This Sunday the Miami Dolphins will face off against the Indianapolis Colts. If we went back in time and talked about this game last year not one person in the football world would have cared. A previous 6-10 team versus a 2-14 team, these are the games we dream about right? No probably not. However, this year the answer to that is a resounding Yes. The Dolphins are soaring in the AFC East at 4-3 and the Colts are right there in the AFC South at 4-3.
What makes this game even more special is the showcasing of a future legend in the NFL. The only question that can be posed is who exactly am I talking about? 7 months ago I think most people could pass this quiz with the correct answer. Everybody (and whether they admit it or not I mean everybody) was excited about the entrance of Andrew Luck into the NFL. Remember how fun it was with Colts-Decision-2012? Would they pick Luck, would they stick with Peyton Manning, would Manning come to Miami.
We have the answers to all these questions now. Things have settled into place. The Colts made what will most likely turn out to be the best decision and threw their support to Andrew Luck. Peyton Manning decided on heading to Denver to play for the Broncos, and again this would appear to have been the right decision as the Broncos are looking pretty good out west. Finally, last but certainly not least the Dolphins decided to bet the farm on Ryan Tannehill, and so far the returns make Apple Investments look weak (ok, maybe that is a bit of an over-exaggeration).
Obviously everyone has had high hopes for Luck and so far that seems to be a safe bet. He has taken a beleaguered Colts team that just looked pitiful without Manning and put them back on track. As an individual player he is growing and certainly has a ways to go, but that being said he looks pretty good so far. In 7 games started, Luck is 160-288 (55.6%), for 1971 yards, 8 passing touchdowns, 3 rushing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and 5 fumbles. Not Hall of Fame numbers, but definitely solid for a rookie QB. (www.pro-football-reference.com)
What is starting to be seen however, is another quarterback may be growing into a future legend. The buzz is finally starting to resonate through the NFL about Ryan Tannehill. Although he basically did not play against the Jets due to an injury, he should be back this Sunday against the Colts.Tannehill(along with many other complimentary components) has taken a pathetic franchise and given their fan base hope.
As I highlighted last week in a post comparing Tannehill to some very impressive former and current players, in 6+ games Tannehill (stats include week 8) has gone 120-203 (59.1%), for 1472 yards, 4 passing touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown, 6 interceptions, and 3 fumbles. Again let’s not call Canton to reserve the spot just yet, but if you aren’t encouraged by these numbers than you probably think the Cleveland Browns are a serious contender this year.
When all is said and done, this game could end up being one the most intriguing and important games of the season for both teams. The Dolphins with a win would move into a tie for 1st place with the Patriots who are on a bye this week. A win for the Colts will not do much for them in their division with the scarily good Houston Texans sitting on top, but it will help build them into a potential wild card team.
With all else added into the mix, and assuming Ryan Tannehill is healthy and ready to go, I believe the Dolphins hold the edge. The Colts can score some big numbers on offense, but their defense has been prone to giving up quite a few points as well. Whereas the Dolphins defense appears to get a little stronger each week and could make Andrew Luck’s day very difficult. Regardless of the final score, is there anyone out there who doesn’t think this is going to be a fantastic game?