Two great passers, two good defenses. While the Colts defense is not in the same league as the Dolphins just yet, it proved it could be pretty tough.
And while Ryan Tannehill is not quite in Andrew Luck's league yet, he outplayed the Pro Bowl passer on the road. In the end, a very evenly matched game between Miami and Indianapolis saw the Dolphins win 24-20 at Lucas Oil Field.
It was also a game where we saw Mike Wallace catch nine passes for 115 yards and a score (which will hopefully shut him up) and Charles Clay remained a solid tight end option for this team (Clay had 100-plus receiving yards on the day as well).
TY Hilton stole the show for the Colts, gaining 124 yards in pass receptions on the day.
Here is what we learned from the game.
Ryan Tannehill is going to be a star
This is the eighth straight win for the Dolphins when they score 23 points or more. Tannehill is coming into his own. Tannehill threw for 319 yards and a score.
He hit Mike Wallace for his only score of the game, but made Wallace look relevant in the win. He also had a 100-yard pass catcher in Charles Clay as well.
He also overcame a Colts pass rush that sacked him five times during the game. Tannehill finished with a rating of 107.3 for the game and appears to be ready to take the next step toward being the elite quarterback the Dolphins hoped for when he was drafted last season.
Andrew Luck is a better athlete than you think
While there will be no “Captain Comeback” from Luck like last week, we saw just how good Luck is an athlete.
When he needed to get yards and could not find receivers, Luck used his legs to get first downs and move the chains.
Luck finished with 329 yards of passing offense and one touchdown. He made TY Hilton a star in the game with 124 yards on six catches.
Luck has the rocket arm and the confidence in the pocket and in the huddle to make things run smoothly. But Luck is such a good athlete (like last week’s 19-yard touchdown run to beat Oakland), there are times when we don’t see how good he is besides his arm. Luck could not fully escape the Dolphins today, but Luck was a showcase player.
The Miami secondary came up huge
Brent Grimes intercepted a pass in the endzone that proved to be the game winning play.
Grimes was a free agent signing that I questioned in the offseason. I admit, I was proven wrong. Grimes and the secondary were glued to the Colts receivers (except for TY Hilton).
If Miami is as strong up front and the play of Grimes and the secondary steps up, the team can challenge New England for the AFC East title.
Both pass rushes are pretty good
Five sacks by the Colts. Three by the Dolphins. This was a contest that was pretty well evenly matched. The Colts pass rush surprised me a bit. Bjoern Werner had a good game and Pat Angerer in the middle of the linebacking corps were solid. The time of possession for both teams were about equal. But when there was a need to stop the run or force a throw, the Colts stepped up.
On Miami’s side, the front four continued to show it was pretty good, forcing Luck backward many times. Dion Jordan also had a major say in how the Colts rushed throws in the second half and may have had a hand in deciding the game in the fourth quarter.
Both teams working on running game
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 65 yards and a touchdown. Lamar Miller ran for 69 yards and a score. Charles Clay also added a one-yard plunge.
The Dolphins still averaged under four yards per carry and the Colts bolted for over five yards a rush.
Both areas are something these teams will work on. They cannot be playoff teams and expect to rely solely on the passing game.