Colts give up too many big plays

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts cornerback Greg Toler sat in the chair at his locker, still not showered long after their 24-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

“Man, I should have played better,” Toler said.

Toler was talking in general terms at that time, but the play that really ate at him was the one that led to Miami's game-winning touchdown.

Knowing that Toler jumped the previous route when quarterback Ryan Tannehill looked his way, Dolphins receiver Mike Wallace gave Toler a fake and took off down field. Toler fell for it and tried to grab Wallace as he ran by him. That didn’t work, either, and Wallace ended up with a 34-yard reception down to the Colts’ 1-yard line. Miami declined the holding penalty, as expected, and scored on the next play.

“The deep pass I gave up, my eyes, like, played tricks on me,” Toler said. “They set me up for it. They saw that I was playing aggressive. I overplayed it. You just have to go back to the film room and study that.”

Wallace had a big day against Toler and the rest of the Colts' secondary a week after drawing unwanted attention in Miami following his one-catch performance against Cleveland. On Sunday, Miami’s $60 million receiver had nine catches for 115 yards, and the Dolphins took advantage of big plays to beat the Colts.

“We were getting hands on him, but they were doing a good job of hiding him behind stacks so you couldn’t get a good press on him,” Toler said. “That’s when he does his most damage.”

The Colts didn’t help themselves on defense in the first half either. Tannehill connected with tight end Charles Clay for a 67-yard catch when Clay beat linebacker Pat Angerer and safety Antoine Bethea went for the interception. The Dolphins needed only three plays to go 80 yards and take a 14-3 lead.

“They capitalized on a couple of mistakes, especially early,” Angerer said. “That long pass was my fault, and you know, they played good when they needed to.”

The Colts sacked Tannehill five times – two each by Robert Mathis and Jerrell Freeman – but the Miami quarterback still threw for 319 yards and made the Colts pay for their miscues.

“Defense, we came out a little sluggish in the first half and kind of put it behind the eight ball, so it’s a collective effort,” Bethea said. “Our job is to not let them in the end zone.”