2018 Colts Season Preview: Colts/Dolphins, Week 12

An early look at the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins Week 12 regular season matchup.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill, two 2012 first round picks, have not faced off since 2013. This year, both step back onto the field after missing all of the 2017 season and will trade shots once again.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Sunday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m. ET
  • Indianapolis, Ind. at Lucas Oil Stadium
  • TV — CBS

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Dolphins lead, 45-26 (2-0 in playoffs). Colts have won five of the last six, going back to 2003.
  • Last game — Week 16 of 2015. Colts won, 18-12.

COACHING STAFF

Colts:

  • HC Frank Reich
  • OC Nick Sirianni
  • DC Matt Eberflus
  • STC Bubba Ventrone

Dolphins:

  • HC Adam Gase
  • OC Dowell Loggains
  • DC Matt Burke
  • STC Darren Rizzi

KEY NEW FACES

Colts:

  • OG Quenton Nelson
  • TE Eric Ebron
  • WR Ryan Grant
  • RB Nyheim Hines
  • DT/DE Denico Autry

Dolphins:

  • S Minkah Fitzpatrick
  • RB Frank Gore/Kalen Ballage
  • DE Robert Quinn
  • TE Mike Gesicki/Durham Smythe
  • OG Josh Sitton

OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

Colts:

  • The Colts got an almost entirely new coaching staff this offseason, and general manager Chris Ballard went into his second offseason of flipping the roster.
  • With the coaching change came a switch to a 4-3, Tampa-2 style defense from the hybrid 3-4 defense.
  • From 2017 to 2018, there could be as many as a dozen or more new starters.
  • One of those new starters will be at running back. Frank Gore is now on the Miami Dolphins, so a new face will be stepping into the starting tailback spot.

Dolphins:

  • Last year, the Dolphins and Adam Gase got Gase's former quarterback Jay Cutler to come out of retirement to play in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill is now back under center, and Cutler is dazzling us on "Very Cavallari."
  • A few significant former Dolphins are no longer with the team. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry — who racked up 400 receptions in his first four years in Miami — was traded to the Cleveland Browns this offseason. Center Mike Pouncey was released and is now with the Los Angeles Chargers. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was also released and has signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
  • This time last year, the Dolphins running back depth chart looked much different. Jay Ajayi led the way, followed by Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. Now, Ajayi is with the Philadelphia Eagles after being traded last season, and Williams is now a Kansas City Chief. Drake is the new top dog with newcomers Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage flanking him.

EARLY STORYLINES

  • Frank Gore Returns To Indianapolis — After spending the last three seasons in Indianapolis and amassing 3,700 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns, Gore is now with his hometown Dolphins for his likely swan song. He was the epitome of a hard-worker and model member of the franchise, so he should be welcomed back by the fan base with open arms.
  • Colts Able To Unload The Deep Ball? — On paper, the Dolphins quietly have one of the league's best safety tandems in rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick and Reshad Jones. Both are versatile and can play just about any role a safety would need to, so that could limit what the Colts are able to do downfield.
  • Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe Coming Along? — Tight end is one of the positions that takes longest for players to develop into when they get to the NFL. The Dolphins drafted two such players with high upside in Gesicki and Smythe. Now well into the second half of the season, how far along will they be in their development?
  • Dolphins Veterans Attack Off The Edges — Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (36) has been an ageless wonder, averaging almost 11 sacks per season since turning 30. The Dolphins brought in fellow veteran defensive end Robert Quinn from the Rams this offseason. He has a few double-digit sack seasons under his belt but has dealt with injuries in recent years. If he stays healthy, could this change of scenery rejuvenate his career?

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts TE Eric Ebron/RB Nyheim Hines vs. Dolphins S Minkah Fitzpatrick — Fitzpatrick showed the ability to line up deep, in the slot, in the box, outside and even at linebacker while at Alabama. He seems like the perfect person to patrol the Colts' versatile pair of Ebron and Hines.
  • Colts OT Austin Howard vs. Dolphins DE Cameron Wake — If Howard maintains running with the first unit offense at right tackle, then he will likely see Wake quite a bit. With Miami's good-looking secondary, Andrew Luck will need as much time as possible to find his pass-catchers.
  • Colts CB Quincy Wilson vs. Dolphins WR DeVante Parker — Another attractive matchup for the Colts' (potentially) top corner. Parker has nice size and athleticism that makes it hard for corners to deal with him on 50/50 balls. Wilson's determination with the ball in the air should make it a fun one to watch.
  • Colts S Malik Hooker vs. Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki — There is a decent chance we see Hooker matched up with the uber athletic rookie tight end, particularly in the red zone.

RETURNING LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Jacoby Brissett (3,098 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (358 yards)
  • Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (966 yards)
  • Touchdowns — QB Jacoby Brissett, WR T.Y. Hilton, TE Jack Doyle (4)
  • Tackles — LB Antonio Morrison (108 total)
  • Sacks — DE Jabaal Sheard (5.5)
  • Interceptions — S Malik Hooker (3)

Dolphins:

  • Passing — QB David Fales (265 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Kenyan Drake (644 yards)
  • Receiving — WR Kenny Stills (847 yards)
  • Touchdowns — WR Kenny Stills (6)
  • Tackles — S Reshad Jones (122)
  • Sacks — DE Cameron Wake (10.5)
  • Interceptions — CB Xavien Howard (4)

COMPARING 2017 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 31st (284.8 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 30th (16.4 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 30th (180.8 YPG)
  • Running offense — 22nd (103.8 YPG)
  • Total defense — 30th (367.1 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 30th (25.2 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 28th (246.6 YPG)
  • Sacks — 31st (25)
  • Running defense — 26th (120.4 YPG)
  • Time of possession — 22nd (29:41)
  • Turnover margin — 13th (+5)

Dolphins:

  • Total offense — 25th (307.7 YPG)
  • Scoring offense — 28th (17.6 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 18th (220.9 YPG)
  • Running offense — 29th (86.8 YPG)
  • Total defense — 16th (335.7 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 29th (24.6 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 17th (225.2 YPG)
  • Sacks — 26th (30)
  • Running defense — 14th (110.5 YPG)
  • Time of possession — 23rd (29:25)
  • Turnover margin — 30th (-14)

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