NFL Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins: Defense Preview vs Houston Texans

Game week! We are about to get going for real. The Miami Dolphins travel to open the season vs the Houston Texans. In this article, we will preview a few things to look for from the defense vs the high-powered Texans offense. The offense preview is tomorrow.

The best thing the ‘Phins can do to help keep the Texans from scoring is to play strong on special teams. This Miami roster is in flux as a result of this past week’s numerous changes, including the special teams unit.

The week 1 opponent was the #1 special teams unit in preseason. They are led by the dynamic Trindon Holliday. This guy is a former track start for the LSU Tigers. He can fly. At 5’5,” he may be small by NFL standards, but his contributions can be huge. In the preseason, there were a total of six kick/punt returns for TDs in the NFL. Holliday had half of them.

Craig’s Key – Be sure to stay in your lane on kick coverage and when you meet up with Holliday, you had better be good with your technique and bring him down right away. ATTN: Punter Brandon Fields – please do kick away from Holliday.

The Texans running game is outstanding. It starts with the cohesion they have on the offensive line. Their o-line does have a few changes, but it looks to be strong (as usual) for Gary Kubiak and his staff. The RBs are talented. Arian Foster is awesome. His back-up is Ben Tate. Tate is sure to see a ton of playing time as A) the Texans want to be run-oriented and B) he is really good. There are a ton of RBs who would love to have 900+ yards in a season. Tate accomplished that as rookie–and a back-up.

Offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and o-line coach John Benton do a fantastic job with the big guys. The Texans use play-action very well too.

Craig’s Key – Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick need to own the edges. The Texans will want to run stretch plays and will want to take the edge. They will also roll-out on play-action so the defensive ends need to make plays (plural). There will be a lot of action outside of the offensive-tackles (honorable mention Craig’s Key goes to the ‘Phins LB crew as they will be called on to make several tackles so they need to be on-point with their technique).

Despite key injuries in 2011, the Texans used Kubiak’s system to march up and down the field on a regular basis. The Texans were a top-10 offense. The passing game is good. QB Matt Schaub is good and his connection to outstanding WR Andre Johnson is very good. When healthy, Johnson is a sure-fire 1,000+ WR. At 6’3,” 230 Johnson is physically gifted and he has great skills too.

Craig’s Key – CB Sean Smith vs Andre Johnson. Miami cannot count on scoring a lot of points vs the Texans, so slowing Johnson will be imperative (slowing him, he is too good to completely stop). In the 2011 Texans W over Miami Schaub/Johnson hooked up for 7 catches (on 9 targets) for 93 yards, and Johnson beat Nolan Carroll for the game deciding TD.

Right out of the gate, the 2012 Dolphins defense will be tested.

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