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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?


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.



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I think the Ballard kid will be missed by Indy. Bradshaw and Thomas are about done, although Bradshaw is a wily vet; Ballard is a three down back with a lot of youth and athleticism. This will make their O easier to read. Donald is a liability.
On a side note,I am in a bit of a conundrum from a FF perspective. I have Luck as my QB and our D as my defense without a sub for either. I don't want to drop anyone, so I am running with what I have. I think there is a good possibility both may produce. We will see. In the end, I hope for a Phins victory over the stat line. I am loaded at other positions and I think a weak QB performance can be absorbed.

Tannehill already has wins over Weedon and Wilson. Up next, a win over Luck.
That would leave only RG3 to beat from the 2012 QB draft.

On the RGlll thing from an evaluation of his first game this year; he is playing scared. He is not stepping into his throws from the pocket, even if the rush is not intimidating. I think the Skins should get him outside of the pocket as much as possible to give him a position of comfort.

Posted by: Good Sense | September 15, 2013 at 01:36 AM

I think the Skins did a good job of just letting him play to his strengths last year. With that said, the early payoff may have slowed his progress in learning how to play the position in a traditional sense.

That Knee injury will force him to stay in the pocket more and learn to speed up his reads. We may see him go into a sophomore slump but ultimately I think he will be a better QB because of it.

If RG111 can learn to be this read first, run second QB in the pros as he has demonstrated at times in the collegiate ranks, he can be quite dangerous.
There are concerns to this equation: his injury, how pressure will affect him, but the main influence from his injury is pocket presence. Right now he seems to be gun shy in the pocket. What do you see?


Rg3 has had knee injuries before and got over it . He will be ok. If anything he will ve more selective about when he should run. It took brady a few games to get used to stepping up in the pocket. Carson palmer still hasnt gotten over his injury and what it did to his game.

This game has many variables. For one i don't remember seeing :Luck Boiling down from constant pressure.
I Think both teams have a huge ? in their running game.
Our D is suspect in its depth at db.
Rb is a Q everywhere. I see a battle of attrition rolling our way.

We will see. In the end, I hope for a Phins victory over the stat line. I am loaded at other positions and I think a weak QB performance can be absorbed.

Posted by: Good Sense | September 15, 2013 at 01:09 AM

The PERFECTLY worst possible scenario to land in......Eh?

With all the uncertainties among us Dolphin Fans going in, I knew this would happen to someone sooner or later. I have to say, I didn't expect it this quick or this...........ah well..........This Perfectly F*&ked Situation.

FWIW - I think you're doing the right thing(the ONLY thing you CAN do-LOL), hang in there and RIDE it out-SMH!

Good Luck.......(no, wait), I mean........KILL Luck! To YOU I mean, Good, ah.......you know.......ah......um...

Eff It!

AwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwRiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight MIAMI!!!!

The hour is approaching...soon I'll need to put on my #7 Phins Jersey

There is too much coverage of NFL football. What about the people starving to death?

Gameday. Nothing better after a long work week. Looking forward to the challenge of going against a playoff team. Win this game and the buzz around the Phins will grow to heights unseen around here for a long time.

My prediction last week Phins by 10. My prediction this week is Phins by 7.

Key to the game, Miami has to convert those Red-Zone trips into TDs not FGs, Otherwise look for the Colts to Defeat the Phins 21 to 16..

There is too much coverage of NFL football. What about the people starving to death?
Posted by: ExposingTheFraud | September 15, 2013 at 08:00 AM

ETF, Go to a homeless shelter and feed them...

A key to this game also could be our rookie of the week kicker. Sturgis has been rock solid unlike Carpenter last year. That guy has definitely been worth a 5th rounder. Not that I want to kick FG's but that could be key to winning a few games this year.

coaching favors Colts since when?

How can you not even talk about pass rush at one point in the article? LOL 3rd most important thing in football is being copletely ignored. This article makes LITTLE sense and completely misses the most important factors in this game LOL

Posted by: TruthhurTs | September 15, 2013 at 09:04 AM

I agree about Sturgis. The best thing about his game is that he consistently boots it out of the end zone on kick offs. Giving your opponent a bad avg. starting field position and having a top 5 defense will help you win a lot of games.

I have a bad feeling about this Game. They have fixed their quantum computers at LV and their spread for our Game vs Indy is probably the correct one. No gimmes Today.

Colts 59 Sea World 2

go finsssssssssssss

Johnny Manziel will be a bigger prize than Andrew Luck. I dont think I've ever seen a QB as good as him.

Props to the offense. I forgot to mention how great it was last week when Pouncey, Martin, Hartline and T-hill told Matthews to get off the field. Nice little shove there as well at the end by T-hill.

Woodshed Gang thinks he's a hero for participating in two tours in Iraq. A meaningless war that accomplished nothing. Why if it weren't for him and other heroes like him...I wouldn't be able to blog and post my thoughts without fear of being executed. Thank you sir for defending my freedumbs. If you re-up now, perhaps you can go to Syria and join forces with Al Qaeda and continue your noble efforts to fight for American's constitutional rights.

I'm being sarcastic in case you couldn't figure that out.

Round of applause everyone...for our "hero"

Woodshed Gang should crank that Foo Fighters song with the chorus :

"There goes my hero...watch him as he pulls dead bodies out of rubble and takes fire for Haliburton and KBR"

Did you watch the video on youtube with the Army "Tractor Boy"

Lmao @ Tractor Dad "He can outrun me."

Esteemed company.

The one with the kid who's estranged from his father is a good one too.

"Son that's the first time in years you've looked me in the eye."

Join the armed forces now and loser sons can patch things up with their dads.

See a pattern here ?

Again, esteemed company.

Expendable retards to the powers that be.

They won't miss you on Wall Street.

manziel isnt even a first rd pick hes 6 feet and has a below avg arm. most scouts like nothing about him

Posted by: FIRE ROSS | September 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I thought I read that YG was Banned..

Dusty, Are you related to the Esteemed "Soiled Bottoms" From the great state of North Carolina?

Tasteless and hardly worth posting. That sarcasm must be a real laugh in person.

The Dolphins will have to rely on their strengths and stop trying to overplay parts of their game they would like to improve on for the sake of how they would like to play the game.The running game is going to be average at best,if they wanted to have a great ground game they shouldnt have let one of the best open field runners in the NFL,Bush walk.
Simply put on offense, they traded Bush ,Long and Fasano for Wallace,Gibson and Keller which implies that the GM wants to emphasize the pass game.Dont forget that the Dolphins drafted T-Hill the year before in a higher position that anyone else involved in the draft would have picked him.
So unless the OC is on a different page than the franchise's front office I think the pass should set up the run so to speak.
The defense was the strength of their team last season specifically, the defensive line,l think they have built on that, and are now even better than last season or so it seems by adding a defensive pass rusher as the 3rd pick overall and installing a new speed rush package that helps put pressure on the QB and help them create more turnovers.
They also drafted and signed several DBs in the offseason that ties into this notion that to win in the NFL in 2013 which is now a QB centric league,teams have to pressure the QB and get sacks,interceptions and generally disrupt the timing of the pass offense.
Three stats that I will keep a record on this season for the Dolphins and all their games are:

2.Points off of Turnovers
3.Red Zone scoring ratio TDs/FGs
You can write all you want about Cleveland being a subpar team but the Dolphins won or tied in ALL three of these statistical categories last Sunday and I believe in their next four games winning in these three areas will reveal who will win the game.The QBs they face in order are Luck,Ryan,Brees and Flaco,if they have a bad game their is a very good chance they will lose the game.

I want to stay positive and hope for a Phins win. Having said that I'm still trying to understand how on earth this coaching staff was incapable of exploiting Reggie's prowess as a back catching the ball in open space with an OL zone blocking scheme. Everybody from Mando, to other reporters and almost every can cried for it but it never got done. Fast forward today and the Lions did in one game what this entire staff failed to do in a full season. That is my biggest cloud of doubt over this coaching staff. I hope there were other reasons such as Bush demanding to run between tackles but even then the staff should have figured out a way. This offense today would be a much, much better unit with Reggie. The front office of course is no less guilty for not getting a deal done with still so much cap space left. Same goes with the aberration of failing to sign V Leach who wanted to be here. If the season goes to the toilet for lack of running game it will be squarely on Ireland and he will have to go.


The fact is that we could BLOW OUT the Colts in their house by 30 points and the Northern Media Talking Heads will not mention anything about the FINS. It's going to take a TON of victories for us to get noticed.

It also kills them that Boss Ross has big ties to NY, knowing that he's turning MIA into a power house. People who hate Ross, do a little research on the man. This man knows how to be successful in his ventures, when he says he wants to win - well he wins. And when we do, it will kill the New Yorkers cuz they will be jealous that he owns the FINS and not the Jets. I then expect more Air time in the media.

Ecto, Did'nt Reggie run for close to 200 yards against the Bills last year?, Or was that the year before?

Good Post MADFIN. We won't get any love in the national media until we beat some of these teams. These guys just aren't getting any respect. The only headlines I could find last week after beating the Browns which most of them said we would not was about Wallace. It's discouraging but I don't mind having to prove it on the field either. I can't wait for Coyle to cut these guys loose on Luck. Speed Package is all I have to say.

Dear 'FIRE ROSS' (@ 10:00AM)

'S A N E'



..King Shula. I think there is 1 more statistic that may be of value. Something I would bet we had the advantage last week. 3rd down conversions. How do we do on both sides of the ball on third down.

Dolphins 2-0. Went from liking this game to loving this game. This will be a good win

I was obviously joking too...
but I mean to bring to light a serious message
This one is directed at YOU Home.

Ireland isn't going anywhere, specially if we have a good season. We have a bunch of players to focus on next year and resign, primarily on Defense. You can't build a great core and lose them to another team because you can resign them, this is the reason why we are strong with CAP space. We have players to resign next year, we can't afford to lose.

I agree losing Bush was a poor move, I think both IRE/Philbin over estimated Miller and with a week running line, Miller isn't anything special. He's not going to make holes to run through.

What I don't understand is why they don't use D. Thomas more as a receiving back, have him doing button hooks, short slants, etc. get him more involved in the WCO as a running receiver out of the back field. If I remember correctly, that's what he did in College, was multi-dimensional and is why Ireland traded up to get him.

Dolphins almost pulled off a win in Indy last yr and thanks to the NFL planners they have to play the Colts, for second straight yr, in Indy. I wonder how these schedules are figured out? No other team, not even super bowl teams have the front end schedule as the Fish. Doesn't it make your wonder when a 7-9 team gets one of the hardest schedules in the NFL. diet food for dieters in thought.

The Dolphins will have to rely on their strengths and stop trying to overplay parts of their game they would like to improve on for the sake of how they would like to play the game.

2.Points off of Turnovers
3.Red Zone scoring ratio TDs/FGs

The first sentence is pure ignorance. It's only game 2 for a team with many new players. You don't decide what works and what doesn't after one game.

Those 3 points are what every single coach in the NFL and NCAA say before every single game. Geez.

referring to: KingShula | September 15, 2013 at 10:17

ar 15 miami finished second as did colts, so we play them again other second place team we play is san diego in miami

..AR..We are victims of a week division. We finished 7-9 but we finished in second place. How many other divisions did the 7-9 team finish in second place?

My genius keys to the game:

1. Balanced offense, long drives coupled with some nice deep throws. Keep the safeties honest.

2. Solid defense. Get off the field on 3rd down. Gets sacks fumbles and picks.

3. Solid special teams, pin them back deep when kicking off, and get great field position on our returns.

We need to avoid calling the plays that don't work and stick to the plays that do work.

darryl san diego and saints also finished 2nd with a 7-9 record

Has Ireland been fired yet?

Last but not least, we need to make touchdowns and not just settle for FG's. Not just in the redzone, but in the blue zone, white zone and fuschia zone too. This is key. Very key.

My plan would be to use the pass to set up the run. Then use the run to set up the pass. Then use the pass to set up the run. Then use the run to set up the pass.

That will keep them off balance. Makes you dizzy just reading that.

No doubt our corners are as terrified of Luck as all our no-confidence fans are. They should all stick a finger down their throat 30 min before game time to puke out their jitters so they can play relaxed.

...King Shula.. I re-read what you wrote. And I have to disagree 100 percent with your opening comment. Now we could become a pass happy offense, we may even have some success. But at some point if we want to win the big game..If we want to be champions. We have to figure out a way to run the ball...Even the great Patriot Passing juggernaughts couldn't win the big game because they had no run game.

I know that some will say..What about the Saints, or the Packers, or the Giants..They passed their way to the title. Sure, regular season they did. but look at the stats of those teams in the playoffs, and look at the run balance they had once it was playoff time. Sure they may have been among the poorest run teams in each of their respective regular seasons. But when it came down to big boy football...They found ways to run it..It is a must to be able to run the ball to win in this league...

We can pass our way to fooling ourselves into thinking it is a winning formula..And for the time being. We may have too. But if this team has bigger goals..We had better find a run game.

darryl its a passing league now and big time. running game fading quickly

...Dusty..Thanks for answering my question...Those 2 teams don't have cakewalk schedules either. That was my point.

As far as this being a passing league...Yes I know. I'm not discounting this. You have to be able to make big plays in the pass game...I got it. But don't be fooled into thinking that you can win without a run game. At some point during the season...You have to be able to run the ball. It is fact as much as it takes air to breathe, water to keep you alive.. That's all I am saying.

Why are all you sissies so fearful of the schedule? Isn't that just admitting you think we still suck? Are you all afraid of anyone named Bruno too?

schedule a huge part of season and how it plays out. if new england had to open with basically any other teams than buffalo and jets they def wouldnt be 2-0 playing like they are

Ever wonder why you never see Philbin and Larry Coker in the same place at the same time??

FIRE ROSS lives outside of Camp Pendleton. I used to bang his mom, sister and girlfriend. At the same time. That's why I'm his hero.

BTW, I already supported a war against Syria. That was in 2005 when it was the gateway into Iraq for terrorist. Anyone that was in Iraq will tell you it wasn't Iraqis that had a problem with the U.S. it was the rest of the Middle East. Primarily the Syrians!

That is why I DON'T support this war. Those same rebels were the ones killing Americans while we were occupying Iraq. With no Americans around, they found another target.

We need a Dome here Today.

Today's game plan should expose the the colts secondary and mismatch on the
Colts LB. we all know
That if old fart Sherman doesn't explore that with Wallace Hartline he has to go with Philbin the clown and Jl Ross lap dog! That's bull c r a p that Wallace double team he is a decoy! Last year we only had Hartline and he had a great year, look at all the new addition at the wr. In the league boldin kaper. Carson Fitzgerald Stafford bush just to name a few, so its about coaching bottom line.

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