Week 9: Miami Dolphins At Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
The Dolphins had to turn to backup quarterback Matt Moore when rookie Ryan Tannehill went out with a left knee injury against the Jets. Tannehill expects to return to the lineup against the Colts, but head coach Joe Philbin may take a cautious approach and go with Moore. The backup quarterback lacks big-play characteristics but he is an accurate passer.
Winner The Colts know that Andrew Luck will be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in the future, but he is certainly going through growing pains that nearly all rookies face. Luck grew quite a bit in Week Eight when he led the Colts to an overtime victory on the road against the Titans. Luck has tremendous physical talent, but his guts and intelligence may help him even more.
The Dolphins want to make sure Reggie Bush gets his touches every week since he is the most talented player on the offensive side of the ball. Bush has 493 rushing yards and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Wide receiver Brian Hartline has caught 33 passes for 555 yards, but has only found the endzone once.
Winner The Colts have a balanced offense, ranking ninth overall and getting the complementary running game needed to take pressure off of Luck. Donald Brown is the team’s primary ball carrier, but it was Vick Ballard who scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime with his spectacular effort in Week Nine. Reggie Wayne is still one of the best go-to receivers and Donnie Avery is a solid complementary player.
Winner The Dolphins’ defense continues to play well. They didn’t give up a touchdown to the Jets until the game was well in hand. The Dolphins are led by linebacker Karlos Dansby and defensive end Cameron Wake. Both players are solid and they make sure the Dolphins defense is well-positioned.
The Colts defense has been somewhat soft this season, but they were solid in the second half against the Titans in Week Eight, limiting them to three points in the second half. Linebacker Jerrell Freeman took charge against Tennessee, registering 14 tackles and ranging sideline to sideline to make plays.
Special Teams
Winner The Dolphins are not getting much help from their special teams. Dan Carpenter has made 10-of-14 FG attempts this season and is 0-for-2 on attempts of 50 yards or more. Punter Brandon Fields is averaging 51.4 yards per punt. Marcus Thigpen has already returned one punt for a touchdown.
Winner Adam Vinatieri had a field goal attempt blocked against the Titans and he has not been quite the sure thing he was in the past. He has missed four FG attempts this season. Pat McAfee has dropped nine of his 31 punts inside the 20.

The Winner Is

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
Winner Indianapolis
3 out of 4

The Dolphins appeared to be one of the worst teams in football at the start of the season, but rookie head coach Joe Philbin’s calm and reasoned approach is having a solid impact with this team. The Colts are an emotional team that is looking to Luck for leadership. He is coming off a strong overtime win on the road and should get unquestioned support from Colts fans.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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