The Indianapolis Colts head south to face the Miami Dolphins with a thin chance of keeping the season alive.
The Colts and Dolphins were both preseason favorites to make noise in the playoffs, and even represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. But both team’s season fell apart
For the Dolphins, it was mostly coaching a trend that has continued even after Joe Philbin was fired. Miami spent heavily in free agency to bring in Ndamukong Suh, a move that really hasn’t worked out for the Dolphins.
The Colts season was derailed by infighting between coaching and front office staff, gaping holes on the roster, and injuries. But it is safe to say that this has been a very disappointing season for both franchises.
Here’s what to be on the lookout for this Sunday:
- Matt Zombie. Somehow the Colts have figured out how to reanimate a corpse and make him play quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck, who is apparently tougher than you will ever be, is opting to take the field with back injuries, rib injuries, minimal protection and being 40 years old. Hasselbeck really had no business being on a football field last week, and even stated he didn’t have anything left in the tank after the loss to Houston. It is doubtful the protection will hold up all day, and it would be surprising if Hasselbeck makes it through the game. The sad thing is that even if Hasselbeck’s arm falls off, he’s still a better option than Charlie Whitehurst.
- Speaking of keeping Hasselbeck alive, can the offensive line hold up? The good news is that Miami sucks at getting to the quarterback, ranking 24th in the NFL. Suh can eat the interior of the Colts line alive, and they’ll need to treat him like they do J.J. Watt (Suh can wreck a game, when he’s not freelancing).
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- The Deep Ball? This week, T.Y. Hilton expressed his displeasure with the play-calling over the past few weeks. He said the Colts weren’t taking enough deep shots, and he has a point. The Colts have three wide receivers who can all burn their defenders off the line, and an offense that was built on big plays. More deep passing would help open up running lanes for Frank Gore, and give players more room to work with underneath. Hilton might get his wish as the Dolphins are 31st against the pass this season.
- Points? The Colts offense has been flat out terrible the past three weeks, failing to score more than 16 points in any of those games. The Dolphins aren’t much better, posting 13, 24, and 14 over the past three weeks. The Colts are averaging just over 20 points per game while the Dolphins have just under 20. This game is going to be ugly as both teams seem to have give up on the season. Just like last week, it is going to be two bad offenses struggling to score and making fans of both teams sad.
- The Other Game. The Texans are at the Titans this week. Both teams are without their starting QBs, as Brandon Weeden with be in for the Texans and Zach Mettenberger for the Titans. Both team’s play at 1:00 PM. The Colts need to win out and have the Texans lose a game to make the postseason. Regardless of where the Colts are, making the playoffs is still an accomplishment and getting to the Super Bowl is as much luck as it is skill and talent. Get to the playoffs, and anything can happen (probably). Plus the Colts wouldn’t want other teams in the AFC South thinking they can win the division.
This is a tough game to pick, as both team’s seem to be over the whole “winning” thing this season. The Dolphins have to have the edge just by being at home, they also have a healthier QB. Every game from here on out is a “must win” for the Colts, but this team just feels as though they don’t have anything left to give.