MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Teams that are trying to lose aren’t supposed to win. Someone forgot to tell the Miami Dolphins (and the New York Jets) last Sunday. The Fins put one in the win column with a 26-18 take-down of Gang Green, which really should be changed to ‘Gangrene,’ given their rotten state and week-to-week decomposition.
With the Week 9 win, the Dolphins elevate their record to 1-7 and move out of the AFC East cellar, thanks to the tiebreaker. Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown flashes of Fitzmagic since taking over for Josh Rosen back in Week 6. He almost willed the team to a win over the Redskins and held a lead over the Buffalo Bills going into the fourth quarter the following week.
“Miami does have a fighter’s chance,” according to CBS New York sports anchor Otis Livingston. “Ryan Fitzpatrick, he can throw you into a game, he can throw you out of a game. We’ve seen that over the last few years, him being that wild card.”
This Sunday they’ll face a more formidable opponent in a less friendly environment. The Indianapolis Colts remain one of the season’s bigger surprises, even after losing a heart-breaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jacoby Brissett has stepped up after Andrew Luck’s retirement, carrying the team to five wins and the top of the AFC North. He threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns in a particularly impressive win over the Houston Texans. Overall, Brissett has tossed 14 touchdown passes against just three interceptions.
He’s had plenty of help, of course. Marlon Mack has piled up 679 yards so far on 4.3 yards per carry. T.Y. Hilton leads the team in catches (32) and receiving yards (360).
So can the Dolphins make it two in a row?
“I give the Dolphins a fighting chance, only because Jacoby Brissett,” says Livingston. “We’re not sure if he’s going to be there at quarterback. Brian Hoyer will probably have to take over if he’s not there. And also wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is questionable for that game. They don’t know if he’s going to be able to play. That’s one of their biggest weapons.”
Brissett suffered an MCL sprain that forced him to leave the Steelers game and is questionable this Sunday. Hilton suffered a calf injury in practice this week that will likely keep him out against the Dolphins.
Brian Hoyer is coming off a solid three-touchdown showing in relief of Brissett. And wide receiver Zach Pascal has found the end zone four times this season. But a Hoyer-Pascal combination doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of defensive coordinators and secondaries.
That leaves Livingston doubting the Dolphins’ chances of winning again, despite the Colts’ injuries. “I’m going to go with the Colts,” Livingston confirms. “I think the Colts are going to be able to pull it out. They’re at home. They are the better team. I think, even without those guys in the lineup, they will have what it takes to win.”
The Dolphins play the Colts Sunday @ 4:05 ET on CBS.