The Colts defeated the Miami Dolphins on Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal, 27-14. This game was not pretty. The Colts trailed 24-14 in the fourth quarter with little momentum. Andrew Luck, despite any struggles he had in this game, helped the Colts rally back and defeat the scrappy Dolphins. Adam Vinatieri even missed a field goal badly early in the game, scraping the ground. He has been more inconsistent this season but came up clutch when his team needed him the most.
Andrew Luck’s stat line of 343 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions certainly doesn’t look too bad but it was clear that Luck was off for much of the game. He threw two boneheaded interceptions, forcing passes into coverage and missing throws he normally makes. Still, Luck stepped up in the fourth quarter, escaping pressure and converting on a third and nine to set up Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal. Luck’s three touchdown streak continues, tying Peyton Manning for the second longest of all time.
Two of the Colts’ streaks held up today but the sack streak did not. A Cameron Wake strip sack ended the streak that lasted over 200 snaps but that was the only sack on Luck all day. The offensive line certainly did not have a bad day without Ryan Kelly, only allowing two QB hits and fueling 118 combined rushing yards. T.Y. Hilton had another excellent performance, catching seven passes for 125 yards. Eric Ebron returned to the scoreboard after his hiatus last week, catching two more touchdowns including the one that tied the game. Marlon Mack left the game with a concussion in the fourth.
In his first game back, Ryan Tannehill was solid, throwing for 204 yards and two touchdowns (despite two dropped picks by the Colts.) His 74-yard prayer to Leonte Carroo was a microcosm of the Colts’ day at large. Frank Gore played well in his return to Indianapolis, netting 77 total yards.
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The Colts’ defense played well at times in this game and at others, the Dolphins cut through them like hot butter. Luckily, the defense stepped up in the fourth quarter, halting multiple Dolphin drives as the Colts were mounting their comeback. Despite leaving with an injury on the first play, Darius Leonard led the Colts with 10 tackles, a sack, a QB hit, and a tackle for loss. Quincy Wilson played another good game, dropping a would-be interception. Anthony Walker filled nicely next to Darius Leonard, netting nine tackles, two for loss, and a dropped pick-six.
The Colts did not play like a playoff football team today but with this win, the Colts have won five straight and are in the thick of the AFC playoff race. As it currently stands, the Colts are tied the sixth seed with the Ravens in the AFC playoffs. In order to ensure a spot in the playoffs, the Colts need to take this momentum into Jacksonville next week.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.