The Miami Dolphins are now 4-0 when I do a "reasons why Miami will prevail" piece. There are plenty of reasons why Miami will prevail over Indianapolis Colts, but this time, I'm only going to focus on two.
Why? Wisdom Tooth surgery that I had on Wednesday. I'm a shade of what I usually am thanks to the constant pain in my lower left jaw and the painkillers being used to dull said pain.
But if Ryan Tannehill could take most of the first-team snaps this week despite getting his knee drained twice (per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports), I think I can crank out an article explaining why the Dolphins will beat the Colts on Sunday.
(In case you're interested, I will give the live game grades on Sunday, as I have in every other game of the season.)
So let's take a look at the two reasons why the Dolphins will beat the Colts, and the only two reasons I need that convince me.
Let's compare the defenses of these two teams.
Miami's defense is ranked 22nd in the league in average yards allowed, as teams gain 363 yards per game. Indianapolis' defense is ranked above Miami in that category at 19th, allowing 350.4 yards per game.
So Indianapolis' defense is better right? No...by far no. Yards doesn't tell the whole story, especially when you consider that Miami has spent most of the season playing from ahead (they've been ahead in every game played this season at one point, yes even against the Texans when they led 3-0 prior to their second quarter from hell).
So, what does matter? Points. Miami is ranked fifth in the NFL in points allowed per game, allowing 18 points per game. Indianapolis on the other hand is ranked 22nd in that same category, allowing 24.4 points per game.
Now you see the difference? It gets deeper than that.
Miami's play against the pass started off badly, but in the last few weeks has rounded into shape. They still rank 27th against the pass, allowing 281 passing yards per game, however I again point to the fact that Miami has held the lead in every game they've played this year, forcing teams to pass more against the Dolphins.
Taking a look here, you will see how well the Dolphins have actually done against the pass. They have sacked the quarterback 22 times this season while also picking up eight interceptions.
Now let's match this up against Indianapolis' offensive line, which has allowed Andrew Luck to get sacked 18 times, and according to profootballfocus.com has allowed 94 pressures on Luck.
This goes to show how good Andrew Luck really is, however the Colts have only faced two defenses that you might consider to be as good as Miami or even better: the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears.
Both of those games wound up in losses for the Colts.
But Miami's defense alone isn't the only reason why they will leave Indianapolis with the victory.
2. Miami's Running Game vs. Indianapolis' Run Defense
The Dolphins running game really hasn't been the same since September. Granted the Dolphins were 3-0 in October with the running game struggling, but they still did decently enough to keep their average 115.9 yards per game.
The Dolphins offense is actually a very balanced one, as they have dropped back to pass 52.6 percent of the time, while running 47.4 percent of the time.
But the Dolphins coaching staff has done a great job in each game adapting their game plan to the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. The Colts have a major weakness against the run, where they rank 27th, allowing an average of 137.4 rushing yards per game.
This means there's a good chance that Miami will run the ball more than pass, considering the advantage Miami has over Indianapolis.
But then we go back to the balance Miami has prided their offense on this season, and their powerful running game opens things up for the passing game. If Ryan Tannehill is in the game, the balance will be closer to 50-50 in run-to-pass ratio. Without former Dolphin Vontae Davis (out this week with a left knee injury per NFL.com), Miami will target Indianapolis' secondary sans Davis, as usual using the play-action pass that has been effective for Tannehill all season.
I could go on with many reasons why the Miami Dolphins will defeat the Indianapolis Colts, but these two are the biggest, and most important reasons. There are reasons why the Colts will likely prevail, but upon looking these up, I've noticed that the biggest one has to do with Indy's home-field advantage.
Their basketball team had great home-court advantage too, I remember how that ended up.
Yes I know football and basketball are two completely different sports, the Dolphins and Heat are two completely different teams, as are the Pacers and the Colts. However the image of a team from Miami coming into Indianapolis and leaving the hometown fans disappointed after a loss is one you will see repeated come Sunday.
Miami 27, Indianapolis 17