Watch video of the play here before the breakdown.
1. Pre-Snap Situation
Time/Score: 8:29 4Q (Miami 24, Indianapolis 20)
Down: 1st and 10 on the Colts 34
Indy Offense: 11 Personnel – 1 Tight End, 1 Running Back, 3 Receivers
Miami Defense: Nickel Defense – 4 Linemen, 2 Linebackers, 5 Defensive Backs
The Colts line up with three receivers out wide, a tight end and a running back. The Dolphins are in a nickel defense (five defensive backs) with safety Reshad Jones close to the line. Chris Clemons is the lone safety deep.
2. The Play
From top to bottom: The Colts have some white dude named Griff Whalen (top) run an out. T.Y. Hilton (slot) runs a double move, faking towards the sideline but continues deep down the middle. Reggie Wayne (bottom) runs a go route.
The first wrinkle from Indy is keeping Cameron Wake’s rush in check. They’re in max protection They have tight end Cody Fleener and running back Ahmad Bradshaw containing Wake off the edge.
Miami’s three corners are in man, with linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler playing zone coverage in the middle of the field. Clemons is covering deep.
3. The Play Developing
Wake is double teamed successfully by Fleener and Bradshaw.
Luck quickly recognizes Hilton is smothered by two Dolphins with Clemons covering the deep-middle. His two realistic options are circled in blue: You have “Whitey” Whalen wide open to his left or Wayne going deep down the right sideline.
Luck receives some initial pressure up the middle from Randy Starks. He is forced to slide left in the pocket or get crunched.
4. The Bait
Luck successfully evades Starks and commits to Wayne going deep. Notice how Grimes is playing off the receiver’s hip to the outside. For a moment, it appears he is open.
5. The INT
Unfortunately for Luck, the football hangs and Grimes makes an excellent play on the ball for the interception. Equally important was the initial pressure from Starks, forcing Luck to make a quick decision.
This was the highlight of the day for Miami’s defense, protecting a slim four-point lead in the fourth as the Dolphins eventually closed it out 24-20.
Watch video of the play here.