Sometimes in the NFL you just have to “tip your hat” to the other team, and especially their quarterback. This is the case for the Dolphins on Sunday night after Andrew Luck of the Colts lead a 13-point 4th quarter comeback that culminated with veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri booting through the game winning field goal with no time left.
Yes, off the bye week, the Dolphins welcomed back quarterback Ryan Tannehill. And, he played solidly throughout the contest. His numbers reflected an “okay performance” of 17 – 25 204 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he was not the reason that Miami lost the game.
No, they lost the game, because the Colts quarterback, a former number 1 overall pick, who missed all of 2017 after two shoulder surgeries, looked like the “Field General” Indy fans have come to depend on throughout his career.
Luck led not one, not two, but three drives of 7 plays or more for the 13 total points in the final eight and a half minutes of the game.
This included his 12 yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron the tie the game at 24-24. And later he is 34 yd strike to receiver Chester Rogers that put the ball inside the Miami 25-yard line. That set the stage for the future hall-of-famer Vinatieri to “put the dagger in” with his winning field goal.
After a 3 – 0 start, the Fins have now lost six of their last eight games, and the playoffs are now “fading to black” with a 5 – 6 record.
Meanwhile their opposite are the Colts, who began the season 1 – 5, but are surging at just the right time with a fifth consecutive win under first-year head coach Frank Reich.
Yes Reich has Luck at the controls, and that makes a big difference. However, Reich and his schemes and preparation have made a big difference, too. Indianapolis had kept Luck from being sacked for five games, until Cam Wake got him in the second half Sunday night.
In the end, they don’t offer consolation prizes and disclaimers for teams like the Dolphins that can’t figure out how to hold a 10 point lead in a key game on the road against a team that they will be chasing for their AFC wild-card hopes.
No. And that team, Indianapolis didn’t feel sorry for itself earlier in the year.
They just started playing good football and finding ways to win. Sunday, was the latest time, as they did at Miami’s expense.
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