Seven Things To Watch For: Colts/Dolphins Edition

Intro: The Colts (6-8) will try and keep their playoff hopes alive Sunday afternoon when they take on the Dolphins (5-9). Here are seven things to look for when the Colts head to Miami in their Week 16 matchup.


INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts (6-8) final road trip of 2015 comes this weekend when they head south to take on the Dolphins (5-9).

For the eighth time this season, the Colts will have Matt Hasselbeck under center.

What should fans be looking for when the Colts and Dolphins kick off in Week 16?

1. How Healthy Is Hasselbeck?

-No. 8 says he feels better this week than he has leading up to prior games. Hasselbeck has practiced all week with a lingering ribs injury still being the biggest annoyance. The Colts did sign Stephen Morris, another quarterback, on Thursday. That means the Colts have four quarterbacks on their active roster for the first time all year.

2. Deep Ball Connection

-What the Colts did so well with in 2014, they've struggled with mightily in 2015. Miami's propensity to give up big plays in the passing game should be music to the ears of the Colts. Several factors have played into the Colts lack of big plays offensively this season with the injuries at quarterback atop that list.

3. Convert On Opportunities

-It's worth repeating that the Colts had a 34-yard advantage in average drive start during last week's first half. Yet, they led by just seven points at halftime. This offense has to start converting such promising field position chances. With a unit just not capable of stringing together 80-yard drives after 80-yard drives, finishing off short fields is a must.

4. Get After Tannehill

-Compare the sack numbers of Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck and it's not even close. Tannehill has been sacked nearly 50 more times than Luck (Tannehill has played in seven more games) in their four years together in the league. The Miami offensive line is really beat up right now so that is something the Colts should have to their advantage on Sunday.

5. Will Gore Have A Shot At 1,000?

-Heading into the final two weeks of the season, Frank Gore is 194 rushing yards short of that magical number for a running back. If Gore does not reach 1,000 rushing yards it will be the first time in his 11 NFL seasons that he's failed to rush for a thousand in a healthy season. With the quarterback position battling multiple injuries, a day around 100 yards from Gore in Miami would be more than ideal for the Colts offense.

6. Miami Return

-For Gore, T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson and Philip Dorset this week's matchup is certainly one they've circled on the calendar. The Miami natives will head home on Sunday and play in front of hundreds of friends and family. These skill guys playing well at home would go a long way in helping out an offense striving for consistency.

7. Scoreboard Watch

-The first order of business for the Colts on Sunday is a win. Period. Those in the press box though will have an eye on Nashville, where the Texans take on the Titans. The Colts desperately need a loss from the Texans in order to have a realistic shot at the playoffs in Week 17.

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