The Indianapolis Colts head to the sunshine state knowing that only a win will do against a Miami Dolphins team that are praying for an end to a dire 2015 season. After the Colts lost to the Houston Texans last Sunday, and surrendering the lead of the AFC South to them in the process, the Colts need to win their remaining two games and need the Texans to slip up in order to progress to the postseason. They currently sit at 6-8 and second in the division. The Dolphins prop up the AFC East, and despite only being one game behind the Buffalo Bills at 5-9, they look like staying there until the end of the season. The question remains if the players are playing for interim head coach Dan Campbell’s future, or are just simply looking ahead to the offseason.
Three keys to the game:
1. Who is going to be at quarterback for the Colts
Veteran Matt Hasselbeck said he ‘was done’ after another beating last week against Houston. With Andrew Luck still not ready to return, look for Hasselbeck to be rested for Charlie Whitehurst come Sunday.
2. What matters to the Dolphins?
Miami have been playing for pride for sometime now, but that still didn’t stop them from sinking to new lows during last week’s abysmal loss to the San Diego Chargers. If the Dolphins want something to salvage from this season, they could do worse than winning their final two games.
3. Running back usage
Frank Gore and Lamar Miller have had indifferent season. Gore is not the runner he once was, and has been outplayed by Rashad Jennings down the stretch. Miller is effective when used, but seems to get lost down the stretch of games, though that is partly down to poor play calling. The more effective back on Sunday could hold the key to victory.
Match-up to watch: T.Y Hilton vs Brent Grimes
Hilton has not been the elite wide receiver he has displayed at time previously in 2015, though without Andrew Luck slinging the ball deep, it’s easy to see why. However, the diminutive Brent Grimes could provide a physical test for Hilton, and he will need to prove he can escape being jammed at the line of scrimmage in order to be an effective downfield threat.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts
This won’t be a pretty game, with the both teams struggling of late. However, the Colts simply have to win while the Dolphins look like they’d be doing anything on Sunday other than playing football. It will closer than it should be, but ultimately, the Colts will prevail to keep the battle in the AFC South alive.