Dolphins Gameplan: Set the tone early by playing physical

The Miami Dolphins head to Indianapolis on Sunday for an important matchup with the Colts. The Dolphins will look to improve to 5-3 and move into a tie with the Patriots atop the AFC East.  To do so, the Dolphins will have to play as aggressively and emotionally as they did against the trash talking Jets last week.  The Dolphins cannot afford a let down after beating their hated rivals.  To top it off, the Dolphins might not have their starting quarterback available for Sunday’s game.

This game, which many thought would be one of the snoozer games in week 9, turns out to be a pretty important one in the AFC playoff picture.  Yes, this will only be each team’s 8th game, but if you look at the playoff standings, this game could have implications down the line.  The winner of this game will move to 5-3 and will hold the head to head tie breaker against the other team, when playoff spots are awarded in January.  Here’s our gameplan for what the Dolphins must do to come away with the victory:

Bend but don’t break

The Colts are lead by rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, and yet they rank #8 in the NFL in yards per game (373 ypg).  That’s an impressive statistic until you realize that the Colts only rank #24 in points per game (19.4 ppg).  So the Colts are racking up yards, but they are not translating them into points.  The Dolphins defense, by contrast, ranks #22 in the NFL in yards allowed (363 ypg), BUT ranks #5 in the NFL in points allowed (only 18.0 ppg).

From these numbers I think we can expect the Colts to move the ball on the Dolphins defense.  The key will be to force the Colts to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns.  The Dolphins are stout against the run, which will force Andrew Luck into 3rd and long opportunities.  The Dolphins defense is among the best in the NFL on 3rd downs and that must continue if they want to win.  (cont’d on page 2, click below)

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