The Miami Dolphins looked like a whole different team last week against the Tennessee Titans. They brought something to the game that Dolphins fans were desperately waiting for, which was passion. Dan Campbell has revamped what was a poor Miami team into something that could be special down the road. As long as the Dolphins bring that passion this Sunday, I do not see a reason as to how a mediocre team like the Houston Texans could beat them. That being said, the Texans do have a few play makers that could make life hard for the Miami Dolphins.
J.J. Watt, a defensive beast, is one problem the offensive line for the Dolphins must lock up. They cannot let him get to Tannehill, or pressure him in any way otherwise it could be a long day for Miami. On the other side of the ball, Deandre Hopkins, the Texans star wide receiver is as dangerous as they come. He is great in the air and can catch any ball even when the coverage on him is perfect. Brian Hoyer is another key player the Dolphins defense must take notice of. Last week he picked apart the Jaguars defense. He threw for 293 yards and had three touchdowns. Now the Jaguars defense isn’t anything special, but it is the same defense that held Miami to only twenty points a few weeks ago. If the pass rush from Miami is non-existent in this game, Hoyer could go off again.
Last week Miami’s defense was phenomenal. Their pass rush finally looked like what Miami fans have been expecting all year. They sacked Mariota 6 times and Cameron Wake had 4 of them. With Wake being healthy again, the Dolphins defensive line is loaded with talent. Oliver Vernon, Earl Mitchell, Ndamukong Suh, and Cameron Wake are going to be a near impossible task for the Texans to stop as long as Miami brings that same attitude/passion they brought last week. Not only were the front seven for Miami in sync with each other, but the Dolphins pass coverage was great as well. Brent Grimes had an interception and Reshad Jones had one also that was returned for a touchdown. As long as Miami’s front seven continue to play well and pressure the quarterback I don’t think Miami will have a problem with the Texans offense.
Another thing that Miami did well and must continue to do so is run the ball. Lamar Miller for the first time this season ran for over 100 yards and had his first rushing touchdown. He ran for over 1000 yards last year and it now seems like he is beginning to resemble the way he played last year. It is important that he runs the ball a good bit this Sunday so the Dolphins offense won’t be one dimensional. They must keep the Texans defense guessing. Tannehill is a talented quarterback and he is lethal when Miami’s run game is working. So far this year, the Texans have allowed an average of 109 rush yards and about 240 passing yards a game. With those number I don’t see much trouble for Tannehill and Miller and their ability to move the ball down field. I think the Dolphins will win this game pretty handedly with the score being 31 to 14.
The Miami Dolphins must know that this game is extremely important, as it could be the one that keeps their playoff hopes alive and give them confidence when they hit arguably the toughest part of their schedule this year next few weeks when they play the Patriots, Bills, and Eagles all on the road.