As of this article, Jadeveon Clowney had returned to practice, but Benardick McKinney, Kareem Jackson, and Cecil Shorts III had already been ruled out. That means more Kevin Johnson, but more importantly...more A.J. Bouye.
This game may give us an indication of whether the Texans can at least get this thing turned around to the point where watching the games in 2015 won't be a dreadful and joyless occasion. My hope, as a fan, is that the Texans can first get back to being the kind of team that beats bad teams. If so, they have a good chance to get back to the .500 mark at 4-4 after this week and next (against Tennessee), and headed into the off week (IT'S NOT A BYE!!!). After that - well, let's just see what happens against the Dolphins first, shall we?
With that, here are the staff picks for Houston's game in Miami:
Chris HDH - Dolphins 24, Texans 20.
I just don't see a win against the trashbag Jaguars as any kind of indication of anything. The best defensive player for the Texans last week was Blake Bortles - a quarterback so bad, he looks like he'd be right at home on the Texans' quarterback depth chart (but probably at the top of it, regardless of how awful he was on Sunday). It's pretty clear the Dolphins are getting a bit of a boost from new coach Dan Campbell, and while I do not think something intangible like that will make a difference in their season, I do think whatever shot of adrenaline they are getting will last beyond just the first week. I think the "temporarily rejuvenated" Dolphins will keep their momentum rolling forward for at least one more week.
Weston - Texans 27, Dolphins 24.
Nick Novak kicks a game winning field goal because THE HOUSTON TEXANS DON'T LOSE TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS.
Capt. Ron - Texans 20, Dolphins 17.
Miami has averaged scoring 17 points per game and allowed an average of 22 points per game. The Texans have averaged scoring 21 points per game and allowed an average of 26 points per game. Keep the perfect record against Miami rolling. Go Texans!
kdentify - Texans 17, Dolphins 14.
The Dolphins finally jettison Joe Philbin after several seasons of him proving he doesn't know how to handle an offense or players. In his place, they've promoted Dan Campbell, who seems to have the locker room on his side. That being said, they still have issues on the field. My hope is that the Texans can build upon last week's victory to control the game against a better opponent. I'm choosing to believe that the fish got a one-week bounce from Philbin's firing and our coaches can game plan to mitigate their strengths and exploit their weaknesses. Don't let me down, Texans!
Brett Kollmann - Dolphins 17, Texans 14.
That Miami team from last week finally looked like the one that everyone expected to contend for the AFC East crown. Dan Campbell had the defense playing at a ferocious new level, and the offense put up more than enough points to keep the Titans on their heels. If they continue playing with that attitude, there aren't many teams that I think can stop them.
BFD - Dolphins 27, Texans 10.
Miami is a far more talented team than what they've shown this year, and I think the coaching change there will do wonders. What the Dolphins do well is pressure the QB, and I'm absolutely dreading the snaps where Ben Jones is expected to take on Suh. With Hoyer's tendency to shart himself in the face of pressure, especially from the interior, I believe Hoyer's gonna Hoyer.
In good news, I think we'll harass Ryan Tannehill all game, but he will be able to handle it better due to his athleticism. Still, it'll be nice watching Watt collect a couple of sacks with Jadeveon Clowney notching his first sack as a professional.
Dunsmore - Texans 24, Dolphins 10.
The Texans are 7-0 against the Dolphins in franchise history. Nothing about this Dolphins team make me think it won't be 8-0 after Sunday.
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