note, I'm glad that Mando is finally cracking down on the Trolls! It's been like a zoo for far too long...

Thanks, Mando! Now, maybe I'll post more often because I get tired of having to slosh through all of their garbage just to read something worth reading.

colts are 31 vs run cause of pryor breaking the pocket and running. they shut down the run game with mcfadden easily

PHILBIN WAS NOT ALLOWED TO CALL THE PLAYS IN GB WHEN HE WAS OC

fin4,
WR, TE, RB, QB and front 7 have no problem with.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 14, 2013 at 01:01 PM

We were talking needs before the Season and the OL was an area of concern. I for one think I was alone in the J.Martin camp and am probably still there but watched him (watching Luck) and thought he was a talent. I'm no Scout/GM and like everybody else was turned off by his 225 rep at his combine but again thought this something conditioning could fix on his 6'5"/310 Pd. frame.

true fraud head coach does

PHILBIN WAS NOT ALLOWED TO CALL THE PLAYS IN GB WHEN HE WAS OC

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 14, 2013 at 01:39 PM

A BIG concern with Philbin was the fact H.C. Mike McCarthy was the play caller. Although Philbin was instructed with devising the game plan. They were both Offensive minded Coaches and sort of split this duty.

I think Philbin would be a better play caller than Sherman though. I see Sherman being replaced in the next few years.

I don't care if Philbin called plays or not. Wasn't John or Jim Harbaugh a special teams coach?

Darkoak,

John was the ST's Coach of the Eagles under Reid, I could be wrong but think Jim was also in Oakland.

Excuse me Jim was the QB Coach under Gruden while at Oak.

Steve Ross save the Dolphins. SELL THE TEAM!

I think Wallace get's at least 1 touchdown against this secondary. Phins by 10 points....

the money spent on Wallace was not wasted. I see a bright future for him hear with the offense. once him and Tanne start to click.

by the way everyone talks about how much we spent, but we still have 3rd most cap room in the NFL.

Thank You Armando for FINALLY cleaning up the blog. I (we) want to read what other football minded "Board Heads," have to say about the FIN's and not all the wasteful & distasteful comments. WashFinFan was right on spot with their comments, and you (armando) will get lot more serious activity on here from true fans.

Again, THANKS!!!

Thank You Armando for FINALLY cleaning up the blog. I (we) want to read what other football minded "Board Heads," have to say about the FIN's and not all the wasteful & distasteful comments. WashFinFan was right on spot with their comments, and you (armando) will get lot more serious activity on here from true fans.
Again, THANKS!!!
Posted by: MADFIN | September 14, 2013 at 02:27 PM

No doubt this cleanup has brought out a lot of good football conversations. Anyone with an ounce of self-respect would see if they are being singled out they are most likely the problem here, not everyone else. If they still believe they are not the problem then they are no fan of this team and are just trolling and should be banned for thier personally offensive and completely disgusting posts.

Who starts a normal conversation by calling the other person an idiot in the first three sentences? Not someone interested in sharing football opinions with others I can tell you that much.

Darkoak,
John was the ST's Coach of the Eagles under Reid, I could be wrong but think Jim was also in Oakland.
Posted by: fin4life | September 14, 2013 at 02:02 PM

Thanks bud! My point being Philbin can be offensive minded as a head coach but not a play caller and still be a great offesively minded head coach given time.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A 'CLEANOUT' OF BLOG

Lack of a post is not proof that someone tried to post. The only way we would know if someone was blocked was if they came on here from a different IP address and told us they were blocked; in which case they weren't really blocked.


by the way everyone talks about how much we spent, but we still have 3rd most cap room in the NFL.

Posted by: wallyfin | September 14, 2013 at 02:24 PM

Yeah, Cheapskate Ross spent LESS than last year. He doesnt care about winning.

LIKE WE'RE GONNA FALL FOR IT

Dude just because you changed from posting under a group of 10 names to a different group of 10 names doesn't mean the first group is now 'blocked' or 'cleaned up', it just means that you switched to different group of names Mel.

It's true it really is cleaned up in here.
I stopped posting here a couple of years ago because there was just way too much alternate life style stuff going on; no one was talking about football.
You guys notice Chad Henne back in the starting lineup?

ETF i believe a hobbled patterson ws all over the brown WR's. 2ints and quid a few pases defended. he was like glue. so i do think you are very wrong. there would be a lot of teams wanting him if he hit the open market right now.

PHILBIN IS A CORNED BEEF COACH.

AND OUR GM IS A GARGE MANAGER


TO BE
OR NOT


(BUFFET OF KNOWLEDGE)

Oh no!
Pricemaster is back!
Last time he saw me he held me by the ears.

Kris is still here?
I thought this place was cleaned up?

As far as Wallace goes, if teams want to keep double and triple teaming him I say let them, Hartline and Gibson will have field days against everybody and eventually they will stop doing that and Wallace will get his opportunities, he just needs to keep his head out of his ass and not whine until his time comes because it will. You can'stop everybody all the time and T-hill understands you throw to whoever is open.

EITHER I EXPOSED THE FRAUD OR I AM THE FRAUD TOMORROW WE'LL KNOW

If I exposed the fraud then we'll get lit up by the Colts' passing game and our passing game will collapse under the Indy pass rush and Tanne's lack of aggression.

If I am the fraud then Luck will spend most of the game on the sideline while Tanne drives the Phins up and down field like Sherman through Atlanta.

By 2pm tomorrow we'll know. Either Luck will be moving the ball against us or he won't.

Our Fins have a "speed package" on defense which is outstanding. Now they need a speed package on OFFENSE! No huddle offense and PASS, PASS, PASS. Then play action, sweeps, and draws all day long.

THIS WILL NEVER BE THE TRUE DOLPHINS BLOG

Until Dashi and oscar canosa show up.

CAM WAKE HAD 10 PRESSURES LAST WEEK

Wheedon dropped back more than 50 times, how did Wheedon do on the 40 pass plays that Wake was not a factor on? What will Luck do on the 40 pass plays that Wake is not a factor?

REMEMBER WE'RE NOT ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT LAMAR MILLER

I'd like to see Tannehill break some runs. I'm tired of hearing how much Luck is a threat running it. Tannehill is faster and should be able to create more than he does. I'm not sure if he's being cautious but I've seen him take the sack before scrambling up n out of the pocket...

I've never heard Luck is a threat running it, I must have missed that report.

I guess one way to help clean up is to just email Armando and the Miami Herald editing team with stuff from here that is offensive and from whom.

I used to get into flame wars all the time when I chatted on the Phins fan forum. I got on the wrong side of the admin and got banned from there. So what did I do, change my IP, change my sign in name? Yes I did when I was way more immature than I am now. Then it happened again, banned again, for flame wars. So I never went back. I finally realized that "I" was the issue not them.

The problem people or person on this blog just needs to realize they are the problem. That takes maturity and the ability to see your own faults. It's part of being a man.

Fins 17
Colts 16

I've never heard Luck is a threat running it, I must have missed that report.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 14, 2013 at 03:50 PM

Then you never watched a single Stanford game while he was at QB. He was a dual threat all the way just google his last game Vs. USC (Barkley draft stock riser) were he wins it with his arm and legs at the end.

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