It’s a Friday during the NFL season so your boss can not possibly be expecting you to work …right? To help my fellow Circle City residents kill time, and their productivity, until they can return home, here is a look at what the Indianapolis Colts face in their week 2 match-up against the water-bound, blowhole breathing mammals of Miami.
Both teams had their share of off-season turmoil and shakeups. The Colts had to deal with a number of key losses; including head coach Tony Dungy and star wide-receiver Marvin Harrison. They also had to deal with the sudden resignations, and subsequent rehiring, of both Tom Moore and Howard Mudd; two key components to both the safety and fluidity of Peyton Manning and the Colts offense.
On the other hand, the Miami Dolphins had to worry about what other current and faded pop culture icons were going to buy a piece of the team. This past summer saw the likes of Marc Anthony, Gloria & Emilio Estefan, Venus and Serena Williams all buy minority ownership in the Miami franchise. However, the biggest question on the minds of Dolphin fans everywhere was whether or not executive VP of football operations Bill Parcells would show up to training camp looking like this.
The Colts look to keep the ball rolling after their 14-12 season opening victory at Lucas Oil Stadium last week. While Peyton looked a little rusty on some of his throws and decisions early in the game, he still put up over 300 yards in the air and connected with No. 87 when it really mattered for the Colts second touchdown. Speaking of No. 87, Reggie Wayne put together another performance that has Indianapolis sports fans quietly asking Marvin who?
However, after Reggie, the receiving corp is a bit of a guessing game now that the Colts will be without 3rd year receiver Anthony Gonzalez anywhere from 2-8 weeks. Early in the game Gonzalez went down with what is being called sprained ligaments in his right knee. If there is an upside to such an occurrence it is that no surgery will be needed. This gives an opportunity to both Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie to show Indy what they can do.
The Colts did make a move on Thursday to try to fill the hole left by the Gonzalez injury by signing veteran wide-out Hank Baskett. Baskett brings with him 72 catches for 1052 yards and 6TD’s which is not all that bad until you realize those are his career numbers over 48 games. In comparison, Reggie Wayne had 82 catches for 1145 yards and 6TD’s last season alone. The bottom line is that Baskett is best known for his catch off the field than any one he has on the field. (If you are not picking up what I’m putting down Google Hank Baskett getting married.)
When the Colts and Dolphins square off Monday night down in Miami, look for our boys in blue to keep the home team off balance with a steady dose of passing plays to Dallas Clark down the middle and Wayne on the outside. Something else to watch for will be if rookie running back Donald Brown will keep pushing Joseph Addai back to his pro bowl ways. The Colts 2009 first round draft pick will need to grow up faster than the front office might have wanted him to as Baskett learns the offense and Gonzalez rehabs.
Even without Bob Sanders patrolling the secondary the Colts defense looked good last Sunday. While the final drive last week looked eerily similar to the 2008 home loss the Jacksonville Jaguars handed the Colts, the result was much different. Last year the Jags marched down the field to setup a game winning field goal by Josh Scobee. This year, thanks to the constant pressure from the Horseshoe’s front line, Scobee didn’t get a second chance to play spoiler.
The Dolphins are trying to prove that last year’s playoff run was no fluke. That being said, Chad Pennington can not be sleeping well while nightmares of Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are dancing through his head. Even without a solid number two receiver out there, the tandem of Wayne and Clark will be more than enough to help Manning shake the rust off from last week. If the Colts can get the running game going, this one will be well in hand by the end of the third quarter.
Check back with us here at FunCityFinder Indianapolis on Tuesday for a complete wrap up of the Monday night game.