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Three Takeaways: Dolphins 24, Colts 20

Posted Sep 15, 2013

Former quarterback John Congemi breaks down the 24-10 win at Indianapolis.



For just the second time in 10 years, the Miami Dolphins have begun the season 2-0 after today's 24-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

It was an impressive win from nearly all angles for Miami, from Ryan Tannehill's performance, to rookie Caleb Sturgis coming through in the clutch and the defense finishing the day off. There are certainly plenty of things to build upon for the Dolphins as they prepare to face off against the Atlanta Falcons next weekend.

Here are my three observations from the win over Indianapolis:

1) Wallace Gets Involved: It was nice to see quarterback Ryan Tannehill look early and often to his play-making wide receiver, Mike Wallace. It was clear that the intention was to get the football to Wallace on the opening drive to affect not only the Indy defense, but to create space for Wallace in the passing game. The Dolphins didn’t waste any time, because on the first 3rd and 3, they found Wallace on an under route for 13 yards, then found Wallace again for 15 on a play action pass that led to the wide receiver screen and an 18-yard Miami Dolphins touchdown to open up the scoring. Maybe one of the better plays on the afternoon was when Tannehill stepped up in the pocket and hit Wallace on a 34-yard strike that went down to the 1-yard line that set up the Charles Clay touchdown that would end up being the game winner.

2) Grimes Comes Up Big: Veteran cornerback Brent Grimes showed what he was made of for most of the afternoon against a quality quarterback with multiple options at wide receiver. Grimes was able to get his hands up multiple times to break up would be completions and bounce back from an Andrew Luck to TY Hilton 47-yard reception. He was able to come back in the 4th quarter against veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne and step in front of a deep pass for his first interception on the regular season with the Dolphins and the 14th of his career. Grimes was one of those playmakers that was signed in the offseason specifically for situations like he found himself in today, where he had to make a play to change the momentum of the game on the defensive side of the football.

3) Philbin Gets His Wish: There were plenty of things to improve on in this offseason for the Miami Dolphins after finishing with a 7-9 record. Two of those things that head coach Joe Philbin preached about was finishing the second quarter on a positive note and trying to finish games, no matter what team (offense or defense) was on the field. Both of those themes were able to come true against Indy that led to a 24-20 victory. Rookie place kicker Caleb Sturgis was able to ignore a timeout that attempted to ice him with two seconds to go before halftime by Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and stepped up to hit a 54-yard field goal that might have been good from 64 to tie the game at 17 going into halftime. That gave confidence to a Miami team that played well in the first half and didn’t deserve to be down three points going into halftime.

And then at the end of the game, not only did the defense and Brent Grimes come up with a huge turnover, but the Miami Dolphins' offense and the much maligned running game was able to convert on 3rd and 8 with a Lamar Miller run off the right side to ultimately squash the chances of the Indianapolis Colts getting the football back. Those are two signs of a much improved football team that’s 2-0 heading home to face Atlanta.
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