DOLPHINS 24, COLTS 20
Player of the Game
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami
The Dolphins proved to have the better second-year signal-caller on Sunday. Tannehill completed 23 of 34 attempts for 319 yards and one touchdown. He was composed against a better-than-expected Indianapolis pass rush, leading Miami back from a pair of three-point deficits to win the game. Tannehill was at his best during a lightning-quick start when he led the Dolphins to scores on their first two possessions and a 14-3 lead.
The Colts moved the ball well, outgaining the Dolphins 448-398. But they couldn't avoid the negative plays that have been the source of inconsistency for the past two seasons. A penalty wiped out a touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener early in the third quarter, and Andrew Luck's end-zone interception ended a promising drive midway in the fourth. A better result on either drive would have made a world of difference when Indianapolis desperately was trying to punch the ball in with less than two minutes to play in the game.
A horrendous start allowed Miami to rack up 138 yards on two first-quarter drives. Mike Wallace practically could have walked into the end zone on an 18-yard screen pass for the Dolphins' first score, and the second touchdown came on an 80-yard march that took just three plays and 1:13. After rebounding long enough for the Colts to take leads of 17-14 and 20-17, the defense allowed Miami to convert a third-and-8 on the ground with just over a minute left to seal the game.
Special teams: C-
Adam Vinatieri can be forgiven for missing an early 52-yard field goal try. But a holding penalty against Sergio Brown pinned the Colts at their own 9-yard line after a third-quarter punt return, and the kickoff coverage team surrendered 73 yards on two returns. That hidden yardage played havoc with field position in the second half as the Dolphins regained control of the game.