(Used with permission via don Moncrief, Cumulus Media)
For the second week in a row, it wasn’t pretty.
The Colts fell to the Dolphins 16 to 13.
Yes, you heard it correctly. The Colts lost to the Dolphins…
In a game that Colts fans were certain would be an easy win, the horse did just about everything they could to lose.
Let us start with the obvious. The Colts entered the game missing numerous key players. Jacoby Brissett was ruled out before Sunday’s matchup in an attempt to continue his recovery of a sprained MCL that he obtained in week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Brissett’s place was Brian Hoyer (more on his performance later). T.Y. Hilton remains out with a calf injury. Parris Campbell was absent from the game with a hand injury. Pierre Desir is still recovering from a hamstring issue. Devin Funchess continues to recover from a shoulder injury.
It was evident in Sunday’s game that the absence of top-tier players can be detrimental to a team’s performance.
Brian Hoyer (backup QB to Brissett) completed 18 of 39 passes for 204 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in the team’s Week 10 loss to Miami. Sunday was Hoyer’s first start in the NFL in more than two years. Unfortunately, Hoyer stood no chance against a pressing Dolphins defense. Hoyer had an issue with connecting passes, overthrowing many of his attempts. He has had little time to build a rhythm with his offense before his Sunday start, but performance expectations were much higher for the veteran backup quarterback.
Eric Ebron completed five of his 12 targets for 56 yards on Sunday. If the numbers aren’t sad enough, Ebron led the team in targets, yards, and receptions against the Dolphins. For a player that wants to be utilized more during high-stakes situations on the field, he continuously fails to perform past mediocrity.
Adam Vinatieri missed yet another field goal attempt during Sunday’s game. Head coach Frank Reich commented on Vinatieri in a post-game interview. “We’ve been committed to [Vinatieri]. We’re going to always evaluate, Reich stated. Everybody gets measured. Everybody is held accountable, from top to bottom. That’s always the case. Nothing meant to read into that. That’s the reality of the business. There’s been no discussions about that between [general manager] Chris [Ballard] and I. That’s just the business.” It is unclear when enough will be enough for the Colt’s coaching staff when it comes to the Veteran kicker’s performance this season.
Although the Colt’s had trouble on both sides of the football throughout the game, one player stood out in the darkness. Darius Leonard recorded 13 tackles (both of which are single-game highs for him this season). Leonard also had one sack, one interception, two pass breakups and a quarterback hit. While Leonard had a fantastic day on the field, his performance alone could not save a disappointing Colt’s team from the loss against the Dolphins.
Between multiple starter injuries, error after error, and crumbling lines (both offensive and defensive), the Colts fall to 5-4.
The Colts will host the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.