Dolphins 24 - Colts 27
This was a really entertaining game. Both teams made mistakes, and both will want plays back, but at the end of the day, this looked like two teams trying to make a case for the postseason, and they went back and forth in doing it. The Dolphins cannot do anything simply, and this game was filled with tension all day.
Ryan Tannehill’s return was big for the Dolphins, who looked like a more complete offense all game long. Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James are also a part of that, so the protection was solid all day - even with adjustments when center Travis Swanson was injured and multiple penalties to the line.
The defense struggled in coverage on the day - other than Xavien Howard who had two interceptions. It seemed like Miami was playing with only ten defenders throughout the game, as there seemed to always be a Colts receiver wide open.
At the end of the day, the Dolphins simply could not stop the Colts when it counted, and they relied on the run late in the game and did not put the game on Tannehill’s shoulders. Miami now has an uphill battle if they want to climb back into the playoff picture, dropping both in the AFC East and the Wildcard pictures.
The Dolphins received the opening kickoff.
Dolphins first possession. The Dolphins opened with a Frank Gore run for seven yards. Ryan Tannehill, returning after missing five games with a shoulder injury, connected with Durham Smythe for 21 yards, followed by a 13 yard pass from Tannehill to Danny Amendola. Gore picked up two yards followed by an incomplete pass. On 3rd-and-8, Tannehill through a swing pass to running back Kenyan Drake, who turned up field for a 33-yard touchdown. The score ended a 9-plus quarter offensive touchdown-less streak and was the first opening drive score by the Dolphins this year.
Opening drive touchdown!— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) November 25, 2018
First touchdown in 9+ quarters!
Ryan Tannehill back!
Colts first possession. The Colts came out and attacked the Dolphins rush defense, picking up 16 yards and seven yards from Marlon Mack. Andrew Luck then connected with T.Y. Hilton for 21 yards. Luck then scrambled and found Jordan Wilkins on a short pass over the middle that he turned up field for 17 yards. Luck then found Eric Ebron on a jump ball to the corner of the endzone for an answer from the Colts. T.J. McDonald as in position on the play, but Ebron just made a good catch on a well placed throw from Luck.
Dolphins second possession. Tannehill looked for Brice Butler on first down, but really threw the ball away as he scrambled out of the pocket. He found Kenny Stills on second down for six yards, then Gore picked up five yards on 3rd-and-4, with an offsides penalty on the Colts declined after the run. Drake picked up six yards on first down, then Tanenhill found DeVante Parker for nine yards. Tannehill kept the ball for a six-yard run on the next first down, followed by a 1-yard loss from Gore. On 3rd-and-5, center Travis Swanson was called for a false start, leading to a 3rd-and-10. Drake picked up six yards on the play, stumbling as he tried to make a cut. Danny Amendola was injured on the play. The Dolphins punted.
Colts second possession. Mack picked up seven yards on first down, then Luck found Hilton for 24 yards. On 1st-and-10 from the Indianapolis 39, Luck connected with Wilkins for 10 yards, but Raekwon McMillan forced a fumble and T.J. McDonald recovered at the Indianapolis 47.
Dolphins third possession. The Dolphins were forced to adjust the offensive line to start the next series, with Travis Swanson being checked for a leg injury, moving Jake Brendel from left guard to center and inserting Ted Larsen at guard. Tannehill found Smythe for six yards, then Gore picked up seven yards. Gore picked up one yard on the next play, but a holding penalty on Laremy Tunsil negated the play and backed up Miami. On 1st-and-20, Tannehill looked for Kenny Stills, with a defensive pass interference penalty giving Miami a first down. On the next play, Larsen was called for a false start, leading to a 1st-and-15 play. Tannehill looked for Gore on the next snap, and was lucky that the ball was dropped on what should have been an intercepted. After a Drake three-yard run, Tannehill looked deep for Stills in the endzone, with the ball broken up in another near interception. Miami punted.
Colts third possession. The Colts started at their own 14, with an incomplete pass on the slant attempt toward Ebron, and strong coverage from rookie safety/cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick. Luck found Hilton for six yards, leading to the end of the period.
Colts third possession (continued). The Colts punted.
Dolphins fourth possession. Gore picked up six yards, then got back to the line of scrimmage to start the drive. On 3rd-and-4, Tannehill was sacked after holding the ball way too long with no receivers able to get open. Miami punted on the three-and-out.
Colts fourth possession. Luck was sacked by Robert Quinn on the first play, but Fitzpatrick was called for illegal contact to negate the play. On the next play, Dontrelle Inman was wide open, gaining 22 yards before Reshad Jones could make the tackle. Luck was incomplete on the next play, then Quenton Nelson was called for holding on a Mack one-yard run. Luck looked deep for Inman on 2nd-and-20, then Chester Rogers picked up six yards, leading to a punt.
Dolphins fifth possession. Amendola returned to the game, calling for a fair catch on the punt. Tannehill continued to look for a receiver, eventually getting rid of the ball just as he was hit, with Kalen Ballage losing one yard on the throw. Larsen was then called for a false start, backing up Miami again and seeing up 2nd-and-16 from the four. Drake ran up the middle for two yards. On the 3rd-and-15 play, Drake took a screen pass 13 yards, coming up just short of the conversion. Miami punted on another three-and-out.
Colts fifth possession. Mack picked up three yards on first down, then another three on second down. On 3rd-and-4, Kiko Alonso was called for unnecessary roughness as Luck slid short of the first down - a penalty that somehow expected Alonso to stop in the middle of trying to make a tackle with his shoulder. Mack picked up three yards on the 1st-and-10 from the Miami 48-yard line, then another five yards, followed by 1 yard. On 4th-and-1, Jacoby Brissett took the snap and threw a pass to Luck for four yards. Nyheim Hines then picked up two yards, followed by a pass from Luck to Wilkins for seven yards. Luck converted on the 3rd-and-1 run, then Jerome Baker stopped Mack for no gain. Then, after the two-minute warning, Luck found Hilton for 24 yards, with Fitzpatrick in coverage but not turning around for the ball then forcing Hilton out of bounds at the one. The Dolphins then left Jack Doyle all alone in the back of the endzone for the touchdown.
Dolphins sixth possession. Tannehill found Parker for a one-yard gain on first down, then looked deep for Leonte Carroo on second down, who went up and caught a floating pass, then turned up field and scored on a 74-yard catch and run.
Touchdown! Tannehill to Carroo for 74 yards!— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) November 25, 2018
Colts sixth possession. Luck looked deep for Hilton but Xavien Howard came away with the interception.
You don’t throw toward Xavien Howard. pic.twitter.com/cNoF3XG5p4— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) November 25, 2018
Dolphins seventh possession. Tannehill found Mike Gesicki for eight yards, but he fumbled and the Colts recovered.
Colts seventh possession. Luck looked deep for Ebron, but Howard came up with his second straight interception.
What did we say about throwing toward Howard?— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) November 25, 2018
Dolphins eighth possession. Tannehill knelt to kill the clock.
Halftime tied 14-14.
The Colts start with the ball for the second half.
Colts eighth possession. A five yard pass from Luck to Ebron started the second half, then a Mack three-yard run set up 3rd-and-2. An incomplete pass led to a punt and a three-and-out for Indianapolis.
Dolphins ninth possession. Tannehill found Gore for ten yards, then Drake for one yard. Drake picked up three yards on 2nd-and-9, before Tannehill found Drake for ten yards. Fore picked up three yards at the Indianapolis 18, but a false start on 2nd-and-7 from Kenny Stills backed Miami up to a 2nd-and-12. Tannehill then ran for nine yards, setting up 3rd-and-3 from the 11. After an incomplete pass on the next play, Jason Sanders connected on the 29-yard field goal.
Colts ninth possession. Luck found Mack for seven yards, then found Hilton for six yards. He came back to Mack for four yards after that, then eight more yards to Hilton. Luck then found Jack Doyle for three yards, then Ebron for 13 yards. Charles Harris was called offsides on the play, but it was declined. Then Luck found Inman for 11 yards one beat before Cameron Wake recorded the sack. Hines gained three yards up the middle, then Mack ran for no gain. On 3rd-and-6, Wake got to Luck on the strip sack, with Alonso nealry getting the recovery, but the ball just bounced the wrong way. Adam Vinatieri missed the 48-yard field goal.
Dolphins tenth possession. The Dolphins came out looking to milk the clock, with Gore picking up 10 yards, then five yards. Tannehill then was incomplete looking toward Drake, with Drake dropping an easy catch, before a seven yard Tannehil to Drake pass worked to convert for the first down. Gore picked up two yards with 45 seconds left in the quarter. Tannehill rushed the team to the line just before the end of the quarter, using a hard count to draw the Colts offside and gain five free yards.
End third quarter. Dolphins 17-14.
Dolphins tenth possession (continued). Gore broke the first play of the drive for a 23-yard gain. After a three-yard loss on a Tannehill to Ballage pass, Drake ran up the middle for an easy 14-yard touchdown.
Colts tenth possession. Mack picked up ten yards on first down, then 25 yards on second down. Luck found Doyle for five yards, then Hines picked up 16 yards but two holding penalties on the Colts backed up Indianapolis. Luck found Doyle for seven yards, then Inman for seven yards. On 4th-and-1, Luck connected with Ebron for just enough to convert. Nelson was called for a false start, backing up the Colts to 1st-and-15, but then McDonald was called for holding for an automatic first down. On the next play, Luck found Ryan Grant for three yards before Mack lost one yard when Alonso blew up the play in the backfield. Luck looked deep on 3rd-and-8, but it fell incomplete and the Colts settled for the field goal.
Dolphins eleventh possession. Tannehill looked for the screen pass on first down, but it was covered and he threw it away. On second down, he missed Stills on a crossing route. Drake then lost five yards on a run up the middle. Drake rolled around on the field after the pay, indicating something wrong with his left arm. Miami punted after the three-and-out.
Colts eleventh possession. After a 57-yard punt, a block in the back started the Colts at their own 11. Luck then found Hones for 19 yards when Alonso seemed to think Hones was going out of bounds and instead he was able to keep running. Hines came back for three yards, then Luck found Rogers for six yards. On 3rd-and-1, Hilton came across on a short route and picked up 36 yards when no one was anywhere near him; Howard eventually chased him down for the tackle. Then Hines picked up nine yards and four yards on back-to-back runs. Luck then found Ebron for a touchdown on a 12-yard pass. Howard was called for unnecessary roughness after the score for a hit on Ebron.
Dolphins twelfth possession. Miami started at their own six-yard line after penalties on the kickoff. Gore then ran up the middle for no game, setting up a 2nd-and-10. Tannehill then threw a bubble screen to Parker for no gain, with an offensive pass interference call on Stills being declined and setting up 3rd-and-10. Drake then ran for four yards up the middle, and Miami punted after a three-and-out that never got Miami moving at all.
Colts twelfth possession. The Colts started at their own 42 after a 62-yard punt from Matt Haack. Akeem Spence made a tackle for a two-yard loss , then a Luck to Hines catch was stopped at the original line of scrimmage, leading to the two-minute warning. On 3rd-and-9, the Dolphins looked like they had Luck for a sack, but he avoided and somehow completed a 34-yard pass to a wide-open Rogers. After a four-yard run from Niles to force Miami to use their final timeout, Niles picked up another five yards. After a third down run for no yards, the Colts ran the clock to three seconds and Vinatieri drilled the game winner as the clock reached zero.