Let’s rewind back to November 5, 2012 to Lucas Oil Stadium where rookie quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck met for the first time. As we all remember, the Dolphins lost a close one 23x20 in what I like to call Luck’s Houdini Game. I can’t remember many contests in which the opposing QB “almost” got sacked so many times. Luck’s uncanny knack for escaping and avoiding sacks was highlighted in this loss. Watching the game again I counted over ten times in which Dolphins defenders should’ve had a sack and not only did Luck miraculously and repeatedly dodge the Dolphins defenders, but he ended up making some incredible throws for completions and first downs. Oh yeah, and this was the game Andrew Luck broke the rookie passing record held by Cam Newton for most yards in a game by hitting on (yikes) 30 of 48 passes, and converting 13 of 19 third-down for 433 yards! Yes my friends, that equates to a QB rating of 105.64!
"We knew we'd have to disrupt him (Luck) a little bit. But we weren't detailed enough, we weren't disciplined enough on our rush," Miami coach Joe Philbin said. "When you have the No. 1 defense on third down, and when a team converts 69 percent of the time on third down, it's a different feel."
And Ryan Tannehill also had one of his best games his rookie season going 22-of-38 for 290 yards with one TD and no interceptions with a QB Rating of 90.89. Another interesting stat from this game is that Nolan Carroll led all defenders on both teams with ten solo tackles. You know that can’t be good thing when your DB leads the team in tackles.
Now fast forward to 2013 for week 2 of the NFL season where these two teams meet again in Indianapolis.
Although it’s early in the season, I believe that this could be the game that seals the Dolphins playoff faith. Having the head to head tiebreaker over the Colts is huge. Beating AFC opponents that are in direct competition for playoff spots is crucial if we are to make a serious run to the postseason. I’d rather lose to NFC teams like the Saints as long as we beat our AFC brethren. It’s not only the win and loses that count, it’s the wins against AFC opponents that ultimately decide who goes on and who stays home at the end of the season.
There are many keys to this upcoming contest against the Colts, but the most important one might be how the improved Dolphins pass rush will fare against Luck. If we can play near the level that they did against the Browns, the Dolphins have a great chance to beat the Colts. It all starts and ends with Andrew Luck, and getting to him early and often will be decisive if the Dolphins are to win this one.
Oh, and the rushing game for the Dolphins has to do a “little” better than they did in their home opener. I understand that the offense line did not open many holes and that Cleveland’s DL is stout. However, both Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas displayed the elusiveness of a deer caught in the headlights. Some fans were discussing on talk radio that even Jim Brown or OJ Simpson wouldn’t have done any better. Really? C’mon now, do you really believe that if AP was running for the Dolphins on Sunday that we would’ve ended up with 10 yards rushing?
Anyway, this year’s contest should be another highly competitive and exciting game. If the Dolphins can pull this one off, we’ll be in a great position to fight for a playoff spot down the road.
LET’S GO DOLPHINS!!!