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Colts need more time with ball in second half

9/21/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Knotted at 13-13 at the half in Miami with the Dolphins, the Colts are dealing with a familiar issue.

The Dolphins are playing a very effective brand of keep-away, and without possession, it’s awfully hard for Peyton Manning and the Indy offense to do their thing. Miami’s had the ball for 20:26 and 32 plays, the Colts for 9:34 and 21.

Manning hit Dallas Clark for an 80-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, so that contributed to the lack of time with the ball. It’s that sort of “drive” that shows why time of possession can be overrated when analyzing a Colts’ box score.

But in their other offensive plays, the Colts have hardly had similar success.

To change things up after intermission and give itself the best chance to get to 2-0, Indy needs better third-down defense and better run defense -- the Dolphins already have 132 rushing yards.

The Colts have not fared particularly well against runs out of the Wildcat and while much has been made of being a bigger defense in the middle of the defensive line, with a workload like this, it’s also a more tired defense.

Even so, the Colts are even with Miami. If they're unable to change the structure of the game, they can still well win it. But they can create easier avenues to do so.