- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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Problems going deep for Luck: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's best deep completion came when he connected with receiver T.Y. Hilton for a 47-yard gain along the right sideline in the second quarter. But that was about it for Luck when it came to throwing the ball 10 yards or more downfield. He was 7-of-20 on passes of at least 10 yards Sunday. He was only 1-of-4 for 18 yards when it came to attempting a pass to Reggie Wayne for more than 10 yards. One of those attempts was intercepted by Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Wayne, who stuck up for his quarterback, said he needs to do a better job of being a defender in those situations.
Bradshaw wasn’t bad: The stat sheet reads as though Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw had an average game based off his total yards. He ran for 65 yards on 15 attempts. What you had to like about Bradshaw, though, is that he ran hard and with a purpose. He didn’t spend time dancing around trying to find holes; he was always looking to go forward. The loss of Vick Ballard will hurt the Colts this season (just recall Donald Brown’s attempt to “block” on fourth down Sunday), but Bradshaw is healthy and ready to handle the bulk of the carries in the backfield.
No power when the opportunity presented itself: Since the start of training camp, the Colts have been emphasizing the word “power” when talking about their running game. There was a perfect opportunity to put that on display on their opening drive Sunday. The Colts had a second-and-1 from Miami’s 34 when they used a shotgun formation and Luck tried to hit Darrius Heyward-Bey in the end zone. Luck had to avoid the rush and missed Heyward-Bey on another attempt on third down. The Colts could have redeemed themselves by giving the ball to Bradshaw on fourth down, but coach Chuck Pagano pulled the safe card out and had kicker Adam Vinatieri attempt a 52-yard field goal. The kick was no good, hitting off the left upright.
Landry has strength and speed: Colts safety LaRon Landry is 2-for-2 in catching a player from behind and saving a touchdown. He did it against Oakland when he caught tight end Jeron Mastrud on his 41-yard catch on the Raiders’ final drive of the game. Then Landry was at it again Sunday when he caught Charles Clay on a 67-yard catch from Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Landry was forced to chase Clay down from behind because Antoine Bethea gambled and went for the interception. Landry has led or tied the team in tackles in the first two games. He deserves credit for the tackles, but it’s not a good sign when your safety is leading the team in that category.
Why was Brown in the game? The most embarrassing play of the game was on the Colts’ final offensive snap when Brown tried to block the blitzing Philip Wheeler. Wheeler threw Brown to the side like a bag of potatoes and sacked Luck. Pagano was asked whether Ballard would have been in the game on that play if healthy. “He was our third-down back before he got injured,” the coach said. Pagano was asked a follow-up question about it. And again, he said, “he was our third-down back before he got injured.” It was like Pagano knew Brown shouldn’t have been in the game, but he didn’t want to throw the running back under the bus. It won’t be shocking news when Bradshaw is in the next time the Colts are put in that position. All Pagano and his staff have to do is look at the final offensive snap Sunday if they need a reminder.