Miami Dolphins (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September, 15 at 1 p.m. EST
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: CBS/DTV 711
by Vesper Abadon, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Mia +3/Ind -3
Over/Under Total: 43
The Miami Dolphins went into Cleveland last Sunday, and although it wasnt pretty, they walked away with a 23-10 win. They did so thanks to a strong defensive performance that included 2.5 sacks by Cameron Wake and three interceptions, two of which went to Dimitri Patterson.
Offensively the Dolphins were not nearly as impressive. Wide receiver Mike Wallace, who they had paid a fortune for in free agency, had just one catch for 15 yards. Im mad at myself just because I didnt have a good game, Wallace told the AP after the game. Indeed, Wallace did not have a good game and part of that was that him and Tannehill couldnt connect on long passes.
Speaking of Tannehill, he was sacked four times in Week 1, which wasnt all that surprising given the Dolphins line is their Achilles heel. The second-year quarterback went 24 of 38 for 272 yards and a touchdown. It doesnt seem too impressive, but it was his third-best game of his 17 starts. Not a bad start for the new season.
Brian Hartline showed that he deserved the bump in pay he received when he re-signed in the offseason by catching nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. Likewise, Brandon Gibson, who had seven receptions for 77 yards, showed that he was a solid WR3 and could fill the shoes of the Davone Bess, who was traded to Cleveland.
As far as the Dolphins run game was concerned, it was embarrassing. Tannehill, Daniel Thomas and Lamar Millar carried a combined 23 times for just 20 years. Millers performance was especially bad as he rushed ten times for three yards. Certainly nowhere near what head coach Joe Philbin was hoping for when he let Reggie Bush go in the offseason.
As for the Indianapolis Colts, they barely walked away
with a victory against the lowly Oakland Raiders their first opening-day
win since 2009. They did so after quarterback Andrew Luck ran 19 yards for
a touchdown with 5:20 remaining in the game. Other than that, Luck went
18 of 23 for 178 yards and two touchdown passes.
One of those touchdown passes, and more than half the yards, went to Reggie Wayne, who didnt show his age by catching eight passes for 96 yards and a score. On the ground, Vick Ballard led the Colts with 63 yards off 13 carries. Ahmed Bradshaw shouldered some of the load as well, rushing for 26 yards on seven carries.
Aside from Luck leading his team to two touchdowns on their first two possessions, the Colts played a very mediocre game and were lucky to walk away with the win. Keep in mind this came in a game where the Raiders started Terrelle Pryor.
Vesper Abadons Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I look for both of these teams to shake off the Week 1 rust, learn from their mistakes and bring their A game. That was certainly the case last year when the Colts walked away with a 23-20 win at home. The two young teams essentially have the same lineups, and they both have a bit more experience; as such, I expect it to be a very close game.
The line is perfect, and since little has changed for both teams since last year, its difficult to bet. With that said, I think the Dolphins will exact revenge. Their front seven is strong and ought to hold Ballard and Bradshaw in check (Ballard rushed for 60 yards of 16 carries last year), and that will force Luck to take to the air. The same happened last year and Luck chewed the Fins up for 433 passing yards and two touchdowns, but thanks to a revamped secondary led by Patterson, I dont think itll happen again.
The Dolphins defense will do their part, but if theyre going to win the offense will need to kick it into high gear. Both Miller and Wallace will need to deliver, and Tannehill needs to continue to improve. Its going to be close, but if I had to bet Id swim or die with the Fins.