Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE
From 2008 through 2010, the Texans passing attack was virtually unstoppable. Over that span, it ranked inside the top five each season thanks to the contributions of Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, Arian Foster and Steve Slaton.
But times have changed, and the Texans now boast one of the league's most dominant rushing attacks. Foster and Ben Tate give Houston a two-headed monster that can run between the tackles, bounce it outside and reliably catch passes.
There's no doubt the Texans are at their best when their running game thrives.
Last season, they averaged 153 rushing yards per game, good for second best in the NFL. In games when the Texans registered more than 153 yards rushing, they went 7-0. When they registered less than 153 yards, however, they went just 3-6.
The Texans passing attack isn't what it used to be. Remove Johnson, and its wide receiver corps is worse than the Dolphins'. So, the Phins should concentrate a majority of their efforts on limiting Foster and Tate.
Miami has the personnel up front to get the job done. After all, the Dolphins ranked third against the run last season—which is one reason why I think this game will be closer than people think.
Paul Soliai and Jared Odrick can use their size to disrupt Houston's zone-blocking scheme. Karlos Dansby, Koa Misi and Kevin Burnett have to finish the job by sealing the edge and meeting the ball-carrier at the line.