Colts still in playoff chase thanks to 18-12 win over Miami
Dec. 28, 2015
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts' bid for a playoff bid might go down to the final weekend.
Or it could end Monday night.
The Colts salvaged their season for one more day, at least, by making a last-minute defensive stand Sunday to beat the Miami Dolphins 18-12.
The Colts (7-8) would have been out of the playoff race with a loss. They'll be eliminated Monday night if Cincinnati wins at Denver.
"We need a little bit of help," third-string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst said. "Hopefully it goes our way, and we'll have a fun week of practice and have something to play for next week."
If the Colts' game Sunday against Tennessee has playoff significance, the big question will be who starts for them at quarterback, with Whitehurst, Matt Hasselbeck and Andrew Luck all hurting.
Here are things to know about Indy's win and their season on the brink:
AILING QBs: Backup Matt Hasselbeck left with an injury for the fourth game in a row, and Whitehurst did just enough in relief, completing two scoring drives.
Hasselbeck hurt his right shoulder and said he was "not super optimistic" he would be available against Tennessee.
"We'll do an MRI Monday, but I think it's just an AC sprain, which is great news," said Hasselbeck, who wore a sling after the game. "I had this injury to my left arm a long, long time ago, so I kind of know it's not that serious. It's just a matter of how quick."
Whitehurst hurt his hamstring and was limping after being sacked on third down with 3 minutes left, and said he wasn't sure whether he could have returned for extensive action. He was needed for only one more snap — out of the victory formation on the final play.
Luck missed his sixth consecutive game with a lacerated kidney and a partially torn abdominal muscle. He hasn't been cleared to return.
ROOKIE MISTAKE: Miami had first-and-goal at the 5 with 40 seconds left, but after three consecutive incompletions, rookie backup center Jamil Douglas snapped the ball prematurely on fourth down, and Ryan Tannehill was sacked by three Colts.
Douglas was filling in for injured Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey.
"My fault," an emotional Douglas said. "I should have been locked in on that play. Bad play by me."
"He feels like it's on his shoulders, but it's not," Miami interim coach Dan Campbell said. "There are enough mistakes to go around, offensively and defensively. It's never one man's fault."
STOUT DEFENSE: The Colts had a season-high six sacks, included rookie T.Y. McGill's first career sack for a safety and the game's first points. Robert Mathis was credited with the game-saving sack on Miami's final play.
"It was sink or swim," Mathis said.
Vontae Davis intercepted Tannehill in the end zone to quash a threat. The stout defense was sorely needed by the Colts, who have totaled 54 points in their past four games.
RUNNING OUT THE CLOCK: Miami (5-10) was eliminated two weeks ago, and a half-empty stadium reflected the sad state of the franchise. The Dolphins have lost three in a row to clinch last place in the AFC East, and they're 4-7 under Campbell, who is likely to be replaced after the season.
CATCH OF THE DAY: Jarvis Landry became the first Miami player to have 100 catches in a season. He had seven receptions for 111 yards, including a sensational one-handed grab as he tumbled to the turf for a 26-yard gain.
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