Five Keys to a Miami Dolphin’s Victory Over Indianapolis

Nov 4, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) drops back to pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins will be taking on the Indianapolis Colts tomorrow in what could prove to be a match-up of AFC play-off hopefuls. Both teams currently stand pat at 1-0 after the first week of NFL action, but only one can walk away 2-0.

Miami’s defense played remarkably last week against Cleveland and racked up 6 sacks to go along with 3 interceptions and 1 forced fumble. The offense, on the other hand, stalled during the first half and was only able to produce 6 points. During the second half, however, the offense came out looking like a whole different team. Miami went on to win the game by a score of 23-10.

 

Indianapolis’ offense played well against a struggling Oakland defense. The offense was able to get out to a 14-7 half-time lead, but struggled during the third quarter allowing Oakland to pull closer bringing the score to 14-10. QB Andrew Luck scored the game clinching touchdown on a 19-yard scramble for a touchdown. Indianapolis’ defense, on the other hand, struggled against an anemic Oakland offense. QB Terrell Pryor was able to throw for 217 yards and rack up 112 yards on the ground. This defense must clamp down if Indianapolis wishes to walk away with a win.

 

Here are a few things Miami must do to ensure a victory over the Andrew Luck-led Colts:

 

  1. Get the ground game going early and OFTEN. Last week Lamar Miller carried the ball 10 times for 3 yards. Sure, Cleveland’s front seven deserves praise for such a great performance, but with production like that opposing defenses do not have to worry about Miami’s running game being a threat. Miami must be able to pound the ball against a bad Indianapolis run defense. If Miami cannot establish a running game, QB Ryan Tannehill may struggle early on for the second straight week.
  2. Get Mike Wallace involved early. Last week Wallace faced one of the league’s best in CB Joe Haden. Haden deserves a lot of credit for Wallace’s lack of involvement during the game. This week, however, Wallace is facing former Miami corner, Vontae Davis, and former Arizona Cardinal, Greg Toler. Wallace should be able to burn both corners all day long. Both Davis and Toler are aggressive and very inconsistent. If QB Ryan Tannehill can hit Wallace on a few of those deep balls, look out. And don’t sit there and tell me that LaRon Landry or Antoine Bethea is going to hold down the back-end.
  3. Bring the heat! I’ve read just about every “Keys to a Miami Victory” article and they all stress to be weary when blitzing. No. Stop. Miami cannot sit back and give Luck all day to dissect their defense unless they want a repeat outcome of last year’s game. Miami’s defense must send the pressure using their “speed package” and rattle Luck. If Miami can get some hits and pressure early on Luck, it will lead to turnovers. Pressure + Hits + Bad Offensive Line = Turnovers. Simple.
  4. Improve on tackling. The tackling last week against Cleveland was not as awful as it was during the preseason. That being said, it still was not something Miami should be bragging about. Cleveland RB Trent Richardson broke something-like 8 tackles on 13 carries. Wait, what? Exactly. As Chris Nelson points out, MLB Dannell Ellerbe was a culprit of  bad tackling early in the game. Miami’s linebackers and safeties must buckle down and tackle RB’s Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown (Vick Ballard tore his ACL in practice Thursday and will be done for the season).
  5. Ryan Tannehill, do not step off the gas young man. Miami’s young signal caller found WR’s Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson quite often during Miami’s win over Cleveland. He also developed a good connection with TE Charles Clay early and often. If it’s not broke, then don’t fix it Tannehill. Yes, getting Wallace involved is a huge must for Miami’s offensive game-plan. That being said, do not force something if it is not there. Tannehill has a plethora of weapons at his disposal. He just has to make the right decision by finding the open receiver and allow his receiver to make plays for him.

 

Miami also must take advantage of Indianapolis’ beat up roster. It seems like every linebacker listed on Indianapolis’ roster is banged up. Add in the fact that starting TE Dwayne Allen is also battling a hip injury, Miami should be able to take advantage of this throughout the course of the contest.

 

Prediction:

 

Miami – 27 Indianapolis – 24

 

Now, it would not surprise me if Indianapolis ended up defeating Miami. In fact, I had originally thought they would. But seeing how Indianapolis struggled against Oakland last week, Miami actually has a shot in this one. If Miami’s offense can get rolling early to extend a lead, this Miami defense is too good for QB Andrew Luck to lead his team back.

 

Topics: Cameron Wake, Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins, Mike Wallace, Ryan Tannehill

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  • Jcartwright67

    That’s better! You predicted a win for us! LOL. I’ll expand on your Wallace key point; we need to target him on more than just the long ball. He’s only a “one-trick pony” if we treat him as such. I re-watched the CLE game last night, man, our running game was pathetic. R. Bush wouldn’t have made a difference behind that line on that day. That had to be an aberration, when was the last time you saw an NFL team have less than 1-yd per attempt. Tanny over Luck 28-17.

    • TylerMcMullen

      I thought about throwing that in there about Wallace but I tried to imply it :) I’m expecting quick slants, maybe some bubble screens and some medium ranged balls for the first half. Once we get Vontae’s aggressive nature going, double moves all day. Agreed on the running game. It was a combination of three things, in my opinion. 1. The offensive line sucked. Absolutely sucked. 2. The running backs weren’t hitting the holes properly when there was a hole and they had no burst or explosion. 3. Cleveland’s front seven owned our line and backs. Owned them. There is only a few backs in this league that I can name that would have been able to put up some yardage last week with a performance like that by our offensive line and Cleveland’s front. Thanks for the read and the comment, J! Go PHINS!

  • John Smith

    I like what you mentioned regarding if Miami gets a lead. If Fins get a 10 pt lead – it’s over!

    • TylerMcMullen

      Very true! Defense is too good to let a lead slip away! Even if Luck takes advantage of our secondary (Let’s face it, Brandon Weeden is no Andrew Luck) our pass rush should own their offensive line and cause issues all day for their front five. Thanks for the read and the comment, John!

  • John Smith

    Kind of a page out of Brady/ Pats book. Get up early and play down hill. Ride that Fins defense!

    • TylerMcMullen

      Lol well kind of but not really. The Pats used to allow their offense to get on a roll and get out ahead of other teams so their defense could “manage” the game because they were awful lol. But, in the early 2000′s they did field a very nice defense but Brady’s offensive drive had not taken full steam quite yet.

  • tpl

    With Dwayne Allen listed as doubtful, I don’t think he’ll play. That’s a plus for Miami. My concern is the secondary, with Patterson slowed, Davis out, and facing luck. Definitiely agree Miami needs to bring the heat with the Colts offensive line. I expect the colts to try and stop the pass, and force Miami to run. I’ll be surprised if they put 8 men in the box like the browns. I think Miami will win, especially if Miami can get a few turnovers.

    • TylerMcMullen

      That sounds like the same exact thing I said to my buddy last night, my man. I’m quite concerned with the secondary if Patterson can’t go or is slowed and must leave the game. With Carroll, Stanford and for gods sake Wilson, that’s pretty alarming trying to cover DHB and Hilton. I’m not comfortable with it at all. But hey, maybe they’ll surprise us. Or maybe Patterson will be good-to-go and we won’t have to worry about anything! Thanks for the read and the comment man!