5 Reasons Why the Miami Dolphins Will Beat Indianapolis in Week 2
Probably not, and I will wind up getting flack for it, but I'm going to try my hardest to do so anyways.
It's not really that hard to find five reasons why the Dolphins could beat the Colts; Indianapolis is a mediocre team for the reasons that I will explain in this article, and in most categories, Miami is better than the Colts.
So come with me as we look at why the Dolphins will...sorry...can defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2.
1. A Weak Indianapolis Run Defense Gives Miami's RBs a Shot at Redemption
Man was that terrible.
The Dolphins are ranked last in the NFL in rushing yards, gaining 20 yards on 23 carries. The performance of the offensive line against the Browns' defensive front was appalling, and had it not been for Tannehill's Marino-esque quick release and Pennington-esque decision-making throughout the afternoon, the Dolphins' offense would've been one of the worst in the NFL.
Actually, the credit for the offense working goes not only to Tannehill, but also to his receivers, and that includes Mike Wallace, who despite his one catch for 15 yards, was definitely missed in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Back to Miami's running game, which should see a bounce back against an Indianapolis team whose front seven is as intimidating as a cute puppy video.
The Colts' allowed Terrelle Pryor to make plays with his feet, as he rushed for 112 yards on 13 carries. You could say that Indianapolis' anemic pass rush has something to do with that (and we will get to that later), however, the fact that they couldn't seem to tackle him once he passed the line of scrimmage is telling about their run defense as well.
Yes, the Raiders did throw some designed runs from Pryor in there, and the Colts couldn't stop those either.
Darren McFadden was a bit anemic, though, as he rushed for 48 yards on 17 attempts. That 2.82 average is a lot better than Miami was against Cleveland's defense, and if they can even rush for that low of an average, it should open up the passing game for the Dolphins.
Speaking of the Dolphins' passing game matched up with Indianapolis' pass defense...
2. Indy's Pass Rush Can Make Miami's Offensive Line Look Good
You see that big guy behind Terrelle Pryor?
That's Robert Mathis. He IS Indianapolis' pass rush.
Just a reminder: It's 2013, not 2009 when he was at his peak.
Mathis is still a great player and a pass-rushing threat, but he's in the same situation that Cameron Wake found himself in last season, where he's the only real pass-rushing threat on the team.
The only difference is Mathis isn't as good as Wake, and he doesn't have the same dominant defensive line that Wake has with Randy Starks and Paul Soliai.
One would expect Mathis to have a field day against Miami's porous offensive line in light of their poor play recently.
I don't see that happening.
Instead, expect the Dolphins offensive line to continue to gel and show great improvement against an otherwise bad Colts' front seven, leading to Ryan Tannehill getting plenty of time in the pocket to find his receivers.
This should give Tannehill ample time to pull off something you will see in the next slide.
3. Mike Wallace vs. Vontae Davis: Advantage Wallace
With Indianapolis' anemic pass rush, Tannehill should have time.
With time, Mike Wallace should get open.
When Vontae Davis is covering him, Wallace should break through for a few big plays on Sunday.
I'm expecting this to be Wallace's breakout day, as all of the factors are pointing to it. When he spoke to me on the last Dolphins Central Radio episode, Colts analyst Nate Dunleavy even pointed out that Davis was "just okay last season" and he was "uneven", calling him "the No. 1 corner on one of the worst defenses in the league," then added that the Colts' "drastically overpaid for Davis."
Keep in mind, Miami technically traded Vontae Davis for Dion Jordan.
Davis vs. Wallace was also a major mismatch the two times they faced each other, with Wallace combining for four catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Granted, Jason Allen was covering Wallace on one of those touchdowns, however Davis vs. Wallace has still been a mismatch, and apparently remains that way.
If Mike Sherman doesn't call a few plays to take advantage of this matchup that overwhelmingly favors the Dolphins, I'd like to see him fired come Monday Morning.
If Wallace drops those passes, he ought to be ashamed of himself too, and if Tannehill overthrows him, Ryan should run the steps of Sun Life Stadium.
This matchup is too much in Miami's favor to squander and likely will be taken advantage of from the opening kickoff.
We have reached halftime here while pointing out the five reasons why the Dolphins will beat the Colts, so now it's time for some musical refreshment mixed in with my Week 2 picks.
Today's song: Plush by Stone Temple Pilots. It's the acoustic version.
HOME TEAM IN CAPS.
New York Jets (+12) over NEW ENGLAND
The Jets defense is going to make Brady and the Patriots' offense work harder than anyone expected, and the Patriots aren't exactly going to unleash the kitchen sink. This line is way too high, should be at 10, which is by how many points I see the Pats beating the Jets.
Washington (+7.5) over GREEN BAY PACKERS
Another game where the line is too high. Expect a better Skins' offense to make this a closer game than Vegas seems to expect. Packers win, but Washington keeps it under a touchdown.
Cleveland (+6.5) over BALTIMORE
As you can see, I'm not picking the favorites to cover, just win. Browns vs. Ravens is no exception, as the Browns' front seven should hold Ray Rice under 100 yards, and the game should be an ugly win for the Ravens in their home opener.
ATLANTA (-7) over St. Louis
Finally I pick a home favorite to cover this week.
PHILADELPHIA (-7.5) over San Diego
You expect the Chargers, coming off of an emotional home-opener loss, to travel across the country and win a 1 p.m. East Coast game against a Chip Kelly-coached team with their crazy fast offense?
I don't even think this game will be close. The Texans offense had the Chargers defense gasping for air at the end of a game played at night in San Diego. A day game in Philadelphia with the weather still being fairly humid on the East Coast, plus the time zone change? All the makings of a blowout for the Eagles.
Minnesota (+6.5) over CHICAGO
I believe a little bit too much in Adrian Petersen, don't I?
HOUSTON (-9.5) over Tennessee
I have too little faith in the Titans, don't I?
BUFFALO (+3) over Carolina
Miami (+3) over INDIANAPOLIS
I just started writing this article and I'm starting to believe that the Dolphins can pull this off.
I still have two more reasons to go, too!
But ugh, that one reason...we will get to that later.
Dallas (+2.5) over KANSAS CITY
I won't be surprised if the Chiefs win this game, but Dallas is the better team and clearly looks like they have a revamped defense built to cause turnovers.
New Orleans (-3) over TAMPA BAY
How will the dumbest team in the NFL manage to blow this game?
They won't even have to blow it, Drew Brees and Co. will take it.
ARIZONA (PK) over Detroit
This game will be so much fun to watch.
OAKLAND (-5.5) over Jacksonville
This game will be such a chore to watch.
Denver (+4.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS
If this game were three months from now, I'd go with the Giants. But in September? Expect more Peyton mastery.
SEATTLE (-2.5) over San Francisco
The road team will not win any of the games they play against each other.
CINCINNATI (-6.5) over Pittsburgh
Here's your "beginning of a new era" game where the Bengals wind up blowing out the Steelers.
4. Colts Offensive Line Too Poreous to Matchup with Miami's Front Seven
Here are some statistics I must pass on that will come in handy come Sunday.
In Week 1, the Indianapolis Colts' offensive line allowed quarterback Andrew Luck to be hit eight times, getting sacked four of those times.
That was against a Raiders' front seven that likely won't have too many games where they record more than two sacks.
The Dolphins, as you might remember, rushed Brandon Weeden 24 times, hitting him 16 of those times and recording six sacks.
Will they rush the Colts as often as they did Cleveland? They will have to because the secondary for Miami will be in a tough bind trying to defend not only Reggie Wayne (who will have Brent Grimes on him), but also the speedy Darius Heyward-Bey and T.Y. Hilton.
Last year, Miami's pass rush managed to live in the Colts' pocket, but Luck always seemed to elude them. This time around, with better pass rushers like Dion Jordan and Derrick Shelby along with speedier linebackers in coverage, Miami should pick up more sacks, stopping more drives.
They will have to, for this will be Miami's only hope of slowing down Luck and the Colts' offense.
5. Indianapolis Has Spent Too Much Time Living on the Edge
If I were making an NFL power rankings, I'd have the Dolphins ahead of the Colts by a good eight spots (Dolphins at 13, Colts at 21) because I thought the Dolphins' victory was much more impressive.
You want to start off the season strong, and a 13-point victory on the road is the way to do it.
A win may be a win, but do you really want to have to come from behind every week? That seems to be the Colts M.O., and while it worked against Miami last season, and against Oakland last week, eventually that luck (no pun intended) has to run out.
I'm often accused of being too negative and too hard on the Dolphins, but you don't want to see what I would say about the Colts if I had to cover them. Talent-wise, they're at the bottom of the league, and their new offensive coordinator's game plan doesn't seem to take advantage of the talent on the offense.
Add in some questionable signings last season, and you might say that this Colts team is lucky to have Andrew Luck. He won at least six games for the Colts last year, and is single-handedly responsible for beating the Raiders thanks to a fourth quarter come from behind drive.
At home, against the Raiders.
Let that sink in.
I'm not saying this as a cynical Dolphins featured columnist, I'm not just saying this as an NFL writer, and I'm sure Colts fans will call me a "hater" for saying this.
Point your anger at your local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, which ran this headline: "Indianapolis Colts links: Payback is coming if Colts 'insist on spending every Sunday on the brink'."
It is a collection of links that echo the same theme: the Colts' luck will eventually run out.
Why not have it happen this Sunday? Why can't it be against the Dolphins?
Reasons Why Miami Might Lose to Indianapolis
(Why isn't Aaron Rodgers on this list? He's 0-1 against the Dolphins, and that was before Miami hired his old offensive coordinator as their head coach.)
Luck is actually the one that scares me the most because he has the least around him of the five, yet does the most with what he has. He also seems to pull a move right out of thin air and avoids sacks without even leaving the pocket.
This guy has me shook. Hopefully he doesn't have the Dolphins' defense shook.
I doubt he does, especially when the truth of the matter is this: He's the only reason I thought the Colts would win when I first started writing this slideshow.
He's also the only reason why this game will be close.
This Colts team isn't a good one, and Miami will attack their weaknesses and wind up leaving Indianapolis with a victory in a shootout where Luck manages to throw for 350+ yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions while being sacked four times.
Ryan Tannehill, by the way, will throw for 300+ yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Dolphins 32, Colts 24