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The Good

 

Let's start with Ryan Tannehill's perfect day. Well, almost perfect. He did have one incompletion. But he did finish with a 158.3 rating, which is yes... perfect. He had 4 TDs, no INTs and completed 94.7% of his passes. So while he only had 19 attempts, he was highly efficient and accurate with the ball.

 

Lamar Miller had another huge game, this time rushing for 175 yards and an 85 yard touchdown. Miller had only 14 carries but made the most of them, gashing a pretty stout Houston defense. And just for kicks, Miller also contributed 3 catches for 61 yards, including a 54 yard touchdown on a beautifully executed screen pass.

 

Jarvis Landry had the play of the day, catching a 14 yard out and turning it into a 50 yard touchdown in which he made virtually the entire Texans defense miss. At one point during the play he was surrounded by 5 Texans defenders and somehow made them all miss. Landry has that never say die attitude and fights for every yard. He seems to be becoming the heart and soul of this offense. He finished the day with 5 catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Rishard Matthews also had a huge 53 yard touchdown that really set the tone for the rest of the game. Matthews took a 7 yard slant and ran past 3 defenders for the long touchdown.

 

Overall, the offense had 503 total yards, including 248 yards on the ground.

 

Ndamukong Suh finally had his coming out party, helping set the line of scrimmage for the defense. Suh had 6 tackles, 3 for loss and two sacks on back to back plays. He also had 3 QB hits.

 

Cameron Wake continued his hot play with 2 more strip sacks.

 

Reshad Jones led the defense with 8 tackles and also contributed 2 passes defensed and a pick 6.

 

Overall, the defense allowed 322 total yards including 71 rushing yards. However, in the first half the Dolphins defense pitched a shutout and forced 5 consecutive three and outs to start the game. By the time the Dolphins were up 35-0, the Houston Texans still had zero total yards of offense.

 

The Bad

 

Not much bad in a game like this, but Damien Williams did have a fumble that helped breathe some life back into the Texans in the second half.

 

The Ugly

 

I think the Dolphins took the foot off the gas a little early. Yes, they were up 41-0 at halftime, but the Texans were able to move the ball in the second half, scoring 26 points to the Dolphins 3. The Dolphins came out of the locker room running the ball to try to run the clock, a little too early in my opinion. The Dolphins should have continued doing what they were doing. Why stop something that is working? I'll chalk it up to Dan Campbell's inexperience, but next time don't let up until well into the fourth quarter. You never stop executing your gameplan right out of halftime. No lead is too big.

 

Overall

 

Impressive first half performance by the Dolphins, who finally beat the Texans and looked like a different team. Dan Campbell says he has these guys buying into what he's selling. Man, what he is selling must be good because this has looked like a completely different team the past two weeks.

 

But, things change now as the New England Patriots are next, are undefeated, are the defending Super Bowl champs and are mad at the world again. This is not a team you just outmuscle, you need to out think them too.

 

The good news is the Dolphins seem to have a bit of New England's cryptonite. They seem to be able to get to the QB with four on a consistent basis. If they can do that to Brady, it will be an interesting game.

The 2-3 Miami Dolphins, coming off their most impressive performance of the year in a 38-10 domination of the Tennessee Titans, take on the 2-4 Houston Texans, coming off a 31-20 win in Jacksonville, in a 1:00 kickoff in South Florida.  The game is a 1:00 kickoff on CBS.

 

The Dan Campbell Era got off to a BIG start, as the Dolphins came out against the Titans and played like the team most Dolphins fans thought they would see all year long.  Miami was intense, physical and played with a purpose.  Can the Dolphins maintain this level of play?  That is a question that will be answered on Sunday.

 

Let's take a look at the teams and see how they match up.

 

Miami comes into the game offensively generating 338.6 yards per game, which ranks 24th in the NFL.  Miami is putting up 247.2 yards per game passing, coming in at 16th in the NFL, and are generating 91.4 yards per game rushing, coming in at 26th.  Miami is scoring 20.6 points a game, which ranks 24th.  They will be facing a Texans defense that is allowing 348.8 yards per game, which ranks 11th in the NFL.  The Texans are allowing 239.8 passing yards per game while allowing 109.0 yards on the ground, coming in at 13th & 16th respectively.  Houston will be without starting CB Kareem Jackson and starting OLB Jadeveon Clowney.  The one player that will be playing that the Dolphins will need to be concerned about is 2014 Defensive Player of the year, DE J.J Watt.  The offensive line played their best game of the season by far, and wiil have their hands full with Watt and DT Vince Wolfork.

 

The key for this offense will be the same formula used in the game last week against the Titans, a balanced offensive attack.  29 pass attempts and 32 runs is the formula for success for the Dolphins.  QB Ryan Tannehill was very sharp and accurate for the most part, going 22-29 for 254 yards.  RB Lamar Miller finally got touches, and finished with 113 yards on 19 carries and a 5.9 per carry average.  Getting Lamar going early is important for Miami in this game.  Expect a lot of 2 TE sets with TE's Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims.  Sims was a welcomed site, as he is a very good blocker and has become a very good pass catching TE.  He compliments Cameron well.  If the Dolphins can use the same formula as they did in the Titans game, the offense should have a good day.

 

Defensively, the Dolphins come in allowing 379.4 yards per game, which ranks 24th in the NFL.  The Dolphins are allowing 238.4 yards per game passing, 141.0 yards per game rushing.  That ranks 12th and 31st respectively.  The Dolphins are allowing 22.2 points per game, which ranks 12th.  They are facing a Texans offense that generates 393.8 yards of total offense, which ranks 6th in the NFL.  The Texans  are putting up 297.8 yards per game via the passing game, 96.0 yards via the run game.  This ranks 4th and 23rd respectively.  The Texans are scoring 21.3 points per game, which ranks 21st.  The Dolphins defense we saw Sunday was an aggressive, attacking unit.  The Dolphins came into the game with only 1 sack.  They had 6 sacks in the game Sunday, 4 by DE Cameron Wake.  Miami had 2 interceptions in the game, one returned for touchdown by S Reshard Jones.  They face journeyman QB Brian Hoyer, and the game plan should not change, as he is not very mobile, unlike Marcos Mariotta of the Titans.  The Texans did get back RB Arian Foster a few weeks ago, and he is good in the run game and in the pass game out of the backfield.  The Texans also feature WR DeAndre Hopkins, who has exploded on to the scene for the Texans.

 

Once again, if the Dolphins can repeat the game plan from last week, they will have success.  Miami does need to be more concerned with Foster in the pass game, and Hopkins is dangerous.  The linebackers will need to play well in this game against Foster.  But once again, Hoyer is a journeyman QB who is capable of playing good stretches of football, but is also prone to making mistakes.  Put the same type of pressure on Hoyer as the Dolphins did against Mariotta, then I like the chances of the defense having a good day.

 

Miami wants and needs to continue the good play they showed last week, and need this win to get back to .500.  They face New England on a Thursday Night Game, so that makes this game even more important.  Add to these facts, the Dolphins are 0-7 against the Texans.

 

Dan Campbell spoke of how this team has come off of big wins before and come back the following week and laid an egg.  The Dolphins will be back at home in a game they need very badly.  Time to show that last week was not a fluke.

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