Can Dolphins' defense rattle Andrew Luck?

September, 12, 2013
9/12/13
2:30
PM ET
DAVIE, Fla. -- Cleveland Browns second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden looked like a piñata after his Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Miami defense battered Weeden to the tune of six sacks and 16 total hits on the quarterback. Weeden, clearly rattled, also threw three first-half interceptions.

Can the Dolphins have a repeat performance and do the same to Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck in Week 2?

Rattling Luck will be one of the biggest keys to success in Miami’s quest to get a second road win Sunday against the Colts. Both AFC teams are undefeated and have second-year quarterbacks with a lot of potential.

Last year Luck set a rookie record with 433 passing yards in a 23-20 win over the Dolphins. He also has eight fourth-quarter comebacks already in his career, which includes last week’s 21-17 win over the Oakland Raiders.

“He has that dynamic,” Dolphins cornerback Dimitri Patterson said of Luck. “He gets in situations and somehow he’s able to elude those pass-rushers and scramble to keep a drive alive or end a drive. ... What’s he’s shown is if he can’t throw out of it, he can run out of it.”

The good news for Miami is Luck’s offensive line struggled mightily last week in a win over the Raiders. Luck was sacked four times and the offense sputtered until midway through the fourth quarter.

Miami’s defensive front seven is its biggest strength and will be a huge test for Indianapolis’ offensive line. Last week’s performance even upset Colts owner Jim Irsay, who ranted on Twitter and demanded the offensive line better protects Luck against Miami.



Dolphins rookie defensive end and first-round draft pick Dion Jordan beat Andrew Luck twice in college. Jordan was 2-0 at Oregon against Luck, who played at rival Stanford, and he said he does not want this game to be the first time he loses to Luck.

“You can tell the difference between him and a lot of different quarterbacks,” Jordan said of his college meetings. “He controlled a lot of things that went on, as far as the offense, and he made big plays. You were able to tell he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Luck is the first of several major tests for the Miami defense. The Dolphins will face four consecutive tough quarterbacks in Luck, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Joe Flacco of the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens before the bye week.

But Miami’s defense has the potential to be a top-10 unit. We saw flashes of that potential in Week 1 when the Dolphins stuffed Browns running back Trent Richardson and rattled Weeden and the passing game.

However, doing that for the next four weeks will be a lot tougher.

“We aren’t going to get a whole lot of sleep here over the last month or so,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “But we welcome the challenge. If you are going to be the type of team you want to be, you are going to have to go out and beat the good teams and the good quarterbacks. That’s what this league is about. We look forward to going to Indianapolis.”

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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