INDIANAPOLIS – With the halfway point of the NFL season approaching this weekend, the Indianapolis Colts (4-3) once again will face a young team with a rookie quarterback.
The Miami Dolphins (4-3) head to Lucas Oil Stadium led by rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and a total of 12 rookies on their 53-man roster.
Similarly to the Colts, the Dolphins turned in an impressive month of October by winning all three of their games. Miami won on the road at Cincinnati, 17-13, and at the New York Jets, while besting St. Louis at home, 17-14.
There is a bit of uncertainty facing Miami this week as Tannehill injured his knee in Sunday's 30-9 victory over the Jets.
Tannehill's status for Sunday's game against the Colts remains to be seen, but backup Matt Moore filled in with an 11-of-19 passing effort for 131 yards and one touchdown.
The Miami offense has relied on the ability of running back Reggie Bush to impact both the running (493 yards) and passing (146 yards) game.
Wide receivers Brian Hartline (33 catches for 555 yards) and Davone Bess (32 catches for 416 yards) are the lone two receivers with more than 25 receptions on the year. Tight end Anthony Fasano (23-180, three touchdowns) is third on the team in receiving.
Defensively, Miami is built to stop the run and has done that this season while ranking third in the league in allowing an average of 82.0 yards per game on the ground.
The Dolphins also bring a potent pass rush with 22 sacks in seven games this year. The total is good for second-most in the AFC, behind Cincinnati's 23. Defensive end Cameron Wake leads the pass rush with 7.5 sacks.
In beginning October with victories over Cincinnati, St. Louis and the New York Jets, Miami has positioned itself with the Colts in the top half of the AFC.
Joe Philbin is making his NFL debut as a head coach after being the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers since 2007.
*2012 Record: *4-3, Second in the AFC East.
*Head Coach: *Joe Philbin, first season as Dolphins head coach (4-3 overall in the regular season).
*2012 NFL Rankings: *Offense – Overall, 23rd (327.9); Rushing, 11th (115.9); Passing 23rd (212.0) Defense – Overall, 22nd (363.0); Rushing, 3rd (82.0); Passing, 27th (281.0).
*2012 Leading Passer: *Ryan Tannehill (120-203 comp., 1,472 yards, 59.1 pct., 4 TDs, 6 INTs, 75.8 rating).
*2012 Leading Rusher: *Reggie Bush (112 carries, 493 yards, 3 TDs).
*2012 Leading Receiver: *Brian Hartline (33 receptions, 555 yards, 1 TD).
2012 Leading Sacker: Cameron Wake (7.5).
2012 Turnover Breakdown: -2 (T18th).
2012 NFL Draft Results: Miami chose the third quarterback in the first eight picks of April's NFL Draft, when Ryan Tannehill was selected the by the Dolphins. The Texas A&M product shot up the draft boards late in the process and has started every game so far in 2012. In the second round, the Dolphins turned to offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, and he has started all seven games at right tackle. Martin hails from Stanford University, a school familiar to Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and tight end Coby Fleener. Defensive end Olivier Vernon was the Dolphins' third-round pick, and he has rotated in along the defensive line. The Dolphins have a total of 12 rookies on their 53-man roster.
*2011 Review: *The Dolphins' 2011 season was a tale of two halves. Miami finished the season 6-10, which placed the team third in the AFC East. Miami got off to an 0-7 start before winning six of its final nine games. The tough start contributed to the departure of Head Coach Tony Sparano. In the offseason, the Dolphins hired former Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their head coach. Philbin elected to draft rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill with Miami's eighth pick in the first round of April's NFL Draft.
Last time in Playoffs: 2008 season. Lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 27-9, in the AFC Wild Card Round.
*Last time in Super Bowl: *1984. Lost Super Bowl XIX, 38-16, to the San Francisco 49ers.
*Super Bowl Championships: *Two. Won Super Bowl VII, 14-7, over the Washington Redskins. Won Super Bowl VIII, 24-7, over the Minnesota Vikings.
2011 Pro Bowl Selections: Jake Long OT. Brandon Marshall WR. Paul Soliai DT.