The Miami Dolphins opened the 2013 season with two road games, and they have come away with two road wins. After beating the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, the team headed north again, this time to face the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. With the 24-20 victory in hand, the Dolphins return home for their first game at Sun Life Stadium this week, hosting the Atlanta Falcons.
Against the Colts, the Dolphins were looking to avenge a 23-20 loss in Week 9 of last year. The game featured two first round quarterbacks from the 2012 draft, as the Colts' first overall pick Andrew Luck and the Dolphins' eighth selection Ryan Tannehill met for the second time in their short careers. After seeing Luck get the win last year, Tannehill again went pass-for-pass with Luck, and this time came out on top.
Tannehill would finish the game 23-for-34 for 319 yards with a touchdown and a passer rating of 107.4, while Luck was 25-for-43 for 321 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and a 79.7 passer rating. The 2012 meeting between the two teams saw Luck set a rookie passing yardage record with 433 yards while Tannehill threw for 290 yards. Luck had a passer rating of 105.6 last year, compared to Tannehill's 90.9.
The new offensive weapon around Tannehill clearly made a difference this year, as Mike Wallace grabbed nine passes for 115 yards and a touchdown and Brandon Gibson added a catch for 11 yards. Lamar Miller rushed 14 times for 69 yards (4.9 yards per carry), with a touchdown while Brian Hartline, who led the way last year with 12 receptions for 107 yards, had eight catches this year, for 68 yards while H-back Charles Clay grabbed 7 passes for 109 yards, including a 67-yard reception that set up the Miller touchdown run.
Clay also had a rushing carry for the first time in his career, scoring on a one yard run from the fullback position.
Tannehill was not perfect on the day, however. He did have three fumbles, one of which was lost, and he was sacked five times. The Colts were also able to hit Tannehill four times.
As for the Miami defense, they were not able to pressure Luck the same way they were able to get after the Browns' Brandon Weeden in Week 1. Against Cleveland, the Dolphins had a ridiculous 16 quarterback hits and six sacks. The Dolphins only brought Luck down three times on Sunday, with six quarterback hits. Those numbers should have been better, but Luck was able to escape multiple near sacks, including one from his former college rival Dion Jordan, who hit Luck and assumed the second year player would go down with any wrap up. Instead, the rookie defensive end stood in the backfield and watched Luck run away for a gain.
Cornerback Brent Grimes came away with his first interception as a member of the Dolphins, picking off Luck on a deep ball into the endzone mid-way through the fourth quarter.
Paul Soliai left the game the play before the Grimes interception with an apparent left knee injury. After the game, Soliai told the media he was fine, and was walking without a limp or ice on his knee.
Miami completed the game without a single penalty, the first time they have done that since 1998. That game was the Week 16 contest in the then-named Pro Player Stadium in Miami, with the Dolphins hosting the Denver Broncos. Or, to put it another way, that was John Elway versus Dan Marino - both of whom are now in the Hall of Fame. Since that game, the Dolphins have had three one penalty games, 10 two penalty games, and a high of one 18 penalty game.
The Dolphins return to Miami for their first home game of the season, and third of eight if you count the five preseason games. Miami's schedule has them playing at home just twice in the first six weeks of the season, with three away games and the bye week making up the other side of that equation.
Miami hosts the Falcons at 4:05pm ET on Sunday.
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