MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – Yet another frustrating Miami Dolphins season is entering its home stretch.
While three straight losses have put a sour taste in the mouths of the Indianapolis Colts, they can still win the AFC South with a favorable turn of events over the last two weeks of the regular season.
Matt Hasselbeck wishes he only had that issue as the veteran quarterback is dealing with multiple injuries heading into Sunday’s tilt with the host Dolphins.
“Now is the time to be mentally and physically tough,” said the 40-year-old Hasselbeck, who has been plagued by back, shoulder, neck, rib and jaw issues during the team’s losing skid. “It gets challenging. We’ve lost a few games. The atmosphere is not ideal. It can be a little toxic. So we just need guys to stick together, toughen up mentally and physically, and fight.”
The Colts fell a game behind first-place Houston after dropping a 16-10 decision to the Texans last week.
Miami, which is officially eliminated from postseason contention, lost for the sixth time in eight contests with a 30-14 setback to San Diego last week.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Dolphins -1.5. O/U: 44
ABOUT THE COLTS (6-8): T.Y. Hilton took a direct shot at the coaching staff this week when the wideout told the Indianapolis Star that “the throws have been there, but we just haven’t been calling them. It’s more the play-calling.”
The Miami product told the newspaper that he’d like to see more downfield routes from Rob Chudzinski, who was promoted to the team’s play-caller after the Colts fired offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett could receive that wish when they face Miami’s 30th-ranked passing defense, which was shredded for 311 yards and three scores by Chargers veteran Philip Rivers last week.
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (5-9): After accumulating seven touchdowns during a three-game stretch in November, Ryan Tannehill has reached the end zone only twice this month and thrown for just 538 yards in three outings.
The fourth-year quarterback has found a familiar target in shifty wideout Jarvis Landry, who needs just three receptions to become the first Miami player to reach the 100-catch plateau.
The pair could work together to accomplish that feat against Indianapolis’ 29th-ranked defense, which is yielding an average of 267 yards through the air.
- Indianapolis will see Houston clinch the AFC South should the latter win one of its final two games.
- Dolphins C Mike Pouncey was invited to his third Pro Bowl while the Colts did not have a player named to the event for the first time since 1997.
- Indianapolis RB Frank Gore, who played collegiately at Miami, is averaging 41.4 yards per game over the last five weeks.
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Watch Miami take on the Indianapolis Colts this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station!
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