This Sunday, the 5-5 Miami Dolphins are playing the also 5-5 Indianapolis Colts in a crucial game for both teams. With these two squads still burgeoning hopes of playing in the playoffs this season. It’s vital they get a win here, with that here’s my preview for this game.
This might be the best that Andrew Luck’s played in his career so far. In Luck’s last 5 games, he’s thrown 17 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions for over 1,200 yards. He looks like he’s completely over the shoulder injury that kept him out of the entire of last season. He looks like the salient prospect that the Colts drafted number one overall in 2012. If Luck keeps on this pace then there is every chance he could be back in the Pro Bowl and maybe even the playoffs.
One reason why Luck’s been playing so well has been the play from the offensive line. Made up by Anthony Castonzo, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Mark Glowinksi and Braden Smith. This line hasn’t given up a sack in 214 passing attempts and has blocked for Colts to rush for 752 in their last five games. Going up against this group will be a tough ask for Cameron Wake & co on Sunday, if they fail to get pressure on Luck it will be a long day for Miami.
On the other side of the ball for the Colts, rookie Darius Leonard has been outstanding this year. Leonard has amassed 108 tackles, 5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles so far this season. By playing so amazingly well, teammates like Jabaal Sheard and Margus Hunt have benefitted. This is a team riding a 4 game win streak, playing at home and looking to get back into the playoff hunt; so I expect the Colts to roll through the Dolphins.
The Dolphins finally have Ryan Tannehill back under centre. He’s missed the past five games due to a shoulder injury, and Brock Osweiler has played instead. Watching Osweiler play was about as fun and exciting as repeatedly stubbing your toe over and over again. Dolphins fans will be excited to watch Tannehill on Sunday. But I’m sure slightly worried he could get injured at any moment.
One standout performer for the Dolphins this season has been linebacker Kiko Alonso. He’s been playing better than he was during his 2013 defensive rookie of the campaign. With 89 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions if he’s playing well then it’ll definitely give the Dolphins a better chance of winning. However, Miami needs Minak Fitzpatrick and Xavien Howard to be at the top of their respective games to stop the Colts from raining points down upon them.
Frank Gore comes into this game now ranked 4th all-time in rushing yards. He has also surpassed Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith for the most seasons with at least 500 yards rushing. Gore is not like his younger self but still brings an element to Miami’s offence. I believe he will be in the Hall of Fame when he retires if he ever does.
In the end, I think the Colts will win this game convincingly. Andrew Luck will connect with Eric Ebron for another touchdown, while T.Y Hilton runs rampant through the Dolphins secondary. The Dolphins, playing Tannehill who’s not 100% will fall to 5-6 and realistically out of the playoff race on another hot day for Luck & Co.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 36 – 15 Miami Dolphins
Alex Riley is a 49ers fan who’s followed the game since 2010. He’s currently at the University of Leicester. You can find him on Twitter at @NFLRiley and his blog at www.rileynfl.wordpress.com
Image from Zimbio.com