Sunday, November 4, 2012
Wrap-up: Colts 23, Dolphins 20
By Paul Kuharsky
Thoughts on the Colts’ 23-20 win over the Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium:
What it means: Things just get better and better for the Colts, who won their third straight. This one came with coach Chuck Pagano, who’s preparing for a second-round of chemotherapy to fight leukemia, in the building. At 5-3 halfway through the season, they lead the AFC wild card hunt.
What everybody liked: Quarterback Andrew Luck set a rookie record for single-game passing yardage with 433 yards. That broke Cam Newton's record of 432 set in Week 2 of 2011. Luck hit on 30 of 48 passes and took just one sack, a testament to his ability to work under pressure and to the efforts of his pass protection. He had two 100-yard receivers, and neither of them, remarkably, was Reggie Wayne. Rookie T.Y. Hilton caught six passes for 102 yards and a touchdown and veteran Donnie Avery caught five for 108.
What I liked: After giving up 17 points to the Dolphins on their first three possessions, the Colts defense settled down and held Miami to three points in its remaining seven drives. Indianapolis held the ball for 34:54 even as it threw a ton. They were great on third down on offense, converting 68 percent, and comparatively strong on third down on defense, holding the Dolphins to 36 percent.
What I didn’t like: They got away with two fumbles as they recovered them. But 11 penalties for 91 yards and two first downs hurt them and need to be cleaned up. The top two tacklers were defensive backs Cassius Vaughn and Antoine Bethea, not always a great development.
What’s next: A very quick turnaround before their only game of the season that’s not a Sunday afternoon 1 p.m. start -- Thursday night football in Jacksonville against the Jaguars, who beat the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 3.