How should a dolphin attack a Texan?
Unless he has a gun mounted above his blowhole, I can't imagine it will end well.
We are flipping the script this week on the AFC South Blog. After months of (over) analyzing the Texans, it's time to look at them from the opponent's perspective.
What weaknesses do they show that teams can exploit?
Today, we take on the futile task of devising a game plan for the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. I apologize now for the carnage and advise women and children to shield their eyes.
Dolphins Offense vs. Texans Defense
Is punt on first down an option?
After watching the Texans defense all preseason, I'm convinced that aside from a lack of secondary depth (which won't be an issue this week), the only real vulnerability it has is with runs up the middle.
So that means noted between-the-tackles runner Reggie Bush is going to have to pound it up inside to exploit the pass-rush rich Texans.
Yeah. That'll work great.
I could pretend to list a bunch of matchups and feign that the Dolphins can win some of them, but I can't see it.
Ryan Tannehill will be lucky to get out of his first NFL start alive. Yes, Miami has Jake Long at left tackle, but unless he's going to block four pass rushers by himself, the Dolphins would be nuts to let Tannehill drop back more than a dozen times all day.
Did I mention Long is hurt? Yeah. Moving on.
Miami has bad wideouts, line problems and a rookie quarterback. I'm serious about the punt thing. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by spending any more time on this.
Retreat is not the same as attack, but in this case, it's the Dolphins' best hope for survival.
Dolphins Defense vs. Houston Offense
The situation for the Dolphins defense is not nearly so bleak. If there is a path to victory for Miami, it's going to involve turnovers and stout defensive play.
The key to stopping the Texans is going to be doubling Andre Johnson, loading up against the run and making them prove that one of the lesser wideouts is capable of getting open consistently.
The Dolphins recently dealt their best corner, so that's going to make it tough keep Johnson under wraps. Sean Smith is going to have his hands full and had better get safety help over the top.
The Texans feature two battering rams disguised as running backs, so there will be a lot of pressure on the Miami linebackers to make plays. If they can force the Texans into long yardage situations, they'll have a chance to get off the field.
The weakest spot on the entire Texans team is probably the right side of the line. Derek Newton will be making his first start at right tackle, and that's where the pressure will have to come from for Miami. Jared Odrick showed promise last year, but he'll have to have a career day teeing off on Matt Schaub if the Dolphins hope to steal this win.
The Texans crushed Indianapolis in the home opener of 2011, and this Dolphins team is markedly worse than that Colts team.
If Miami can contain Johnson and Foster and keep Schaub uncomfortable, they may be able to hold the Texans to 20 points. If they can force a coupe of turnovers in the process and convert them to cheap scores, maybe they'll be a big special teams play away from winning.
Or they could go with the whole "mount a gun on the blowhole" tactic. It's just as realistic. Having a pointy snout just isn't the advantage you'd expect.
This game is a complete mismatch. If Houston wins by fewer than two touchdowns, it will be a massive upset.