TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 9: Miami Dolphins At Indianapolis Colts

Miami
Indianapolis
Miami Dolphins v Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans
Quarterbacks
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.
Offense
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.
Defense
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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl LI Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots

    The Patriots and Falcons meet in Houston in a battle of the league’s number 1 scoring offense and number 1 scoring defense.

  2. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Miami

Weather Forecast 24/7
Moving U To Stay Fit
CBS4 Supports Ride DCC

Listen Live