A match up between the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts in Week 9 did not garner much attention before the NFL season started. However, with both teams entering Sunday’s game with 4-3 records and the surprisingly solid play at quarterback from rookie quarterbacks, interest increased this week.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill did not appear to be bothered by the knee injury he sustained in last weekends game against the New York Jets. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck entered the game on pace to break nearly every rookie quarterback record.
The Dolphins scored the games first points on a 37 yard field goal by Dan Carpenter. The Colts wasted little time scoring with 0:43 seconds left in the first quarter on a 9 yard touchdown pass from Luck to Reggie Wayne. That touchdown was aided in part by a pass interference penalty against Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi.
Charles Clay then went 31 yards on a pass from Tannehill to give the Dolphins a 10-7 lead with 13:32 to go in the third quarter. Adam Vinatieri connected with a 23 yard field goal on the Colts ensuring possession to tie the game at 10.
Four minutes later Dolphins running back Reggie Bush cut though the Colts defense going 18 yards en-route to an 18 yard touchdown run and a 17-10 lead at halftime. Vinateri missed two field goals for the Colts which extended his league lead with six missed attempts. The normally clutch kicker missed just six field goal attempts in the previous two seasons combined.
By halftime Luck had thrown for 273 yards, a career high for a half. If the Colts had a fault in the first half it was the 22 yards they totaled on the ground. The Dolphins ran for 62 yards on the ground which helped supplement Tannehill who was 10-for-14 for 158 yards in the first half.
Vinateri hit a 47 yard field goal in the third quarter to cut the Dolphin lead to four. While the Dolphins were unable to turn more then a handful of plays the Colts then struck with a36 yard touchdown pass from Luck to Ty Hilton to take the lead with 1:58 left in the third quarter. The Dolphins kicked a field goal of their own early in the fourth to tie the game at 20-20.
Luck would find DeWayane Allen twice for passes over 20 yards to march the Colts into field goal range late in the game. With 5:58 left in the game Vinateri connected with a 43 yard field goal to give the Colts a 23-20 lead.
The Dolphins had one last chance to tie the game. After moving near midfield the Dolphins were unable to convert a 4th-and-15 thus turning the ball over on downs.
Luck’s 433 yards set a new rookie record for passing yards and marked the fourth time he topped 300 yards.
The Colts are now 4-1 under intern coach Bruce Arians and 5-3 overall. They will travel to Jacksonvillefor Thursday’s game. The Dolphins now 4-4 will host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday.