INDIANAPOLIS (AP) With help from his defense, Ryan Tannehill found a way to get the better of Andrew Luck.
Tannehill threw for 319 yards and one touchdown and Charles Clay scored on a 1-yard TD run late in the third quarter, leading Miami past Indianapolis 24-20 on Sunday.
It was a rare fourth-quarter failure for Luck and the Colts (1-1). Indy was 10-1 under Luck in games decided by seven points or fewer, 8-1 at home and had made the comeback look commonplace.
Luck appeared to be on the verge of pulling yet another one out Sunday when he moved Indy to the Dolphins 23-yard line with 1:45 left in the game.
But this time, the Dolphins defense buckled down, forced three straight incompletions and didn’t allowing the evasive Luck out of its grasp on fourth-and-10.
All Tannehill had to do then was pick up one first down to run out the clock.
Miami improved to 2-0 for only the second time since 2004 and ended Indy’s four-game winning streak in the series.
But it sure wasn’t easy.
While Tannehill essentially played Luck to a draw – Tannehill finished 23 of 34 while Luck was 25 of 43 for 321 yards and one TD – the difference was that Luck was picked off in the end zone when he tried to force a deep throw to Reggie Wayne. Tannehill lost a fumble but avoided any interceptions.
It was costly in another way for the Colts, who lost their second starter this week with what appears to be a season-ending injury.
Running back Vick Ballard tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Thursday. On Sunday, left guard Donald Thomas was carted off the field with a torn quad tendon in his right leg.
Coach Chuck Pagano said the injury is likely to require season-ending surgery.
Miami, though, found a way to persevere after giving away a 14-3 first-half lead and allowing the Colts to pile up 315 yards in offense in the first two quarters.
In the second half, the Dolphins held Indy to a field goal after Tannehill’s fumble.
Two series after Adam Vinatieri gave Indy a 20-17 lead in the third, Clay plunged in from the 1-yard line with 4:40 to go for the decisive score – a play that also withstood a replay review.
Mike Wallace, who was held to one catch in his Dolphins debut, was much more active Sunday. He caught nine passes for 115 yards while Clay had five receptions for 109 yards.
Indy’s T.Y. Hilton had six catches for a career-high 124 yards.
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