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2019 Opponent Scouting Report: Dolphins Special Teams, Final Thoughts and Predictions

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Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Overview

On November 10th, 2019 the Indianapolis Colts will host the Miami Dolphins. In this Week 10 match-up, I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may “attack” our Colts.

The Colts and Dolphins share a long history together going back to the days of the old AFC East. It was a rivalry that was mostly one-sided as the Colts only managed two wins from 1977 to 1987 a span that saw 21 match-ups between the two franchises. Due to those lean years in Colts history, the Dolphins lead the all time series 47-27. However, our Colts have had the upper hand in more recent history, going 4-1 in the last decade. On paper, the Colts look to have the upper hand in this game as well, but the Dolphins players and coaches aren’t on the “tank for Tua” train, as they have improved as the season has gone on. Hopefully our Colts can help the ‘Phins front office in their quest to land the number one overall pick.

Let’s see what we can expect in week 10.


Special Teams


Kicker:

Fake field goal

So this isn’t Jason Sanders who picks up the first down but at first it looked like this was his time to shine. When you have yet to win a game and you desperately want to win, special teams can get interesting.

This actually is Jason Sanders

This is a great example of how the Dolphins last few games have gone, the game is close, they have a chance to win and then something unfortunate (or amazing, depending on your perspective) happens.

As a kicker, Sanders has been up and down in his two year career. Last season, he went 18 for 20 with a long of 50 yards and 35 of 36 on extra point attempts. This season he is just 6 for 10, missing 4 of 5 attempts beyond 40 yards. He is 11 of 11 on extra point tries on the year.

This doesn’t look to be a great game for “The Brand”.


Punter:

Matt Haack

This coaching staff hasn’t been afraid to take risks and they’ve been willing to trust their special teams units. I don’t think the Dolphins players and coaches will be satisfied with one win on the season so I expect to see more special teams shenanigans as the season goes on.

As a punter Haack’s 43.2 yard net average is good for third in the league. He has also downed 14 punts inside the 20 yard line. Haack is having a good year and if this game comes down to field position the Dolphins are in good hands.


Returner:

Jakeem Grant

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
Yes I chose this picture because it’s dark. I have no idea why it’s dark.
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Jakeem Grant has returned kicks for the Dolphins all season. He has also returned five punts but lost that role to Preston Williams. Williams tore his ACL returning a punt last week so Grant seems to be the most likely man to take over the role.

Grant has three returns for touchdown in his four year career, including two last season. Grant is someone that has the ability to change games, though that hasn’t happened yet this season.


Final Thoughts for The Week:

This Dolphins team is talent poor but well coached. They have traded away most of their best players but have uncovered a few gems, like Preston Williams (who is now hurt) along the way. They play hard with a lot of pride and it doesn’t appear that anyone on the field on Sundays is content with losing games the same way the general manager, Chris Grier, seems to be.

This game is going to be too close for comfort for some Colts fans and don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely no way the Colts should lose this game. It just shouldn’t happen. They are the far superior team, but this Dolphins team is likely to hang around and make this game closer than what any of us would like.

I don’t believe it matters who the Colts start at quarterback, Jacoby Brissett or Brian Hoyer, the game plan and the result should be the same. The Colts should look to move the ball on the ground early and often and as long as the defense shows up and plays well against a Ryan Fitzpatrick led offense, there’s no reason to believe this won’t be win number six for our Colts.


Predictions

  • Marlon Mack rushes for 150 yards
  • The Colts finish the game with 2 interceptions on defense
  • Colts fans freak out in the open threads for this game because the Dolphins are better than they think and the Colts aren’t dominating.
  • Final Score:

Colts 27

Dolphins 20