The Houston Texans are in a prime spot to start the season 2-0 but the Miami Dolphins are standing in the way. The Dolphins proved they can throw the ball with efficiency, but the running game and defense are big question mark heading into Sunday for Tony Sporano's team. The Dolphins will be out to prove that their issues with the New England Patriots have been fixed and improvement will be shown against the Texans.
This will be the first real threat for the Texans, especially in the secondary with the Dolphins wide receivers, Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline and Devone Bess. If the Texans can create pressure the Texans will have a chance to win the game. There are five players who are keys for a Texans victory heading into Sunday.
Matt Schuab- He had a positive start to the season despite his two interceptions, which one was not all his fault. There was not much need for Schaub to win the game with his arm in the second half with the Texans dominate run game against the Colts. He got the football to seven different receivers and that makes it tough for teams just to focus on one player. Look for Schaub to test the Dolphins pass defense early after what happen in their previous game with the New England Patriots.
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DeMeco Ryans- Ryans looks like he is still trying to get into game shape, and he will have his hands full on Sunday trying to keep up with Reggie Bush out of the backfield. He is definitely a key piece in the Texans defense, but he looked a step slow against the Colts, but signs are pointing to the fact he is still out of shape because of his preseason injuries (achillies, elbow). It will be essential to the defenses success that Ryans works back to being full strength, because with him and Brian Cushing in the middle give the Texans a solid inside group of linebackers.
Glover Quin- The new position for Quin seems to be a smart move made by Wade Phillips in the off-season. Quin almost had a big interception against the Colts, where he read the play great, but was just a little high out of his reach. The early signs of the defense shows Quin to be, majority of times, the run force from the safety spot, but he has also lined up on slot receivers. Quin has many responsibilities on this new defense, look for him to be tested by the Miami offense throughout the game.
Eric Winston- One can say his 2010 season was a down year for the right tackle, and on Sunday he gave up the only sack to Robert Mathis from the Colts, on a play he barely touched him. Winston is gong to have his hands full with Miami's Cameron Wake and Kao Misi who are more than adequate pass rushers. Not only does Winston need to improve his pass protection, but he has to get better in the run game. In the second half of the Texans game against the Colts, to ice the game, the offense only ran the ball to his side four times compared to 12 away from him. The Texans may have found a glaring weakness in the Colts on the left side, but you want the ball run to your side as an offensive lineman.
J.J. Watt- This will be a true test for Watt going against seasoned veterans in Marc Columbo and Jake Long the Dolphins starting offensive tackles. The offensive guards for the Dolphins are solid also in , Vernon Carey and Richie Icognitio, so the day will be more challenging for Watt. Watt made a big showing against the Colts on his ability to make some solid plays from the defensive end position. The Dolphins offensive line will give Watt fits, but I wouldn't bet against him making some big plays for the Texans defense.