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Monday, September 16, 2013
Upon Further Review: Dolphins Week 2

By James Walker

An examination of four hot issues from the Miami Dolphins' 24-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts:

Dolphins in the spotlight: The Dolphins are one of just eight undefeated NFL teams after two weeks. The Dolphins entered the season under the radar, but a 2-0 start should put them more in the spotlight. Miami is playing well on both sides of the ball the past two weeks in wins over the Cleveland Browns and Colts. It’s challenging to win back-to-back games in the NFL, but it’s even harder to win two straight on the road. The games get even tougher for Miami. The Dolphins will host the Atlanta Falcons (1-1) in their home opener at Sun Life Stadium. Atlanta is considered by many to be a Super Bowl contender.

Miami's Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace caught nine passes for 115 yards and a touchdown against the Colts.
Mike Wallace factor: After Wallace got just five targets and one catch in Week 1, the Dolphins coaching staff made it a point to get Wallace the football in Indianapolis. Wallace caught nine passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted 11 times. Miami found better ways to get Wallace the football with short and intermediate passes. It will be up to the Dolphins to do that more consistently. The Dolphins offense is at its most explosive when Wallace has it going. He opens things up for other players such as Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and tight end Charles Clay.

Running game improves: Miami’s running game didn’t explode, but there was enough progress to build on after the Dolphins rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Miami starting tailback Lamar Miller had a solid day with 69 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Most importantly, Miller averaged 4.9 yards per rush to keep Indianapolis’ defense honest. The Dolphins made a nice adjustment to use their physicality and plow straight ahead against Indianapolis. That played more to the strengths of Miami’s offensive line. The Dolphins rushed for an abysmal 20 yards on 23 carries in Week 1 against Cleveland.

Thursday boost: Is it a myth or reality? After winning two games in a row on the road, the Dolphins will stick to their schedule of taking Thursday off this week. Miami’s players and coaches are crediting their new schedule as a reason the team is finishing strong in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins have been the fresher team late against both Cleveland and Indianapolis. Miami will most likely stay with this schedule as long as the team continues to win.