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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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Good game between Tex A&M and Bama!

Manziel is Da Best!

Bridgewater destroys manziel

Pro Scouts are already saying that Manziel is the best QB in 10 years.

jj manziel keeps dropping like crazy. weak arm and very short bridgewater and murruy among others ranked much higher

hmmm JJ ive heard pro scouts say he wont make it at the next lever too..

true matty, most have no interest in him. hes a college qb all the way

I don't know much about college ball. I am hearing the Bridgewater name a bunch. Is he really good or just a system QB? It's almost like you should draft QBs that excel in spite of the system and have the attributes of successful NFL QB.

Tannehill > Manziel

Tannehill > Manziel

Posted by: DC Dolfan | September 14, 2013 at 05:29 PM

You WISH! lol

The only Stanford game I ever watched was the one where they played VT.

Tannehill will be = Aaron Rodgers within 3 years

DC,
It is easy to say that now, I hope you're sayting the same thing 24 hours from now.

Senseri > Every Dolphins player

Johnny Football < Every Dolphins player

manziel playing horrible , game is over

If johnny Football can't beat McCarron how is Tanne supposed to beat Luck?

tanne luck last year at indy was very good game. expect about the same game

db,
Here is the recap of last year's game.
Excerpts:
On 3rd down: Mia 4/11 Indy 13/19
Passing yds 280 433
Sacks Tanne sacked 2 Luck sacked 1
Total Yds 365 516
Missed FGs 0 2

I think the score was closer than the game actually was.


Bridgewater will go #1 he is the top QB prospect imo...

Tannehill at QB > ETF at posting
lol

OMG, I hope I didn't get banned(Gulp......).......

Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!!!!

Yeah.......ALRIGHT ;)

Johnny Manziel WOW!~!!!

That's nonsense about Manziel. They said Luck was the best pro prospect since Manning and I heard a lot of people say he'd be better. All of a sudden Manziel's the best in 3 years? Yeah OK. Who's saying that? His parents?

jj manziel keeps dropping like crazy. weak arm and very short bridgewater and murruy among others ranked much higher

Posted by: dusty bottoms | September 14, 2013 at 05:07 PM

That pass he threw when breaking the tackle on the sack in the 1st half was a Pick-6 in the NFL. Floated a wounded duck into the middle of the field, I was thinking this kids lucky then he threw the ugly fade a couple of plays later which got picked that swung this game. In all honesty AJ McCarron looks more like the ball control QB some NFL teams would take that 3rd down pass he threw to the Fr. WR a minute a go was money! Nice touch and dropped it in the middle of the zone D. Manziel is more RAH RAH (Flutie-esque) College theatrics which won't fly in the Pro game although Nick Saban's DB's are trying to give it away late.

Johnny Football can thank himself after getting LUCKY AS HELL with that pass in the 1st half only to go cross field with the ugly fade later in the drive from his 4 Yd. line which is the 14 point swing that's going to lose A&M this game! In a way I'm happy to see Manziel get the humble pie, kids a real jerk!

JOHNNY MANZIEL PUT UP 42 PTS ON THE GREAT BAMA D.
UNREAL!!!!!

kids a real jerk!

Posted by: fin4life | September 14, 2013 at 07:13 PM

The guy thats really a jerk is Wallace.

C'mon man I told you stop riding my saddle.

Manziel set the school record with 464 yds passing...against a Saban D.

I would really like to see us put Luck on backside multiple times tomorrow. Hopefully we get pressure with our front 4.

If we blitz we gotta make sure we get there...at least get a hand on him. We were burned on the blitz a couple times last week.

Anyone who really thinks the Dolphins have a chance tomorrow is delusional. Colts win this game by double figures.

Colts bring Dolphins fans back down to reality this week, Phins O-Line is crap. Phins secondary is crap. First of 9-10 losses come tomorrow. Enjoy.

I'm hoping for 50 points from the Colts.

Lmao if Luck hangs 50 on dead rapist's daddy Philbin and Ireland.

There he is again......he's back!

First of all why is Patterson in the slot I thought he was one of our starters? Patterson will either be covering Regiie Wayne or H-B with Grimes covering the other. Either Carroll will covering Hilton in the slot with a LB on Coby Fleener or vice versa.

Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 14, 2013 at 09:58 AM
========================================================

First of all, ETF, I'm kind of going along with you in principle. Depending on how or what Defensive Scheme Coyle's using, I think he generally has our best Corner on their best WR, 2nd best on 2nd best, etc, etc. Regardless of where they line up.

I'm sure certain blitzes, coverage schemes and even Down and Distances(run down vs. pass downs) affect/alter this(to a degree). But generally speaking and unless it's a zone, we play our best against their best.

It seems convoluted sometimes and I'm sure a lot of it's intentional(To disguise and confuse)but I think Coyle abides by some general strategies and they aren't designed to create disadvantageous mismatches in favor of our opponents.

(Am I a Dork or WHAT?!?!)

PS: Speaking as The Homer I am, I'm getting Really, REALLY GOOD at stating the OBVIOUS-Dooh ;)

YG contributes a lot more than canadian Craig does to this blog.

You are the low life. Picking on kids. Tsk Tsk...no values, no morals, no life. Just this blog.

ENJOY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: LOL | September 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM
===============================================

Sorry man, but if you're still talking about individual posters, I guess I have a right as well........NO?

Even if you're not YG, apparently you're just as bad, if not worse.

Armando stepped in here and did a few things to try and improve the Blog. From what I can tell and for WHATEVER reasons, the Blog has been running smoother/better as of late.

Yet, being totally honest, here **YOU ARE**, still talking shyt about specific posters and personal issues, as opposed to .......ah........**YOU KNOW**.........what the Blog was DESIGNED For.........you know........**FOOTBALL**........

Sorry Man, but I have to "Call Em like I See Em".

I have to disagree with your post about Ballard. While i'm a big Andrew Luck fan, i think its easier to play him if you know the pass is coming. The defence can pin their ears back and go after him and like Brady, i think thats how you beat him.

Posted by: Craig M | September 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM
===================================================

I have to agree with Craig this time.

If this were last year or the year before, maybe not. I have actually thought in this manner in seasons past. But with our Improved Defensive play, which I think **WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE**, Luck just doesn't seem so scary-LOL!

A sophomore slump will seem like a Cake Walk compared to what Luck's about to "Walk Into" Tomorrow!

ValHalla!!!!

odin @ 8:08

That does not make sense, every CB would have to be proficient at every CB position whereas other than Grimes none of them are proficient at even 1 position.
I'll give partial credit for the effort.

WHICH FRAUD WILL BE EXPOSED TOMORROW; ME OR THE TEAM?

What burns you the most is that if I am right then I had it figured out 6 months ago, I'm the only one that never fell for it.

Miami = Money Mayweather
Indy = Canelo

Dashi/oscar canosa,

Come-out come-out wherever you are.

A major key tomorrow will be getting to a fast start, and...

1- Use the Speed "D" early by rotating the DE/DT's like another poster said earlier. Hit Luck hard and get his face in the ground, but keep him contained. Try not to let him run, make him force the ball. I don't think their OL is very strong and will be holding on to dear life with our pass rush, just hoping no one breaks down in the secondary.

2- I see D. Jordan dropping back and also spying on Luck to contain him and watch for the short passes, this kid is going to be a monster if he stays heathly (fingers crossed). Maybe even a ton of movement and blitz packages to frustrate Luck, even through I don't think Luck gets as frustrated as Brady. One of the reasons he's so good, very poised.

3- Maybe see Sherman get a little more dynamic and use sweeps, pitch-outs, option, shuffle-pass to mix it up and buy T-Hill sometime and help open lanes for the RB's. If the RB's have the same showing as last week, bad O line not with standing, I see us picking up another RB that's been waived. If I was D. Thomas as a 3 year player, I would be VERY nervous.

4- Don't expect 10 passes to Wallace, unless he really blows past the DB's early. This Offense is a build up of the WCO with various wrinkles by design, Sherman including T-Hill are not going to force the passes to keep Wallace happy. Ryan will pass for the game plan or Sherman will have his arse, plain and simple. Don't ever forget that it was Sherman who developed T-Hill at A&M and he is not going to cross him. They have a system and Wallace is NOT bigger then it. Period.

I like this game, I think we will do good. Luck's O line will have its problems with our D line which I don't think they will adjust well. We are much faster with many more looks then last year. If there are no stupid turn overs or cheap points given, FINS will have their way and expect for Irsay to be Tweeting he's really disappointed - AGAIN!

Jeff Ireland will be named NFL Executive of the Year.

you are totally crazy to said the colts receiving corp will be the best the will face this year
What about Atlanta next week and New Orleans right after

2 of Indys starting olinemen are miami doplhins castoffs. They're in trouble.

As pure QB, give me Teddy Bridgewater.

DC, that may happen. No matter what others say, Ireland is considered within NFL circles as a strong executive. If we go 10-6 or 11-5, he will get a ton of recognition and so will Philbin (maybe coach of he year). Specially how he handles the CAP which seems to doom a lot of franchises.

What I can't stand is that all the Media Houses are based out of the North, this is the reason they over look the FINS on ESPN, SportsCenter, SI, etc. Plus since Shula owned all these Northern teams in the past, it's pay back in their eyes. That's why they always dog The Perfecto's & the FINS in general, it's just jealously.

FINALLY have a complete organization, with a Strong FO, HC & Coaching Staff and an Owner that wants to Win and will spend as needed (Wallace, etc.) People say what they will, but Boss Ross is building and turning our FINS around and I am excited for it. It may not happen this year, but I see a strong franchise in the near future!

However, Mr. Manziel is one hell of a Player, just won't give up. Like the fellow we are going to meet tomorrow.

2 of Indys starting olinemen are miami doplhins castoffs. They're in trouble.

Posted by: ola | September 14, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Good point. It's funny how many draft picks we gave up on are out there starting on other teams. That tells me Ireland doesn't have a problem evaluating talent. Our previous coaching staff had a problem developing players when they were brought in.

Its not that its negative its that Philbin and Sherman suck! I love my phins but its the same old story, defense good offense bad, especially Sherman, don't know game preparation play calling, so this could be his last job in the NFL...

It has become clear that Wallace is garbage

FINALLY have a complete organization, with a Strong FO, HC & Coaching Staff and an Owner that wants to Win and will spend as needed (Wallace, etc.) People say what they will, but Boss Ross is building and turning our FINS around and I am excited for it. It may not happen this year, but I see a strong franchise in the near future!

Posted by: MADFIN | September 14, 2013 at 10:30 PM

Well said. I completely agree, we are building a perennial winner!

Look JI doesn't know how to draft OL or even F/A players. And when philbin came here it was because he new how to develop QB. But come to find out Philbin him self said it wasn't him who played a role in Rodgers development, it was the QB coach in Green bay...only thing he did was game planing which here he is having his butt buddy Sherman do, and we all can tell the difference, Sherman sucks he really does, Philbin needs to take over game planing and play calling. Or his job will be on the line
You all will see..if this team on Sunday under perform on offense than its time for a change starting with JI Sherman Philbin. Rumors are players don't like them anyways. Philbin the clown Sherman Philbins side kick and JI Ross lap dog!!

Jeff Ireland will be named NFL Executive of the Year.
Posted by: DC Dolfan | September 14, 2013 at 09:49 PM

DC, Your kidding....Aren't you?

"Continuity is the most important aspect of a good Football Organization", Don Shula.

According to f4l here, Shula was disliked by many Players but they respected him and played hard.

With JI's ability to find talent, Philbin's coaching and Sherman's ability to develop QBs we are sure to win 10 games this year!

The future is bright and its a good time to become a Dolphins fan!

I'M SORRY GUYS BUT YES WE DO NEED TO GET WALLACE INVOLVED WITHOUT FORCING THE BALL TO HIM.. WHY? BECAUSE WALLACE THREAT WILL OPEN THE FIELD FOR HARTLINE,GIBSON,AND CLAY, NOT TO MENTION THE RUNNING GAME. . IF THE FINS RUN FOR MORE THAN 100 YDS THIS OPENS UP TANNEHILL TO DO MORE "PLAY ACTION" WHICH IS HIS STRENGTH,, FINS WIN EASY, AND WALLACE WILL HAVE HIS DEEP TOUCHDOWN CATCH.. THIS IS WHAT I SEE HAPPENING.. THE COLTS ARE WEAK IN THE SECONDARY SO THEY WILL BE UNABLE TO STACK THE BOX..THEY WILL DOUBLE WALLACE UNTIL THE FINS SHOW THEY CAN RUN THE BALL EFFECTIVE, ONCE THAT HAPPENS THE "PLAY ACTION " BECOMES MORE IN PLAY AND WALLACE WILL BEAT LANDRY OVER THE TOP.. ON DEFENSE IT'S SIMPLE GET TO LUCK AND SACK HIM DO NOT JUST HIT HIM AND HE STILL GET RID OF THE BALL,, SACK HIM AND MAKE HIM THROW EARLY AND HE WILL THROW INTS.. A GGOD RUNNING GAME AND TIME CNSUMING TD DRIVES KEEP HIM OFF THE FIELD AND PLAYS TO THE STRENGTH OF THE FINS THE PASS RUSH.. I AGREE LOOK FOR WAKE TO GET 2 SACKS BUT I ALSO SEE JORDAN GETTING 1.5 AS WELL.. IF HE CAN BEAT JOE THOMAS THAN HE IS THE REAL DEAL EVEN WITH A BUM SHOULDER.. THE INT SEAN SMITH MISSED LAST YEAR WILL NOT BE MISSED BY GRIMES.. FINS 34 COLTS 17. 2-0 HEADING HOME.

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