Wow what a game! The Miami Dolphins scored a huge win over the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 24-20.
As the score indicates, this was quite a tight and very, very close game up until the closing minutes. Indianapolis’ offense slowly moved the ball within scoring position late in the fourth quarter, but linebacker Philip Wheeler came flying through the middle of Indianapolis’ offensive line and sacked QB Andrew Luck on fourth-down securing the upset win for Miami.
Man, what a win. My heart is still pumping. Let’s take a look at a few observations I made during Miami’s 24-20 win.
- QB Ryan Tannehill may be maturing into one of the league’s top young talents right in front of our eyes. Tannehill was able to best Luck in their second meeting, Luck won last season in a very similar game. Tannehill finished the night with a very nice stat-line of 23 for 34 for 319 yards and 1 touchdown. Tannehill looked cool and calm in the pocket when given time. I was only able to count one occasion in which Tannehill should have thrown the ball away instead of holding onto the ball and taking the sack.
- There WAS a running game present! Sure, the running game was present, but it was not overly impressive. RB Lamar Miller impressed with a 14 carry, 69 yard game to go along with a nice 14-yard touchdown run showing his speed to the left side. Aside from Miller, the run game was anemic except for a 12-yard power run by RB Daniel Thomas. Thomas finished the day with 8 carries for 30 yards, but looked slow and indecisive.
- Ladies and gentlemen, introducing WR Mike Wallace. Wallace had a coming out party, like we all predicted. Wallace did the majority of his damage facing CB Greg Toler, but also snagged some balls against former Dolphin, Vontae Davis. Wallace finished the night with 9 grabs for 115 yards, but it was his 18-yard touchdown that opened eyes. Combine that with OC Mike Sherman allowing Wallace to run more than just go-routes (proving that he is more than just a one-trick pony), Wallace had quite a spectacular night.
- TE Charles Clay may be the most under-rated guy on this Miami offense. In an offense with names such as Ryan Tannehill, Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson, Brian Hartline, and even Lamar Miller, a guy like Charles Clay goes unnoticed for the most part. Make no mistake, though, Clay is turning into quite a nice seam-threat tight end. I honestly had terrible expectations for Clay this season, and I know you did also. But Clay is proving us all wrong by showing consistent route running skills and pretty consistent hands. Clay finished the night with 5 grabs for 109 yards, including a 67-yard bomb from QB Ryan Tannehill.
- The offensive line was awful in pass protection again, for the majority of the game. That being said, it really is not the left side of the offensive line that is struggling. Jonathan Martin held opposing rushers sack-less and Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey both performed well. RG John Jerry and RT Tyson Clabo are AWFUL. The worst part is that I am not sure that there is an immediate fix on the roster or out there as a free agent. Miami will likely have to ride this out and wait until the free agency period and draft-time to fill this huge void along the offensive line.
- The pass rush that we saw against Cleveland was non-existent against Indianapolis. Honestly, I don’t know where these guys were. DE Cameron Wake did not look like himself allowing RT Godser Cherilus to own him all game. QB Andrew Luck even broke out of Wake’s grasp at one point. DE Olivier Vernon was owned all game by LT Anthony Castanzo and the DT trio could not get to luck to save their lives. DE Derrick Shelby did however grab a strip sack for the second week in a row, but this defensive line should have owned Indianapolis’ offensive line.
- Take a look at these stats: Dannell Ellerbe 14 total tackles (6 solo), Philip Wheeler 12 total tackles (8 solo), Koa Misi 3 total tackles (0 solo). While it looks like the linebackers played a pretty good game, they didn’t. I was unimpressed with these three in coverage. Ellerbe looks slow in coverage. The other two looked alright. Ellerbe and Misi seem to be catching tackles instead of attacking the ball carrier against the run. And I would like to see Wheeler really take over against the run. I would like to point out Philip Wheeler’s impressive game clinching sack, however. He’s fast.
- Okay, Brent Grimes and Nolan Carroll played admirably. They did their best job. Hell, Reggie Wayne was held to 5 receptions for 46 yards. That’s excellent. Heck Darrius Heyward-Bey only snagged 2 balls for 10 yards before being limited due to an injury. That’s impressive, add in Grimes’ incredibly athletic interception and they both played a great game. My issue here is Jimmy Wilson. Wilson saw the majority of his work against WR T.Y. Hilton. Um, WHY!? Wilson looked awful and I’m beginning to question if he won’t be cut once rookies Will Davis and Jamar Taylor get themselves healthy. Cross your fingers.
- The safety play left much to be desired. Chris Clemons had two opportunities to come up with an interception and as commentator Dan Fouts said, “Stone-hands Chris Clemons” could not come up with it. Other than that, I thought Clemons played a good game. Reshad Jones, on the other hand, disappointed me. And has disappointed me during both of Miami’s games. Jones was beaten numerous times by TE Coby Fleener. Fleener ended the night with 4 receptions for 69 yards and 1 touchdown. I pray that covering tight ends will not become an issue for this Miami team again.
- K Caleb Strugis has ice blood running through his body. The kid has a strong leg and pairs it with very good accuracy.
Miami will be facing one of the NFC’s powerhouses next Sunday as they take on the Atlanta Falcons (1-1). Miami will need the defense that played against Cleveland if they want any shot at stealing a victory from a play-off favorite for the second week in a row. If Miami’s offense plays with the same efficiency they did this week paired with the defense that we saw against Cleveland, this game could end up being a real nail-biter. If not, Atlanta’s high powered offense could end up taking over early and quite often. This game will prove if Miami belongs in the play-off conversation.
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