Dolphins players said the difference in finishing off the Indianapolis Colts this season was simple: making the big play.
Cornerback Brent Grimes might have provided one of the biggest plays, intercepting Andrew Luck in the end zone in the fourth quarter of the Dolphins’ 24-20 win Sunday.
“That’s the difference between winning and losing in this game — creating turnovers,” Miami safety Reshad Jones said. “[Grimes] is a veteran guy who has been around the league for a while now. He’s feisty and a ballhawk. He can go up and make plays on the ball and a guy that can create turnovers.”
Miami held a 24-20 lead when Luck attempted to put the Colts ahead, throwing a jump ball to his top receiver, and University of Miami product, Reggie Wayne, in the right corner of the end zone.
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Grimes had inside position and timed his leap perfectly to get his first interception with the Dolphins, and 14th of his career.
“He threw it up there and I had to compete for the ball,” Grimes said. “I had to make sure I timed the jump early. I just made a play. That’s all it was, competing and making a play.”
It was the first interception Luck had thrown in 165 attempts.
“I forced the throw up there,” Luck said. “It was good coverage by Grimes, we knew coming in he was a phenomenal corner. … [Griff] Whalen was wide open underneath and I sort of just missed him in my read and then threw it up there, except I didn’t throw it up to give Reggie a chance.”
Grimes said timing his jump on the interception was critical, after not doing so on a 47-yard catch by T.Y. Hilton in the first half. It eventually led to Ahmad Bradshaw’s 1-yard touchdown run that put Indianapolis ahead 17-14 at halftime.
“He came back after he made [the interception] and said he had owed us one because of the one deep pass completed on him today,” Miami coach Joe Philbin said. “But [the interception was a] very, very good play.”
After his interception of Luck, Grimes immediately delivered the ball to his wife sitting in the stands. She has been one of his biggest supporters during a difficult past year.
Grimes signed a one-year contract in the offseason, spending his first six years with Atlanta. He tore his Achilles in the Falcons’ opening game last year, costing him the season.
“I’m just playing and not worried about individual stuff,” Grimes said. “I going to go out and play football. Plays are going to come, and I made some plays. The injury is in the past, it’s just about going out and playing ball.”
Hilton, a former FIU star, finished with six receptions for 124 yards, all in the first half. Indianapolis had just 80 yards passing in the second half.
“We just played our games,” said Grimes, who also had five tackles and three pass breakups Sunday. “[Hilton is] a good player and made some plays, but we just came out in the second half and did our job and played good defense.”
Grimes now prepares for an emotional week as Miami hosts his former team, Atlanta, on Sunday.
“Obviously I know I’m going to get a lot of questions about that,” he said.