2009 Colts at Dolphins Point Spread Odds & Matchup Report Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:28
NFL Headline News

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Miami, FL - The Indianapolis Colts are playing in Miami for the first time since winning Super Bowl XLI there about 2 1/2 years ago.

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Now they hope to not go nearly as long between visits.

The site of this season's Super Bowl will host the 39th anniversary of Monday Night Football as Indianapolis takes on the Dolphins.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Colts -3 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Monday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 76% of bets for this game have been placed on the Colts -3 (View NFL bet percentages).

This matchup features Colts quarterback Peyton Manning going for his 119th victory, which would break a tie with Johnny Unitas for the franchise record.

"I've never felt comfortable with comparisons with him. I think he's kind of in his own category," said Manning, slated to make his 178th consecutive start. "But I am proud of those wins."

Manning has led Indianapolis to 10 consecutive regular-season victories, though the Colts lost to San Diego in the first round of the playoffs. A deeper trip in the 2009 postseason could send the Colts back to Land Shark Stadium for Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7.

It's the same venue where Indianapolis won the Super Bowl following the 2006 season, and the team has an eye on returning under first-year coach Jim Caldwell.

The Colts were not overly impressive in Caldwell's debut, though they did get a win over a team they have had some trouble against in recent years, beating Jacksonville 14-12 last Sunday.

"I saw a coach that was very happy," Reggie Wayne told the Colts' official Web site after making 10 catches for 162 yards. "Whether we won by 30 or one, a 'W' is a 'W'. I am sure if we win by 30 it looks a lot better, but for him to get his first 'W' as a head coach, everybody was excited for him. He was excited."

Wayne caught the lone touchdown pass thrown by Manning, who was 28 of 38 for 301 yards but also tossed an interception in the end zone.

The three-time league MVP is 18-3 in September since the start of the 2003 season and has helped Indianapolis win seven of its last eight Monday night games.

This is the 40th season of Monday Night Football and this game takes place exactly 39 years to the day of the first telecast. Cleveland beat the New York Jets 31-21 on Sept. 21, 1970.

The Dolphins haven't played on a Monday night since Christmas 2006, mainly because they had been one of the league's worst teams until their turnaround 2008 season. Miami went 11-5 and won the AFC East last year, a 10-win increase that tied the 1999 Colts' league record for the best one-year improvement.

Miami would lose 27-9 to Baltimore in the wild-card round and its 2009 opener didn't go any better, as it fell 19-7 at Atlanta. Chad Pennington's touchdown pass to Ricky Williams with 3:22 to play prevented the Dolphins from being shut out for the first time in an opener.

"When you put a performance out there like that, you can't wait for the next game to get here," tight end Anthony Fasano said.

Fasano lost two fumbles while Pennington lost one, threw an interception and was sacked four times. Pennington tossed four interceptions among the Dolphins' five turnovers in the playoff loss, giving them nine in two games after tying an NFL record in 2008 for the fewest in a season with 13.

"No turnover is forgivable in my mind," second-year coach Tony Sparano said.

His offense now faces a Colts defense that is more opportunistic under Caldwell and new defensive coordinator Larry Coyer.

Indianapolis limited the Jaguars to 228 yards - among the lowest totals of Week 1 - and consistently pressured David Garrard into quick throws, limiting him to 14-of-28 passing for 128 yards.

"I'd say we blitzed upward of 10 times Sunday, and that's about 10 more times than we've done in the past," linebacker Gary Brackett joked. "Last year, that wasn't really our philosophy. We had some blitzes, but they were mostly run blitzes."

Miami had limited success running the ball - Williams and Ronnie Brown combined for 82 rushing yards - and its much-heralded wildcat formation didn't work well. Rookie Pat White was used in it for three plays that netted 1 yard.

"When the wildcat works, everybody loves it," Pennington said. "When it doesn't, everybody hates it."

The Colts offense is expected to be missing a key piece, as second-year wideout Anthony Gonzalez sprained ligaments in his right knee in the opener. It's been reported he could miss up to six weeks.

Besides Wayne, the only wide receivers on Indianapolis' roster - second-year pro Pierre Garcon and rookie Austin Collie - have combined for nine NFL receptions.

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Posted: 9/16/09 5:05PM ET

 

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