I really like Peyton Manning. Always have. I think he is the closest quarterback to Dan Marino, and I love to watch him play football. As long as I have enjoyed Manning playing, I've never really rooted for the Indianapolis Colts like I will this weekend as Andrew Luck leads Indy into a Week 11 Sunday Night Football Game. Why am I, and all Miami Dolphins fans, rooting for the Colts?
The one time division rival for Miami is hosting the Dolphins' current division rivals, and division leading, New England Patriots. An Indy win pulls New England back to within just a game for the Dolphins. Time for the Patriots to lose.
As our friends over at Stampede Blue point out, the only team in the league that has beaten Luck more than once is New England.
Not only does a loss for the Patriots keep Miami within a game of the division lead, with a game against the Patriots still to go this year, it also drops key tie breaks for New England in the conference record. Currently Miami and New England are both 5-2 in the AFC, the fourth tie break for division ties. If Miami beats New England, they will hold the head-to-head advantage, which would settle any time right away. After that, division record, where they are both tied at 2-1, and common games tie breaks come into play (both have won three games against common opponents). If those are all tied, the AFC record comes into play, which is where a Patriots loss to the Colts help Miami in tie break scenarios.
A nationally televised game on Sunday night, one in which the Dolphins are not even playing, could not have more implications for Miami than tomorrow night's game between the Patriots and Colts.
Let's go Colts!