INDIANAPOLIS — The latest chapter in the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins series takes place in a few months as the Colts play host to the Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 10.
Last year the teams squared off in a contest that saw the Colts put together a late fury as kicker Adam Vinatieri booted the game-winning field goal as time expired. Although they played each other less than eight months ago, the Dolphins look much different now than they did then, from the top to the bottom.
Let's analyze this year's matchup.
- Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4:05 p.m. ET
- Indianapolis; Lucas Oil Stadium
- TV: CBS
- Dolphins lead, 45-27 (Colts are 0-2 in the playoffs). The Colts have won six of the last seven games dating back to 2003.
- Last game — Week 12 of 2018. Colts won, 27-24.
- HC Frank Reich
- OC Nick Sirianni
- DC Matt Eberflus
- STC Bubba Ventrone
- HC Brian Flores
- OC Chad O'Shea
- DC Patrick Graham
- STC Danny Crossman
KEY NEW FACES
- DE/LB Ben Banogu
- WR Parris Campbell
- WR Devin Funchess
- DE Justin Houston
- CB Rock Ya-Sin
- TE Dwayne Allen
- DE Tank Carradine/Nate Orchard
- OL Michael Deiter/Jordan Mills/Chris Reed
- QB Ryan Fitzpatrick/Josh Rosen
- CB Eric Rowe
- DT Adolphus Washington/Christian Wilkins
OTHER SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
- Overall, this was a pretty quiet offseason for the Colts for a change. It was about building onto and shaping the current roster rather than shaking things up or making sweeping changes. Former starting receivers Ryan Grant and Dontrelle Inman both departed in free agency, and veterans Mike Mitchell and Al Woods also were not re-signed by the team. Offensive lineman Matt Slauson retired following a 10-year career.
- The Dolphins have made some big changes this offseason, including assigning Chris Grier to oversee football operations as general manager. They also brought in a new coaching staff to replace former head coach Adam Gase and his staff. Brian Flores is now the head coach, with Chad O'Shea as offensive coordinator, Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator and Danny Crossman as special teams coordinator.
- On the field, the Dolphins will have a new look. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed in free agency, and Josh Rosen was acquired via trade during the draft. Offensive linemen Michael Deiter and Jordan Mills were brought in to compete to hold up the offensive front while Christian Wilkins and Eric Rowe were a pair of quality additions on defense.
- A big part of Miami's offseason has been about who will no longer be around. That includes longtime standouts, quarterback Ryan Tannehill and defensive end Cam Wake. Offensive linemen Ja’Wuan James and Josh Sitton, running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Danny Amendola are also no longer with the team.
EARLY STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH
- Who Is Miami's Quarterback? — The Dolphins will have a new face, but who will it be? Fitzpatrick is the veteran who has had stretches of brilliance in his career, but it's often come as "the replacement" or "the fill-in." Meanwhile, Rosen was selected in the top 10 of last year's draft and is considered to be a potential franchise quarterback.
- Can Colts' Front Dominate The Front Seven? — The Dolphins were near the bottom of the league last year in both sacks and run defense, and it'd be difficult to declare that their front seven has improved much this offseason. The Colts ran for 118 yards in the matchup last year, led by Marlon Mack's 85 yards, and Andrew Luck was sacked just once. The Colts should be able to perform just as well, if not better, in those two areas in 2019's matchup.
- Clean Up The Self-Inflicted Wounds — There were four big mistakes made by the Colts in the first half of last year's game that could have cost them the game if not for their late rally. Two Luck interceptions, a Jordan Wilkins fumble and a contested catch allowed for a long touchdown are all things that were uncharacteristic and can be cleaned up in this year's matchup.
- Colts WR T.Y. Hilton vs. Dolphins CB Xavien Howard — Howard has established himself as one of the NFL's best cover corners, and he had both of Miami's interceptions last year. Although he had 125 yards on the day, Hilton was only targeted twice while covered by Howard, so it doesn't seem likely Hilton will be held quiet again.
- Colts TE Eric Ebron vs. Dolphins DB Minkah Fitzpatrick — Fitzpatrick is a Swiss Army Knife of a defender, so it's tough to say exactly where he'll be played in this matchup. As a rookie in 2018, he played 379 snaps in the slot, 281 at wide corner, 166 at free safety, 95 in the box and 23 on the defensive line (presumably standing up on the edge). He's the perfect player to matchup with Ebron, who proved to be a matchup nightmare for defenders all season long last year.
- Colts DE Justin Houston vs. Dolphins OT Laremy Tunsil — Tunsil has quickly transformed from a quality left guard into an excellent left tackle within three seasons. Pitting him against the Colts' new All-Pro edge defender Justin Houston will surely be a matchup to watch.
- Colts LB Darius Leonard vs. Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki — Gesicki is an athletic freak, and going into his second season should be a big performer for whomever is at quarterback. Gesicki will likely find himself in Leonard's wide-eyed stare multiple times throughout this game, which will put two fast, athletic, lengthy guys against each other. By this time of the season, we should know if Gesicki is one of 2019's breakout stars. Leonard has already arrived, earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last year.
- Favorite: Colts (-9.5)
- Over/Under: N/A
- Passing — QB Andrew Luck (4,593 yards)
- Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (908 yards)
- Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (1,270 yards)
- Touchdowns — TE Eric Ebron (14)
- Tackles — LB Darius Leonard (163)
- Sacks — DL Denico Autry (9.0)
- Interceptions — CB Kenny Moore II (3)
- Passing — WR Albert Wilson (52 yards)
- Rushing — RB Kenyan Drake (535 yards)
- Receiving — WR Kenny Stills (553 yards)
- Touchdowns — RB Kenyan Drake (9)
- Tackles — LB Kiko Alonso (125)
- Sacks — LB Jerome Baker (3.0)
- Interceptions — CB Xavien Howard (7)
COMPARING 2018 STATS
- Total offense — 7th (386.2 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 5th (27.1 PPG)
- Passing offense — 6th (278.8 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — 1st (18)
- Running offense — 20th (107.4 YPG)
- Third down offense — 1st (48.6%)
- Red zone offense — 5th (67.1%)
- Total defense — 11th (339.4 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 10th (21.5 PPG)
- Passing defense — 16th (237.8 YPG)
- Sacks — Tied-19th (38)
- Running defense — 8th (101.6 YPG)
- Third down defense — 23rd (41%)
- Red zone defense — 11th (55.1%)
- Time of possession — 18th (30:05)
- Turnover differential — Tied-13th (2)
- Total offense — 31st (289.9 YPG)
- Scoring offense — 26th (19.9 PPG)
- Passing offense — 30th (181.2 YPG)
- Sacks allowed — Tied-26th (52)
- Running offense — 18th (108.6 YPG)
- Third down offense — 31st (30%)
- Red zone offense — 27th (51.6%)
- Total defense — 29th (391.1 YPG)
- Scoring defense — 27th (27.1 PPG)
- Passing defense — 21st (245.8 YPG)
- Sacks — 29th (31)
- Running defense — 31st (145.3 YPG)
- Third down defense — 28th (43%)
- Red zone defense — 18th (60.7%)
- Time of possession — 30th (28:06)
- Turnover differential — 11th (+5)
- Former Colts edge defender Dwight Freeney will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime of this matchup, becoming its 16th honoree.