IND-MIA Grades: Gore leads Colts to keep playoff hopes alive

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Colts’ 18-12 win over the Dolphins.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

(AP Photo/AJ Mast)

IND-MIA Grades: Gore leads Colts to keep playoff hopes alive

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Colts’ 18-12 win over the Dolphins.

Indianapolis Colts

– They weren’t easy yards, but Frank Gore was an important part of this Colts offense in his first game playing back in Miami since his college days. On just 15 carries, Gore notched 85 yards (5.7 ypc) with 65 of them coming after contact. He scored two touchdowns (12 of the Colts’ 18 points) and broke five tackles along the way. Without Gore, this offense would have generated very little and he was one of the keys to victory.

– Matt Hasselbeck lasted 26 snaps before being injured but in that time he graded negatively, missing some routine throws and looking uncomfortable before being knocked from the game. Charlie Whitehurst played the remaining snaps, suffering his own injury along the way, and didn’t look a whole lot more accomplished. The good news is that Whitehurst was no worse under pressure than when he was kept clean. The bad news is that either way his passer rating was in the 70s (77.9 when pressured, 79.4 when not). The Colts still have a shot at the playoffs, but no quarterback to take them there.

– If there was a true standout on defense for Indianapolis it was DL Kendall Langford. His +5.3 grade included a pair of sacks, a hit and some really impressive play against the run. Every tackle he made was a defensive stop and his five stops were second on the team, trailing only Jerrell Freeman (six). Langford was too much for the Miami offensive line and continued the trend of interior defenders showing well against this unit, which tells you all you need to know about its relative strength.

Top performers:

DI Kendall Langford (+5.3)
OG Jack Mewhort (+3.7)
CB Vontae Davis (+3.6)
DI T.Y. McGill (+2.5)
RB Frank Gore (+2.4)

Miami Dolphins

– Jarvis Landry became the first Miami player in franchise history to eclipse 100 receptions in a season, and did so with one of the most spectacular receptions of the season, hauling in a deep one-handed pass on a ball thrown behind him away from the coverage. Landry ended the game with 111 yards on seven receptions from his 11 targets, and 43 of those yards came after the catch as he repeatedly turned modest plays into bigger gains with quick moves in space against Indianapolis defenders.

– Miami has not fared well this season, and because Ndamukong Suh doesn’t have 15 sacks on the season people assume he has been poor, but in truth Suh has been as good as he ever has been, which is to say one of the better interior defenders in the NFL. Again, he was Miami’s best player on defense and he was a real problem for the opposition to block. He notched seven total pressures in this game and was consistently too quick for the Colts to block. Jumping offside on a couple of occasions marred an otherwise excellent game.

– Ryan Tannehill threw for 329 yards and completed 68.4% of his passes, and was anything but good in this game. He threw one interception, but it could have been at least two more. On one occasion late in the game he needed Jordan Cameron to turn into a defensive back and break up the pass, while on the game’s final drive he tossed the ball straight to D’Qwell Jackson on the goal line trying to find a gap that wasn’t there. Miami has had issues this season, none bigger than the play of Tannehill who has been poor outside of one brief spell mid-season.

Top performers:

WR Jarvis Landry (+3.3)
DI Ndamukong Suh (+3.2)
LB Neville Hewitt (+2.1)
ED Olivier Vernon (+1.8)
TE Dion Sims (+1.4)

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

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