We know the Colts won’t have Vick Ballard available for tomorrow’s game, and for the rest of the season. It also appears that Dwayne Allen will be out tomorrow as his injury status was downgraded from “Probable” to “Doubtful”. If Allen doesn’t play, Coby Fleener will see more reps as will Dominique Jones. We may even see an appearance by recently acquired Jack Doyle who was inactive in week 1.
The news on Ballard was devastating. The downgrade of Allen is like throwing salt on the wounds as two of our best blocking skill players will be on the sidelines. The Colts always use the “next man up” mantra, but asking Ahmad Bradshaw to carry a heavy load after coming off of foot surgery, and asking Coby Fleener to replace Dwayne Allen are both tough tasks. The Colts have likely adjusted their game plan.
Considering the strength of the Dolphins defensive line, it was going to be hard to run the ball to begin with. Now, without Allen, it just became a lot tougher. I am still a big believer that the Colts have to try to establish the run tomorrow. It will keep the Dolphin pass rushers on their toes and at some point allow us to open up the passing game. Expect some play action fakes tomorrow. I’ll stress it again…..we have to at least try to establish the run. If Luck comes out throwing the ball, I fear we could be in for a game of sacks and turnovers. Luck can’t throw the ball 40-50 times. It decreases our chances of winning the game. Yes, I want us to run more plays than last week and I think we can do that. I just want to see a nice split of passes and runs. We should target about 65 offensive plays with about 35 passes and 30 runs. The runs can be split between Bradshaw (15), Brown (10), and Williams (5). We will need some big plays from our secondary, not to mention a great performance from our defensive line and linebackers.
I think this one is much tougher to win than I thought earlier in the week – especially with the injuries to Ballard and Allen. In fact, I worry we could lose this one handily as our coaches may struggle to alter their game plan. If we can’t stop the run and can’t sustain offensive drives, expect us to lose this one by 10+ points. My revised pick (post injury updates), Dolphins 34 Colts 20.