The Dolphins may have wrapped up filming HBO's Hard Knocks, but it doesn't get any easier for the team as the 2012 season kicks off this weekend.
Miami will be starting a rookie quarterback who has a hodgepodge of wide receivers to throw to, and Reggie Bush will need to prove that last year's emergence as a featured back was no fluke.
Drawing the Texans in Week 1 will test the Dolphins early.
The health of quarterback Matt Schaub, wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster will be the story all season for the Texans, who play in one of the weaker overall divisions in the NFL, the AFC South.
Here is one bold prediction for each team in Sunday's opener:
Ryan Tannehill Gets Pulled Before the End of the Game
Ryan Tannehill will be making his NFL debut on Sunday against a very unforgiving Texans defense. Add the fact that he has very few reliable wide receivers to throw to and he could be in for a long day; that is, unless he doesn't finish the game.
Tannehill hasn't been a quarterback for very long and was actually recruited to Texas A&M as a wide receiver. While he shows and tests well, leading a team from under center goes well beyond the standard measures.
Being named the starter might have had more to do with his draft position than what he has proved so far as a Dolphin.
Matt Moore, who has done a decent job when given the opportunity in this league, is Miami's backup and will be ready if/when his name is called this season.
Texans Defense Shines without Mario Williams, Holds Dolphins Scoreless
You would think that the absence of Williams would result in the Texans defense taking a step back. But starting the season off with a home game against the Dolphins should have Houston atop the rankings after Week 1.
Houston's defense was stingy last season, finishing second in total defense at 285.7 yards and fourth in points allowed at 17.4 points per game.
If Schaub and Co. jump on the Dolphins early, rookie signal-caller Tannehill will find himself scrambling to make plays. That does not bode well for Miami and could result in a goose egg in the score column when the final whistle blows.