Greetings once again from high atop Lucas Oil Stadium where the Indianapolis Colts will take on the Miami Dolphins in a game with major playoff implications for both teams. As we do every week, Colts 101 will chronicle our reactions as the game progresses live here on this post. You can also follow us on Twitter @Colts_101. We invite your comments and questions throughout the game.
The Colts projected starting offensive line (Castonzo, Reitz, Satele, McGlynn and Justice) will make its first appearance of 2012.
Weslye Saunders makes his first Colts start for the injured Coby Fleener. He could be an important presence in the red zone.
Donald Brown is active, but Vick Ballard is starting at RB.
An already thin Dolphins secondary is without starter Richard Marshall. Nolan Carroll gets the start. Let's see if Luck goes after him.
The Colts have arrived back on the national scene. John Clayton and Albert Breer lead a contingent of national media folks in the press box today.
1:00 The Colts won the toss and elected to receive. That's some confidence in this young offense against a good Miami defense.
1:03 Tom Zbikowski returns the opening kickoff out to the 30 yard line. Colts go hurry-up right away after completing a crossing route to Donnie Avery out near midfield.
1:06 The Colts convert a third and long down to the Miami 34. Good omen early against the best third down defense in the NFL.
1:07 A slant to TY Hilton brings up third and short. Delone Carter is stuffed as Miami really getting penetration early. Vinatieri on for the field goal attempt.
1:09 After a delay of game penalty, Vinatieri missed a 48 yard field goal. Dolphins take over at their own 39.
1:13 Dolphins get into Colts' territory with a perfect back-shoulder throw from Ryan Tannehill to Devon Bess.
1:15 Cassius Vaughn can't keep up with the crossing Brian Hartline as the Dolphins convert their first third down attempt.
1:17 After an offsides penalty against the Colts, Daniel Thomas sweeps left for the first down at the Colts' 19. Robert Mathis absolutely abuses Jonathan Martin on the next play and sacks Tannehill.
1:19 Underneath completion to Davone Bess is short of the first down, but gives Dan Carpenter 10 yards less to cover with a FG. 3-0 Miami with 4:15 left in the first quarter.
1:22 TY Hilton back this time. Takes a knee eight yards deep. Colts first and 10 from the 20.
1:25 Colts with a pair of WR screens to start this drive. Clearly trying to take advantage of the Dolphins line aggressiveness.
1:26 Luck thread the needle to Wayne on third down.
1:28 Luck scrambles and finds a wide open TY Hilton for 25 and back into Miami territory. Koa Masi gets lost in a one on one matchup with Dwayne Allen and draws a pass interference penalty. First and goal at the 10.
1:31 Luck converts another third down with a fine catch on a skinny post by Reggie Wayne. 9 plays, 80 yards in 3:28. Colts lead 7-3.
1:37 Ryan Tannehill answers Andrew Luck with a beautiful 35 yard tear-drop down the right sideline to Brian Hartline. Colts are challenging the play.
1:39 The call stands. The Colts lose a timeout and the Fins have the ball at the Colts 45.
1:40 Miami picks up 10 more as the first quarter comes to a close. The Colts lead 7-3, but the Dolphins are on the Colts' 35.
1:44 Cassius Vaughn looked like he got pushed off, but the refs flag him for illegal contact. First down Miami.
1:46 Tannehill gets his fullback in a one on one matchup with Pat Angerer and puts the Dolphins back on top. Five plays, 80 yard, 2:22 capped by a 31 yard TD pass to Charles Clay.
1:50 Given a free play because the Dolphins jumped, Luck hits Donnie Avery down the seem for 48 yards to the Dolphins 32.
1:52 A little misdirection and crossing route to Vick Ballard takes the ball down to the Miami 11.
1:58 After a penalty and a missed pass interference in the end zone, the Colts are forced to kick a 23 yard field goal. Game tied at 10-10 with 9:37 left.
2:02 Dwight Freeney gets a sack and forces a fumble, but Jake Long grabs it out of the air. Nobody accounts for Reggie Bush on third and eight though, and the Fins pick up 19.
2:04 Daniel Thomas gets 20 yards on a sweep left. That's gotten the Colts twice now today.
2:07 Thomas picks up a tough first down then Reggie Bush looked like his old Heisman form, juking Robert Mathis and getting into the end zone. Dolphins lead 17-10 with 5:07 left in the half.
2:11 Carroll can't cover Reggie Wayne as Luck finds him on the crossing route. Vick Ballard then takes it around left end to the 48.
2:14 Vick Ballard picks up 10 which puts the ball on the Miami 34.
2:17 Luck and LaVonn Brazill not on the same page on third down. Adam Vinatieri missed a 54 yard field goal attempt, giving Miami great field position with 2:24 left.
2:23 The Colts force the first punt of the game. Hilton gets it out to the 13.
2:27 Luck has the Colts at midfield with :46 left, but they lost a timeout when the official incorrectly ruled Wayne down inbounds.
2:31 Luck rolls to his left, fires across his body and hits Brazill for a first down at the Dolphins 39.
2:32 Luck had TY Hilton down the seem. It was a little long, but a ball Hilton has to come down with.
2:33 Winston Justice gets called for holding, pushing the Colts back on their side of the field.
2:34 Luck finds Hilton improbably for a first down to the Dolphins 29. 12 seconds left.
2:36 Adam Vinatieri hits from 47. They'll trail 17-13 at the half. That's five scoring opportunities in the first half that net a touchdown and two field goals. The Dolphins are winning according to their formula.
2:37 Luck 18 for 29 and 273 yards in the first half. Unbelievable.
2:52 Dolphins start the second half with the ball on their 20 after Pat McAfee booms a touchback.
2:55 The Colts defense holds, forcing a Brandon Field punt. Robert Mathis not on the field to start the half.
3:02 The Colts pick up a first down on yet another third down conversion. Luck is making mincemeat of the league's best third down defense.
3:04 The beat goes on with Luck finding Avery on a slant. Cameron Wake finally gets his name called though, forcing a fumble. Dwayne Allen hustles after it, saving a turnover, but it takes the Colts out of field goal range. Pat McAfee will have to punt for the first time.
3:09 McAfee's punt fair caught at the ten. This would be a good time to force a turnover.
3:11 Tannehill finds Hartline for a first down, but a holding penalty takes Miami back to their own 10.
3:13 The Colts defense holds, forcing a Miami punt. The defense is really flying to the ball.
3:19 Luck had Weslye Saunders one on one down the right side but overshot him. He keeps the play alive however and finds Ballard for 15 and another first down.
3:22 Luck appeared to have another third down conversion, but Dwayne Allen was called for a pick play. So just to show everyone, Luck finds LaVonn Brazill for 19.
3:24 After two nice Delone Carter runs, luck finds TY Hilton for 36 yards and a touchdown. Vinatieri's extra point makes it 20-17 Colts with 1:49 in the third. Nine plays 82 yards in 4:22.
3:28 Dolphins take over at their 35 after a personal foul against Joe Lefeged moves the return up. You get the sense the Dolphins need a score here to stem the Colts' momentum.
3:32 The third quarter closes with the Colts up 20-17. The Dolphins have a 2nd and 5 at the Colts 42.
3:35 Tannehill completes two in a row to Bess, picking up a first down and then getting it to the Colts 13.
3:37 Daniel Thomas drops a screen on third down and Dan Carpenter has to boot a field goal that ties the game at 20-20 with 13:12 remaining.
3:41 Penalties continue to eat up valuable yardage as the Colts are called for an illegal wedge on the kickoff. They'll start this drive inside their own 10.
3:43 Luck does it again, this time to Dwayne Allen in the shadow of his own goalpost. That's followed by a quick slant to Allen that takes the ball up to midfield.
3:47 Luck is just dissecting the Dolphins defense. That opens up a huge lane for Vick Ballard to the Dolphins' 29.
3:50 Luck finally missed on third down, forcing an Adam Vinatieri field goal that puts the Colts back in the lead 23-20. It was only a field goal, but the 7:14 drive leaves 5:58 left in the game, putting some urgency in the Dolphins on this drive.
3:55 Jerraud Powers goes out with a toe injury, leaving Cassius Vaughn and Darius Butler as the corners.
3:59 The official leaves his mic on for the second time today with lots of profanity going out over the airwaves. Mr. Goodell will be speaking to him tomorrow.
4:00 The Colts hold and force a punt. They have the ball on their 20 with 3:51 left with the chance to ice the game with a couple of first downs.
4:05 Luck is nearly picked after getting pressured on third down. The Colts will have to punt with 2:52 remaining. Miami has two timeouts.
4:07 Marcus Thigpen returned McAfee's 59 yard punt out near midfield, but a holding call takes it back to the 17.
4:09 At the two minute warning the Dolphins have the ball at midfield, still with two timeouts left. The Colts can't afford to allow the underneath stuff. Carpenter has a leg.
4:14 The Colts force three straight incompletions with good pressure. The Dolphins face a fourth and 15 for the game.
4:16 Tannehill is flushed from the pocket and completes the pass, but it's short and the Dolphins were called for holding. The Colts take over on their 41 with 1:37 left. The Dolphins have one timeout left.
4:20 Vick Ballard rumbles for 19 and the first down to end the game. Colts win 23-20 to move to 5-3.
What a performance by Andrew Luck. What a performance by the Colts defense, who allowed only three points in the second half. Jacksonville awaits on Thursday. Of immediate concern are the injuries sustained in this game and what that will mean for Thursday's game.
Tags: Football, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, NFL
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