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Week 12 Game Recap: Miami Dolphins 24, Indianapolis Colts 27
What you need to know
The Dolphins looked as if they were going to do just enough to pull out the win against the Colts this week, and then Andrew Luck
happened in the 4th quarter. The Dolphin defense gave up 13 points in the 4th quarter and surrendered the lead for good. Ryan Tannehill
made his return to the lineup but looked out of sorts outside of his 74-yard touchdown to Leonte Carroo
. The rushing attack combined for over 100 yards, but no ball carrier averaged 5 or more yards per carry. The defense had a respectable game but could not come up with the stop late in the game. The loss moves the Dolphins to 5-6 on the season. They still have 2 games against the Bills to close out the season, but also have games against the Vikings, Patriots, and Jaguars. It would be a stretch to see the Dolphins end with a winning record, but they will look to take the first step next week at home against the Bills.
Self inflicted wounds in the form of turnovers and penalties slowed down the Colts' offense. 3 first half turnovers and a missed field goal kept the Dolphins in the game. However, the Colts ability to generate explosive plays allowed them to overcome mistakes. Luck was outstanding throwing the ball downfield outside of interceptions on consecutive plays. TY Hilton continues to look unstoppable and made Xavien Howard look silly on a couple of occasions. Eric Ebron
continues to capitalize on almost every opportunity he sees as a receiver and seems to be improving. Ebron has shown great hands and the ability to make contested catches throughout this season. Marlon Mack
played well but left the game and was placed in concussion protocol. Nyheim Hines
filled in as the featured back and played well in Mack's absence. Jack Doyle
found the end zone but did not see any downfield targets.
|QB Ryan Tannehill, 53 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 25 - 204 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 14 - 0|
After missing the last several weeks due to a mystery shoulder injury, Tannehill was finally back under center for the Dolphins this week. He eased back into it with several check down and outlet passes rather than deep shots down the field. He was not harassed by the Colts defense and was only sacked once. The first touchdown pass was a short swing pass to Drake who weaved his way through traffic for the 33-yard touchdown. The Colts were flagged for defensive offsides and rather than take a shot down the field on the free play, Tannehill played it safe and swung the ball to the outside. It was the safe play when he could have taken a shot, but it worked out for the first touchdown of the game. The second touchdown was the longest play of the game. A 74-yard bomb for a touchdown to Leonte Carroo
. Tannehill let loose the deepest pass his arm could handle down the left sideline and Carroo went up and over the defender for an amazing catch. The defender fell to the ground and Carroo was able to run the rest of the way to the end zone. It was a valiant effort in Tannehill's return, but they came up just short against the Colts. He will have a better matchup next week against the Bills as he looks to get back on track for the remainder of the season.
|RB Frank Gore, 29 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 67 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets)|
In a race against father time, Gore keeps plugging away for the Dolphins. He led the team in carries again this week and had more success than any other back. Gore had 6 more carries than Drake this week and 35 more yards. He did not play much of a role in the passing game this week but that has been the norm this season. Gore has been the ground and pound back while Drake has come in as a change of pace and passing attack back. Gore had the longest play of the game on the ground with his 23-yard rush off the edge but was unable to find the end zone. The Dolphins continue to trust Gore late in the game as he has an established history of ball security, but it was not enough to run out the clock and beat the Colts this week. Gore passed Curtis Samuel
for 4th on the all-time rushing list earlier this season and continues to chip away for third. He is 715 yards behind Barry Sanders
and does not have a chance at the rate they are going this season. If Gore has another season in him, he has a great chance to take over that third spot next season. A great matchup against the Bills next week could help him chip away this season.
|RB Kenyan Drake, 24 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 32 - 1, Rec: 5 - 64 - 1 (6 targets)|
The running back quandary continues in Miami. Frank Gore
continues to get more carries, but Drake had more success again this week. He had a touchdown on the ground and through the air this week and led the team in targets. Drake kicked things off with a 33-yard touchdown reception on the first drive of the game. Tannehill got the Colts to jump and rather than take a shot down the field he swung the ball out to Drake. It looked to be a short gain, but Drake was able to follow his blocks and then weave through the defense for the score. The Colts showed poor tackling on the play, but Drake's vision proved too much as he evaded everyone for the score. His longest rush of the game was coincidently his second touchdown as well. He took the ball 14 yards up the middle of the defense just before the end of the 3rd quarter. He did not have the same success on the ground as Gore, but he played a bigger role over the course of the whole game. Drake is the back of the future and he has 2 juicy matchups against the Bills to close out the season and prove his worth for next year.
After working his way back to relevance in recent weeks, Parker has disappeared for the Dolphins. He caught all 3 of his targets this week but could not do anything with them. He had better chemistry with Brock Osweiler
and looks to be expendable once again now that Tannehill is back. Parker's tenure in Miami could be over in the offseason.
After seeing somewhat of a resurgence with Brock Osweiler
under center, Amendola faded back in the offense with Tannehill back this week. He caught his lone target for 13 yards and then was not utilized going forward. Tannehill is an immobile pocket passer that is going to need to learn to get the ball out quick to guys like Amendola if he wants to survive in the league. The Dolphins are very thin at wide receiver right now and Amendola is going to have to find a way to stand out more if they want any shot at ending the season with a winning record. A game against Buffalo and then a date with his former team in New England should help get things going again.
|WR Kenny Stills, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (4 targets)|
The regression for Stills continues this season with another subpar performance. With the return of Tannehill, there was a chance he would see a bump in production. No one was expecting a line like the first game of the season, but rather some more respectable numbers. That did not happen again today as Stills only managed to catch 1 of his 4 targets. The 4 targets were good for 2nd on the team this week, but he failed to connect with Tannehill, much like the rest of the offense. Stills now has 2 or fewer receptions in his last 6 games and has not eclipsed 40 yards since the end of September.
|WR Leonte Carroo, 22 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 74 - 1 (2 targets)|
To this point, Carroo only had 1 catch this season for 20 yards. All that changed with a single pass from Tannehill. Carroo ran a streak down the left sideline and Tannehill unloaded a 50-yard pass in the air and both Carroo and the defender had to stop and wait for the ball to get there. Carroo went up and over the defender to wrestle the ball away and was able to land on his feet. The defender fell backwards and Carroo was able to sprint the rest of the way to the end zone untouched. It was a 74-yard touchdown and the longest play of the game for either team. It will be interesting to see if there is any chemistry with Tannehill and if he sees an increase in playing time in the coming weeks.
|QB Andrew Luck, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 37 - 343 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (1 targets)|
played a great game that was marred by a pair of ugly interceptions. Luck moved the Colts down the field for an effortless opening possession touchdown drive. Luck found TY Hilton for a gain of 21 and Jordan Wilkins
for 17 yards before connecting with Ebron for a 14 yard touchdown. A fumble and a holding penalty abruptly ended the Colts' next two possessions after finding success early. An unnecessary roughness penalty and a beautiful back shoulder throw to Hilton for 24 yards put the Colts at the Dolphins' 1 yard line. Luck capped the drive with a 1 yard touchdown to Jack Doyle
. Luck was intercepted by Xavien Howard on consecutive plays to end the first half. First Luck made an ill advised throw to TY Hilton who had a defender underneath and over the top of him. Luck then underthrew Ebron who was running open down the seam for a potential 45 yard touchdown. Howard was underneath the intended receiver on each play and was able to make leaping interceptions on both occasions. Trailing by 10 Luck got the Colts offense back on track when it counted. Luck found Hilton over the middle for 36 yards before firing a perfect strike down the seam to Ebron for a 12 yard touchdown. Then with the game on the line Luck made his best play of the game to duck out of a sack and somehow find Chester Rogers
open downfield for 34 yards. The completion set up a game winning field goal by Adam Vinatieri
|RB Marlon Mack, 36 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 85 - 0, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (2 targets)|
played well throughout the game and seemed to be picking up steam when he left the game with a head injury and was placed in concussion protocol. Mack gained the edge off right tackle and escaped down the side line for 16 yards. Mack caught a check down in the flat and took it 7 yards. Mack gained the edge off left tackle and zig zagged his way through defenders for 11 yards. The following play Mack found a huge crease off right guard for a 25 yard gain up the middle. Mack was hit in the backfield and did not return to the game after being place in concussion protocol. Nyheim Hines
took over the lead back role with Mack out.
|RB Nyheim Hines, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 28 - 0, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (2 targets)|
made an outstanding move along the sideline to make Kiko Alonso miss and pick up 19 yards. Hines played very well following Mack's departure from the game with a head injury. Expect Hines to become the lead dog in the Colts' backfield if Mack misses time.
Wilkins caught a check down from Luck and found a crease for a 17 yard catch and run. Wilkins caught another check down from Luck but fumbled as he was going to the ground resulting in a turnover. Wilkins did not see any touches following his fumble but could see a larger work load if Marlon Mack
|WR T.Y. Hilton, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 125 - 0 (10 targets)|
TY Hilton continues to look like an unstoppable force and could have had a much bigger game. Hilton dropped a pass, was knocked out of bounds at the 1 yard line, and had a catch negated by penalty. Hilton evaded a tackle from Xavien Howard running a comeback route and got up field for a 21 yard gain. Hilton patiently waited for his blocks to develop on a screen pass before exploding up field for 24 yards. Hilton dropped what would have been a 20 yard gain running a comeback route. Hilton made an outstanding back shoulder toe tapping catch for 24 yards. Hilton was knocked out of bounds at the 1 yard line. Hilton went low to make an 8 yard catch over the middle. Hilton picked up 8 more yards running a comeback. Hilton had a 12 yard catch negated by a defensive penalty. Hilton again got wide open crossing the middle of the field and exploded up field after securing the catch for 36 yards.
came wide open running a shallow crossing route and got up field for 22 yards. Inman picked up 11 yards running an in breaking route. Inman made a contested 7 yard catch over the middle on 3rd and 8.
|TE Eric Ebron, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 45 - 2 (7 targets)|
continues to be a hyper efficient touchdown scoring machine. Ebron used his size and strength running a corner route to secure a 14 yard touchdown. The pass was slightly late from Luck but Ebron made a strong play. Ebron appeared to be interfered with running a slant over the middle but the pass fell incomplete. Ebron picked up 5 yards on a quick screen from Luck. Ebron picked up 13 yards running a slant over the middle. Ebron ran up the seam and made a nice catch on his back hip to secure a 12 yard touchdown.
|TE Jack Doyle, 38 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 16 - 1 (4 targets)|
got wide open in the back of the end zone after falling down on his route for a 1 yard touchdown. Doyle gained 3 yards on a check down to the flat. Doyle picked up 5 more yards on an underneath target. Doyle did not see any targets downfield after hurting his kidney and he is out for the year.