Game time is slowly closing in and Houston Texans fans are eager to see if last week's victory can translate to another win in an away game at Sun Life Stadium against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins will definitely be better than their last showing in Week 1, so the Texans better be ready for a dog-fight, no NFL team wants to start the season 0-2.
Today I think there are six key things to watch during today's game, which will play a big part in the outcome of the game.
1. Containment of Reggie Bush- I am not talking about shutting him completely down, but Bush makes the Dolphins passing game even better with him out of the backfield matched up on linebackers and safeties. We all know he has big play capability and it will up to Wade Phillips on how they are going to scheme against containing Bush. Bush had 20 total touches last week and gained a total of 94 yards and a touchdown, so it is not secret they want to get the ball into his hands.
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2. Pressure on Chad Henne- The New England Patriots put Henne on the ground with 4 sacks in their game, and the Texans will need to do the same and then some more. The Texans have been proving through the preseason and season that they can cause some unwanted pressure on the quarterback. The Texans can't allow Henne to get comfortable in the pocket and pick the secondary apart, and with good pressure it will allow the secondary to play their game.
3. Any other receiver not named Andre- It doesn't matter if it is James Casey, Owen Daniels, Jacoby Jones, Bryant Johnson, David Anderson or Kevin Walter. The Texans need to continue to spread the ball around and distribute catches, because until a real threat is made besides Andre Johnson, there will be plenty of opportunity for catches. We always talk about getting someone else in Houston to take the pressure off of Johnson, but the presence of Johnson opens up the field for other players to capitalize on one on one coverage. The Texans need a solid day from another receiver today.
4. The Texans need to create a score on Defense- I am not saying they need to actually score with the defense, though it would be nice, but create a short field for the offense to put 7 on the board. If it is on a turnover or a quick three and out, the Texans proved they can put teams in holes quick just ask the Colts. The defense can take pressure off of the offense from driving 80 yards the whole time, by making some defensive stops and getting the offense back on the field.
5. Matt Schuab Time- I have heard that Schaub was cranked up for the Week 1 game, and now he should be ready to go for a big day in Miami. He threw two picks and over shot Owen Daniels in the back of the end-zone against the Colts, and he really didn't throw the ball much in the second half. One of the interceptions wasn't his fault, but he had a pretty good opening day. Schaub's ability to control the game will be key, especially taking care of the ball. With so many weapons at his disposal, Schuab can set himself up for a big day if he plays within himself, and not try anything crazy. It will be a good test for him, because the chances of seeing the same defense the Dolphins lined up against the Patriots will be slim.
6. Runningback Rotation I don't buy the fact that the Texans are going to push Arian Foster's hamstring more than needed, he is too valuable to the offense and to the overall success of the Texans season. The Texans rushed the ball 41 times in week 1 and the Texans are looking at Foster getting around 20 touches, so expect a lot of Ben Tate with a sprinkle of Steve Slaton during the game. I would expect to see all three running backs during the game, and the usual Gary Kubiak hot hand late in the game. It might be rainy at game time, so ball security will be important in today's game.