Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 9/10/12

HOUSTON (30) d MIAMI (10)

The Headline: Texans defense tees off on the rookie not yet ready for the big stage.

The Story:

After a slow start, the Texans woke up thanks to a kick in the ass by their defense which sent them on a run which reminded everyone who was the Super Bowl contender between the two teams. The first quarter saw the Texans making mistakes that kept the Dolphins alive including two dropped passes by Arian Foster which could have gone for big gains and Trindon Holliday unable to handle the kickoff after the Dolphins field goal. Brian Cushing was a great presence for the Texans going all over the field and having a hand in two turnovers, forcing a fumble and intercepting a tipped pass. For all the concerns about the injury to Arian Foster leading into the game he looked good running with the ball, especially when it came to absorbing contact from defenders. While his overall numbers were not great, especially his 3.0 yards per carry average he was consistently able to get enough yards to keep the Texans moving when necessary. In his return from injury (and perhaps celebrating his new contract) Matt Schaub looked great in his return to the field throwing for 266 yards and 1 touchdown while avoiding an interception.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, their quarterback was not able to avoid interceptions throwing three in his debut game. For the most part the Dolphins just looked like they were overmatched on both sides of the ball once the Texans got in a rhythm. Tannehill did manage to complete over 50% of his throws but he seemed to suffer from a lack of options when dropping back to pass. In a normal game the Dolphins would be hoping to run more than pass with Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas but that plan was blown out of the water with the team needing to chase points and Thomas suffering a head injury. Bush was the team’s leading receiver with 6 catches for 46 yards which says a lot about the sort of day the Texans secondary was having.

Key Stat: Miami: 0 offensive touchdowns.

Their one touchdown came from a 72 yard punt return and could be the signal for a long season for the Dolphins.

Key Play: Jonathan Joseph 36 yard interception return.

Trailing 3-0 in the second quarter and with the home fans beginning to get restless, the defense stepped up and made a momentum changing play which sparked a 24-0 run before halftime. Davone Bess made a quick in cut and Tannehill looked to fire him the ball before Joseph jumped the route and, after a slight juggle, took the ball all the way down inside the 10 after a penalty. It only lead to a tying field goal but it sparked a run of turnovers by the Texans which allowed the offense to put the game well beyond doubt as their defense tightened the screws.

Man of the Match: J.J. Watt

3 tackles (2 solo), 1.5 sacks, two pass deflections leading to interceptions.

Normally it’s very hard for me to notice a defensive lineman, let alone think he was the best player on the field but what Watt did in this game was very impressive as he was giving the Dolphins line trouble all day. He posted one and a half sacks and got his hands on passes at the line, two of his tips lead to Texans interceptions at the end of the second quarter. If he can continue that form all season he will be a contender for defensive player of the year and eventually he may make Wade Phillips smart after his comments about how he could be a hall of famer eventually.


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