Despite an uneven performance from the Texans' offense, the defense made life miserable for rookie starter Ryan Tannehill who was sacked three times, threw three interceptions and fumbled.
Houston labored to move the ball early in the game, but a flurry of activity spurred by J.J. Watt helped turn the nip-and-tuck affair into a blowout. Watt batted a Tannehill pass up in the air and Brian Cushing picked it off. Arian Foster turned it into a touchdown with just under two minutes to play in the half to break a 3-3 tie.
Tannehill responded by throwing another pick, this one to Kareem Jackson. Three plays later, the Texans were up 17-3.
Miami tried to run out the final 35 seconds of the half, but Daniel Thomas fumbled and again, Houston capitalized in just three plays.
Three touchdowns in two minutes proved to be more than the anemic Miami offense could overcome.
It was a successful opener for the Texans, but not a revealing one. Houston was clearly the better team going in. The defense was every bit as dominant as one would expect, and Miami simply isn't in Houston's class.
The offense was more of a struggle than the Texans would have liked. Foster had a workman-like day, grinding out tough yards and two scores against a determined Miami front.
The big question for the Texans moving forward will continue to be how they find ways to move the ball through the air. Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels were their typical spectacular selves, combining for more than 200 yards receiving.
The Texans picked up just 43 combined yards from the other tight ends and receivers, however, doing nothing to answer questions about where passing offense will come from outside of the top two targets.
These are minor quibbles, of course, on a day where the defense forced four turnovers and held the opposition to five yards a pass and just three points on offense.
With the other three teams in the division all losing, Houston heads into Week 2 with a full game lead in the AFC South.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!