Why would you make the same mistake the Browns did?
INDIANAPOLIS — Cleveland’s strategy to double up on Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace last week worked in the sense that Wallace had just one reception for 15 yards.
But it also opened up the field for Dolphins receivers Brian Hartline (nine catches, 114 yards) and Brandon Gibson (seven catches, 77 yards). And the Dolphins passing game made the difference in a second half comeback.
But Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky told The Indianapolis Star that the Colts will employ a similar strategy to stop Wallace on Sunday.
“What Cleveland did sometimes was kind of roll up on him, very similar to what Oakland did with Reggie (Wayne) last week against us, try to take away that best receiver,” Manusky said. “But we have to do that as well. He’s a productive player, gets up the field, he’s a deep threat. We have to make sure we get in his face and re-route him and have (a safety) over the top of him because he can beat double coverage at times.”
Colts writer Stephen Holder sees the danger in this strategy: “Dedicating a safety to Wallace’s side of the field means the Colts could be living dangerously, to an extent,” Holder wrote.
In his Pro Bowl season two ago, Wallace lit up the Colts in Indianapolis for five receptions for 144 yards.
But if the Colts manage to shut down Wallace this time, it will be on Hartline, Gibson and tight end Charles Clay to take advantage. Indianapolis, which starts former Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis, doesn’t have a star-studded secondary.
Expect quarterback Ryan Tannehill to throw often although the Dolphins will likely try to establish the run early after last week’s debacle on the ground. The Colts have an average run defense so this could be an opportunity for Miami’s offensive line and Dolphins running backs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas to show last week’s 20-yard rushing performance was a fluke.
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