Most seasons, this would be a no-brainer. But due to some issues in Indianapolis, the Colts will not cake-walk their way (I can only wish for that to happen!) to victory over a much improved Miami Dolphins squad.
So what will the Colts need to do to defeat the Dolphins down in Miami?
* Tackle the ball carrier better. I think that this is pretty obvious due to the fact that the Colts have a very porous run defense. This is stuff that they teach you in Pop Warner, for Pete’s sake! The linebackers will simply have to blitz more often in order to stop the Dolphins’ two headed running back tandem of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.
* Utilize Hank Baskett. Quarterback Peyton Manning, while he will obviously use wide receiver Reggie Wayne often in this game, it would be wise of him to use newly acquired WR Hank Baskett in the passing attack. Baskett will, if anything, have a size advantage over most of the Dolphins’ secondary.
* Key on Miami linebacker Joey Porter. When the Colts run the ball, I think they should run it in Porter’s general direction. Porter’s forte is the pass-rush and isn’t exactly known as a run-stuffer, IMO. That in and of itself could work to running backs Joseph Addai and Donald Brown’s advantage Sunday.
*Protect Manning. This will determine more than anything else who will win this contest. If they protect him like they did against Jacksonville, then Manning should put up his typical numbers. Offensive tackle Tony Ugoh has been underwhelming thus far and he will need to step it up – pure and simple.
Final Score – Indianapolis 24, Miami 17