Will the Secondary Stand Up?

The Houston Texans entered Week 15 ranked fourth in the NFL in passing. If that ranking holds up by the time the Texans come to Miami next Sunday, the Dolphins will have completed their tour of top-five passing teams, having already lost to the Colts, Saints and Chargers and split with the Patriots.

The Dolphins managed to hold Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young to 86 yards passing after halftime in a 27-24 overtime loss Sunday.

Yes, Vontae Davis gave up two more touchdown passes, and yes, the Titans sprung three passing plays of 32 yards or more. But for a secondary that has been riddled through the air all season, the Dolphins actually acquitted themselves fairly well.

"Coach P (Paul Pasqualoni, defensive coordinator) did a great job of making adjustments, telling us what they were doing to us at halftime," Dolphins linebacker Reggie Torbor said. "Just sat down. There wasn't any yelling or screaming. It was very calm. 'OK, this is what happened. This is how we stop it.' We went back out, played a great second half as a team. Just wasn't enough."

The trick will be finding a way to continue a string in which the Dolphins have held three straight opponents scoreless in the fourth quarter. The Titans went scoreless for almost the final 24 minutes of regulation.

"They did a good job," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "Kept fighting. We came in the locker room at halftime and talked about that. We said at that point we had done several things wrong. This was where we were in the football game, so let's go out and play the best half of football we can and see whether or not we can climb back in this thing and not panic. For the most part the guys did that."

Andre Johnson is going to be a tough assignment for Davis, the rookie first-rounder who also produced his team-high fourth interception of the season. The last time a rookie corner led the Dolphins in that category was 1969, when Lloyd Mumphord did it.

Matt Schaub entered Sunday's play with a 98.2 passer rating, sixth-best in the league. The Dolphins have already lost to Peyton Manning (fifth), Philip Rivers (third) and Drew Brees (first).

They also have never beaten the Texans in four tries. That includes a 29-28 loss last season when Schaub beat them with a late run.


Dolphins Report Top Stories