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Three Keys: Colts V. Dolphins, NFL Week 9

In what figures to be another match-up of rookie quarterbacks, the Indianapolis Colts (4-3) host the Miami Dolphins (4-3) on Sunday in what suddenly is a big game. Check out three keys to a Colts victory.

Scott Cunningham

Surprisingly, this game on Sunday between the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts actually means something. Who would have thought that eight weeks into the season, the 4-3 Dolphins would be taking on the 4-3 Colts, both teams right in the thick of the AFC playoff race.

For the second time in three weeks, the Colts will be a part of a rookie quarterback duel (that is assuming Ryan Tannehill plays for Miami). Andrew Luck for the Colts has been impressive, but so has Tannehill for the Dolphins.

Both teams are coming off of wins and both teams would increase their chances of the postseason tremendously by winning this game.

Take a look at three keys to the Colts being that team:

1. Who plays quarterback for the Dolphins?

This is a big one, and the Colts don’t really have any control over it. Ryan Tannehill was injured in the first quarter of last week’s win and his status is still uncertain. The Dolphins need him to play, but if he doesn’t backup Matt Moore is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league, having played well last year as the starter. Still, Tannehill has been very good this year and has added a lot to the Dolphins’ offense, and not having him in Indianapolis would hurt their chances of leaving with a win.

2. Andrew Luck

I hate putting this one because it seems so common sense, but the play of Andrew Luck is a huge key for a Colts win this Sunday. The Dolphins have a good run defense and a good defense overall as well. Luck has been great this year and is the reason the Colts stand at 4-3 in the first place. They need a big game from their rookie quarterback to win this one. He continues to amaze every week, so that is not to hard to imagine. In order for the Colts to win, their franchise quarterback will need to play well and turnover free.

3. Continue the home success

The Colts are 3-1 at Lucas Oil Stadium this year and have looked much better at home versus on the road (where they got their first win in nearly two years last week). Having this game played at home in front of a Colts crowd that is starting to get excited about this team should help the team. Granted, the crowd cannot win the game for the Colts, but there is no hiding the fact that the Colts have played much better at home than they have on the road. For whatever reason, they have and the fact that this game will be played in Indy will hopefully cause that competitive Colts team to show up at home once again and continue to success that they have experienced so far.

I think that both of these teams are playing very well right now. If Ryan Tannehill doesn’t play, reverse the scores and I’ll take the Colts. But I think he plays, and I think the Dolphins do just enough to pull out the win in Indy.

My prediction: Dolphins 20, Colts 17