A big Dolphins-Colts game in early November? The pundits certainly could not have seen this coming.
As Peter King said on NBC on Sunday night, “Who would have expected” before the season that the Dolphins (4-3) and Colts (4-3) both would have winning records entering the game?
CBS’ Bill Cowher said he could envision either team becoming the final AFC playoff qualifier.
Oddsmakers made the Dolphins a two-point favorite.
“I don’t know a ton about Indy,” coach Joe Philbin said Monday. “They must be pretty good. They are winning some close games.”
The Colts are ninth in the league in offense and ninth in passing offense. Colts receiver Reggie Wayne leads the league in receiving yards (757) on 54 receptions.
The Dolphins are 22nd in total defense — third against the rush and 27th against the pass. But that 22nd ranking is misleading because the Dolphins have allowed the fewest points in the AFC.
“The Dolphins are a lot better than we give them credit for,” Steve Mariucci said on NFL Network on Sunday night.
Offensively, the Dolphins running game mustered 97 yards, but just 2.9 per carry, against a Jets defense that ranked 30th against the run. There should be opportunities Sunday, with the Colts 27th against the run but seventh against the pass.
The Dolphins are 23rd in passing offense, 11th in rushing offense.
Philbin was asked about earning a reputation for being daring, in the wake of his decision to call a fake punt late in the Rams game and an onside kick early in the Jets game.
“Daring is not usually a word associated with me,” he said. Philbin said “sometimes it’s not going to work,” but he’s comfortable with gambling at times “as long as you have a good thought process.”
This and that
• With his players riding high emotionally from a three-game winning streak, Philbin cautioned his team needs “to stay as even as you can.
“… We’ve made a ton of mistakes — players and coaches. [But] I’m proud of them.”
• Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, on Jabar Gaffney, who caught a 30-yard pass but dropped a potential touchdown Sunday, and Marlon Moore, who had a sprawling 37-yard catch: “He and Marlon played well for what we asked them to do. Maybe we need to ask them to do more.”
• Even though right tackle Jonathan Martin gave up a sack, Sherman said, “I’m pretty pleased with the rookie. He’s every bit of everything we thought he would be, maybe more so.”
Sherman said Anthony Fasano “was a dominant blocker in the game.”
• How good was left guard Richie Incognito against the Jets? According to Pro Football Focus, runs to either side of him gained 62 yards on eight carries. The 21 other runs (aside from kneel-downs) produced 29 yards.
• The Jets continued their trash-talking afterward.
“They’re not a very clean team,” receiver Chaz Schilens said. “They’re a little cheap as far as I’m concerned.”
• Before Sunday, the Jets hadn’t allowed a blocked punt for a touchdown since 1984 — the longest streak in NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• Daniel Thomas ran for 42 yards, on just 2.8 per carry, but scored a touchdown.
Philbin said he “ran the ball hard, played pretty decisively. He’s quick; there isn’t a lot of dancing.”