Published September 15, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – Andrew Luck stewed over the mistakes he made Sunday.
There was the forced pass into the end zone that was picked off, the failure to take the potential short gains on the final series and the inability to get away from pressure on Indy's final offensive play.
It was, simply, too much for the Colts to overcome on a day Ryan Tannehill threw for 319 yards and one touchdown, and the Miami defense held Indy to 133 yards in the second half to preserve a 24-20 victory.
"You start thinking about the plays afterward. I think some of those, instead of throwing the ball up for grabs, take the underneath guy, get 5 yards and get in second-and-5 instead of ending up in second-and-10, third-and-10, fourth-and-10," Luck said.
"I don't think I managed that particularly well. They did a good job of pressure on that last play. You never want to get sacked on fourth down. That's almost one of those cardinal sins."
Luck and the Colts (1-1) seemed to have everything working in the first half when they piled up 315 total yards and climbed out of a 14-3 deficit to take a 17-14 lead.
But in the second half, they couldn't get anything right.
After recovering a Tannehill fumble at the Miami 39, the Colts had to settle for a short field goal after Luck's 1-yard TD run was disallowed because Miami coach Joe Philbin challenged the prior catch just in time.
A few plays later, Luck thought he had a 15-yard TD pass but that was wiped out by an illegal shift.
Then, in the fourth quarter, after underthrowing a deep ball to Reggie Wayne in the end zone, Luck wound up throwing three straight incompletions and took a sack on fourth down with 87 seconds to play.
Luck finished 25 of 43 for 321 yards and one TD — the difference came down to managing mistakes.
"We just didn't make enough plays," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "They made just enough to get out of here with a win."
Tannehill is one of the big reasons Miami is 2-0 for only the second time since 2004.
He was 23 of 34 for 319 yards with one touchdown and did a better job managing his offense in the second half. Miami played this one almost perfectly.
They started fast, jumped to a 14-3 lead after two possessions, rallied twice and shut down the Colts when they needed, too.
High-priced free-agent Mike Wallace was a little happier with his performance Sunday, finishing with nine receptions for 115 yards and one touchdown a week after making only one catch in his Miami debut.
Lamar Miller averaged nearly 5 yards per carry, running 14 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. Charles Clay had five catches for 109 yards and only one carry — a 1-yard TD run with 4:40 left in the third quarter, which turned out to be the game's decisive score and stood up to a replay review.
That, and a staunch defense late was enough for the Dolphins to hold on.
"You have to be balanced to win football games. You can't really win a football game by just throwing the whole game," Wallace said. "You have to mix it up."
The Dolphins didn't shy away from trading jabs, especially after Indy piled up 315 yards of offense in the first half, their highest first-half total in seven years.
The Colts finished with 438 yards, but couldn't put Miami away after taking a 17-14 lead in the first half and a 20-17 lead early in the third quarter after Tannehill's fumble.
But Miami made all the big plays after that — the 34-yard completion from Tannehill to Wallace that set up Clay's rushing score, the third down conversions to keep Luck & Co. off the field and the two big fourth-quarter stops.
"Our guys wanted to play them, we wanted to compete," Miami coach Joe Philbin said. "They were ready for a 60-minute game and we knew we would have to make some plays to win."
Notes: Indy lost left guard Donald Thomas in the first quarter with a torn quad tendon that is likely to end his season. The Colts also played the second half without Darius Heyward-Bey, who injured his ribs. ... The Dolphins snapped a four-game losing streak in this series. ... Luck had the NFL's longest active streak with 165 straight passes without an interception before Grimes picked him off. ... Miami scored 14 points in the first quarter for the first time since 2011, a span of 25 games. ... T.Y. Hilton had a career-high 124 yards receiving on six catches for Indy.
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