1) Dolphins Didn’t Finish
The Dolphins explosive start and 10-point second half lead had me convinced that the ending would be a positive one for Miami. But in the end, it was Colts quarterback Andrew Luck who made the game-changing play that put Indy in position for the game-winning field goal and a three-point victory. The Miami offense failed to find ways to stay on the field twice in the fourth quarter, and those missed opportunities were all the Colts needed to take control of the outcome. Both Dolphins possessions ended with three and outs, one with just over eight minutes to play in the game and the second with just 4:16 remaining in the game. Indianapolis controlled the fourth quarter with 11 first downs and scoring the last 13 points of the game.
2) Ball Hawking Howard and Co.
Cornerback Xavier Howard continued to provide game-changing plays for the Dolphins secondary. His two first half interceptions of Andrew Luck didn’t turn into points for Miami, but helped keep the game tied at 14 heading into halftime. The Dolphins defense also forced a first half fumble when linebacker Raekwon McMillian rocked Jordan Wilkins and safety T.J. McDonald recovered at the 47 yard line of the Colts. Special teams also contributed when linebacker Kiko Alonso broke through the middle of the Colts line and partially blocked a punt that provided excellent field position for the Miami offense. Not all turnovers lead directly to points, but this team needs to play better complementary football, especially on the road, if they expect a winning outcome.
3) The Combo of Gore and Drake
The running back position was a bright spot in the disappointing loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. Both Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake provided explosive plays and added consistency that and that took some of the burden off of the plate of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Gore’s rugged running blended well with the speed, explosiveness and open field running by Drake. Frank’s 67 yards on the ground and 4.8 yards per carry helped stabilize the offense. Drake combined for 96 total yards and found the end zone on a 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter to give Miami their 10 point lead. This duo wasn’t enough to pull the Dolphins to the finish line, but their efforts helped pace Miami’s tempo for the majority of the contest.