No question about it, the offense begins and ends with the Colts #1 overall pick: QB, Andrew Luck. Luck has shown some remarkable playmaking ability in his first 7 games, but has also been somewhat inconsistent. For instance, Luck is accurate on 66.9% of his aimed passes (31st,), which is accurate enough to only beat out Mark Sanchez at 64.5%. Luck has had ample opportunity to be consistent as he has the 7th most pass attempts in the league right now (288 passes). Colts have lined up in 348 passing plays, so with Andrew attempting 288 passes, that means he is letting it rip on 82.7% of the called plays.
Andrew lacks the fear to go deep and goes there often, as he has the 5th highest % of his attempts being over 20 yards (13.5%, or 39 attempts), and has been accurate on 41% of those (WR have dropped 2 deep passes). The Colts have used play action formations on 15.4% of their passing attempts (43), and Luck has a completion percentage of 62.8% when in play action. Luck has also demonstrated a good awareness of pressure and good pocket movement. He has been pressured on 36% of his plays and 15.4% of those pressures became sacks. He is blamed for 2 sacks on the season so far, out of 348 passing plays called (.005%).
The Colts O-line needs to start helping Luck more, if they wish to have a chance against the Dolphins pass rush (rated 10th best pass rush team by PFF). Overall, the Colts line is a mess, considering they are 26th in pass blocking efficiency. They have allowed 94 pressures to the date (64 hurries, 20 hits, 10 sacks).
Winston Justice, RT, will be going up against Cam Wake, and it should be a battle to watch. Justice has been pretty good against the pass rush allowing no sacks, 1 hit, and 11 hurries. LT Costanzo, on the other hand is polar opposite, allowing 6 sacks, 6 hits, and 22 hurries. He is actually on par to have a worse season than Marc Colombo did in 2011 (9 sacks, 9 hits, 32 hurries). I expect the Vernon / Odrick duo to put some serious pressure on the left. RG Mike McGlynn has been pretty good at protection, allowing 0 sacks, 3 hits, and 7 hurries. Samson Setele, C, has been pretty poor allowing 3 sacks, 4 hits, and 3 hurries. LG Linkenbach has been decent, allowing 1 sack, 1 hit, and 6 hurries.
When it comes to run blocking, the line tells a different story. Phins are going to have to focus on the left side of the line and handle Costonzo’s +4.6 run block rating. RT Winston Justice may be stout in protecting the passer, but his run blocking can be significantly improved, as he has a rating of -4.4. Linkenbach is not helping much either on the right, as his rating is -2.8. Statele (+1.0) and McGlynn (+.08) both are holding their own in the run game.
Donald Brown has been the star of the run game for the Colts. He is averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and has caused 13 missed tackles. He has a 6.1 ypc average when getting to the left edge, and a 4.4 on the right edge. He is averageing 5.4 between the RT & RG, so Starks is going to have to control that gap. Brown is also gaining 3.0 per carry between the RT and TE Dwayne Allen.
Reggie Wayne has been singlehandedly the most prolific piece on the Colts offense. He has 757 yards, 2 TD’s, on 54 receptions (87 targets) for 14 yards per reception. Wayne has also dropped 3 passes and 5 of Andrew Lucks interceptions have been trying to get them to Wayne. What’s surprising though, is the fact that Wayne is lining up in the slot on 65% of his plays, so he is not facing the outside cornerbacks very often. In the case of this game against the Phins he will be going up against Jimmy Wilson in the slot CB position, who is allowing a QB rating of 95.8. this will be one to watch.
Donne Avery is Luck’s other main target. Avery has been targeted 56 time by Luck, and has come down with 29 of those. He, like Wayne, also has 3 drops. 346 yards, and 1 touchdown is all the production the Colts have received from Avery. Luck has a QB rating of 62.1 when throwing to Avery, and Smith and Carrol should be able to handle him.
Rookie T.Y. Hilton is effectively the #3. He has 32 targets and 18 receptions for 26 yards.
Coming out of the draft, it was widely believed the Colts got two very good TE to form a dual TE system around. This has been the case as 55 of Lucks attempts have been at one of the 2 rookie TE’s. Dwayne Allen has been targeted 22 times, with 17 being receptions, for 174 yards and 2 TD’s. Colby Fleener, the same TE Luck threw to in college, has been targeted 33 times for 21 receptions, 222 yards, and 3 were dropped. This is going to be a challenge for the phins to contain both the TE & Reggie in the slot. Dansby, Wilson, Burnett, Misi, and 1 safety will have to keep their eyes on the middle.
It can be argued that this is the thing the Colts do best on defense. This is in part due to the production the Colts have received from DE’s Corry Redding (2 sacks, 1 hit, 7 hurries), as well as the entire linebacking core. Mathis (5 sacks, 2 hits, 5 hurries) and Hughes (3 sacks, 4 hits, and 13 hurries) apply a good amount of pressure as the outside LB duo. Dwight Freeney has been relatively quiet this year, totaling 1 sack, 1 hit, and 8 hurries. Inside LB Jerrel Freeman can apply pressure to the QB as well, having a sack, a hit, and 2 hurries.
If there were to be a game that the phins truly got back to the dominant rushing performance they had against the Raiders in week 2, this would be the matchup to watch for it. ProFootballFocus ranks Indianapolis as the worst run defense in the league with a rating of -37.5. The colts have allowed the 6th most rushing yards per game, 4th higest YPC average, and the 6th most TD’s scored by the run.
This will be an interesting one to watch, given the circumstances. No one knows whether or not rookie Tannehill or veteran Moore will start at QB for the Dolphins. It shouldn’t matter much because this Colts secondary is looking very poor. This is including Vontae Davis, whom the Dolphins traded in preseason, but he is injured and will not play. With Davis out, Cassius Vaughn should come in on the outside, opposite to Jerraud Powers. Vaughn’s coverage has been targeted 22 times in 124 snaps. He is allowing 63.6% to be completed for a total of142 yards and 2 TD’s. He has deflected 2 passes as well. Qb’s have a 112 qb ratingwhen throwing at Vaughn. Powers is not much better allowing a 102.9 qb rating, as 34 receptions have been on his coverage; those receptions total for 407 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has 1 interception tho and has played 236 coverage snaps. It really doesn’t get any better across the board with slot CB’s Justin King or Josh Gordy who have allowed a qb rating of 81.7 and 146.8 respectively. To give an idea of how poor this unit has been here are the qb’s that have faced the Colts rating on the year and when against the Colts.
Dolphins win 30-24.
I think Luck & the Colts will keep it interesting in the 4th quarter, but Im also predicting the Dolphins to jump out to an early lead in the first half. Reggie Bush should be able to go off, and our passing game should not be hampered too much. I know that the Colts will apply pressure on the QB from a bunch of angles, so I think we have slightly less success if Tannehill does not play because his 86% accuracy rating when under pressure is much better than Moore’s 50% from this year (66% from last) but also that Tannehill has better pocket awareness and footwork than Moore (Moore was at least partially to blame for 7 sacks last year and the one he had against the Jets last week, and Tannehill was only responsible for 1 this year). Either way I think our passing game is pretty efficient and the Colts will struggle to cover our WR. Luck is going to throw A LOT and do it in a way that will keep them in the game. He will attack the middle rather than go to the outside, and Jones and Clemons will have to watch between the numbers carefully. I think Our run game scores 2 touchdowns, and our QB throws 1. I think Luck throws one, runs one, and Donald Brown runs one as well. Go Phins! And Let this start a new rivalry for years to come! Tannehill VS Luck!