Miami Dolphins vs. Indianapolis Colts: Next Great NFL Rivalry Starts in Week 9

Thomas Galicia@thomasgaliciaFeatured Columnist IVOctober 31, 2012

The last time both quarterbacks were in Indianapolis was for the combine. On Sunday they meet for a possible playoff spot.
The last time both quarterbacks were in Indianapolis was for the combine. On Sunday they meet for a possible playoff spot.Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

On Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. the Miami Dolphins will take on the Indianapolis Colts in a showdown between two of the most surprising teams in the NFL

Both teams are 4-3 despite being led by a rookie quarterback. Both teams have defenses that are better than their stats would suggest. Both teams got blown out by true Super Bowl contenders in Week 1, only to show improvement in each subsequent game.

This will be the last time in a while that the two will face each other at 1:00 p.m. on a Sunday, for their futures should guarantee a perennial Sunday Night Football slot throughout the next decade.

As evidenced by the AFC's playoff standings, there's a lot at riding at stake in this weekend's epic clash at Lucas Oil Stadium. 

Currently, the Dolphins have the fifth seed in the AFC while the Colts are slotted in at No. 6. Considering that these two teams finished a combined 8-24 last season, this is quite the turnaround.

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How these teams got there is a very similar road. Youth at quarterback is the first step, as it seems each franchise has found their quarterback of the future. 

No one is really surprised about how it all turned out with Andre Luck. There's a reason why both Colts and Dolphins fans cheered against their teams last season, and it was to land this man in the draft.

Luck has already led the Colts to two come-from-behind victories this season, and is already someone who can be trusted with the game on the line. His performance against Green Bay will go down as one of the best comebacks from a rookie quarterback in quite a while, and could almost be considered Montana-esque.

This weekend only added to Luck's lore in Indy, as he drove the Colts to a victory in overtime against the Tennessee Titans on the road. What's telling isn't just the fact that he did it, but that there was little doubt once the Colts won the coin toss. Luck found running back Vick Ballard on a screen pass, which Ballard took and ran into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

Ryan Tannehill came close to a comeback moment like that against the Jets in Week 3; however, Carpenter missed the field goal that would've won the game. While Tannehill doesn't have the same late-game heroics as Luck, he has shown the poise to carry his team.

He has the highest single-game mark among rookies in yardage this season (431 yards against Arizona in Week 4), and his signature pass came on an 80-yard strike to Brian Hartline that went for a touchdown.

Tannehill's status for the game is still up in the air, but he is optimistic about playing, as reported by Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post. This would be a great preview to show the NFL what is to come.

If you're not getting the Colts vs. Dolphins on local television but have NFL Sunday Ticket, this game will be a fun one to click onto. You will get two good and young teams hungry for respect, a pair of coaching staffs that have been great thus far this season and an excellent game that will likely come down to the final minute. 

The future of the NFL is now, and it starts on Sunday afternoon.