First Glance: Texans at Dolphins

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](https://www.texanschecking.com/) Hold the run- The Texans have to stop the run. Miami is averaging 4.71 yards per carry, and that's the third-best mark in the NFL. 
"They want to run the football," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said. "They actually ran the ball twice as much as they did in the previous game, and they threw the ball about half as much as they did in the previous game."
The Dolphins blasted the Titans last Sunday in Nashville, battering Tennessee by a 38-10 margin. Lamar Miller spearheaded the ground game with 19 carries for 113 yards and a score.
The Texans are around the middle of the pack in the League at stopping the run, as they've allowed 109 yards per game. Last Sunday in Jacksonville, they gave up just 83 rushing yards. But quarterback Blake Bortles accounted for 37 of those yards, as he was flushed from the pocket numerous times.
"I think last week we did a better job then we have been," defensive end J.J. Watt said about the Texans' run defense. "I think that stopping the run is always a key. We need to do that again, force them into long situations on third down."

Stonewall Suh & Co.- Over the past five games, the Texans have allowed just five sacks. That's an excellent statistic, but one that's even more impressive with the five different o-line combinations Houston's employed in 2015. According to offensive coordinator George Godsey, the line deserves a lot of kudos, but it's been all 11 on offense making it happen.
"It's a credit to the whole offense, receivers getting open, not just the offense line, but the backs and the tight ends doing a good job with their responsibilities, quarterback getting the ball out," Godsey said. "If receivers aren't open, that causes the quarterback to hold the ball. I think it's everybody working together." 
Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake garner the headlines as far as players to be wary of up front for Miami, but former Texan defensive lineman Earl Mitchell's also chipping in to a unit that's impressed Godsey.
"Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, everybody on their defensive front, Mitchell, as far as penetration, I think last week was a good example of what they're capable of, whether they bring an extra rusher or not," Godsey said. "I think it's a concern from our perspective."
Quarterback Brian Hoyer also appreciates the talent that will line up across from him on Sunday, and said the Texans must be mindful of it throughout the day.
"Cameron Wake has four sacks last week," Hoyer said. "Obviously that catches your eye. I think Ndamukong Suh is obviously a great interior player. That was a big deal for them in the offseason. We knew coming into this game he's a big part of what they're doing over there."

3rd down conversion-Nobody's better on third down this season than the Texans defense. They're allowing teams to convert just 31.25 percent of the time. The Dolphins' offense, conversely, has been one of the worst in the NFL at a 31.15 percent clip. Forcing Miami into third-and-long situations, in Watt's eyes, is a key.
"Make them try and beat us with their arm," Watt said. "Go out there and do our best to put the quarterback in uncomfortable situations and see if he can throw us a couple."
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrown nine touchdowns and seven picks, and he's completed 59.5 percent of his passes. He knows Watt and the pass rush can be special, but also is very complimentary of the Houston secondary, including rookie corner Kevin Johnson.
"He's playing pretty well," Tannehill said. "He's quick in and out of his breaks. He does a good job. Obviously (Johnathan) Joseph on the other side, a veteran guy, been doing it a long time and playing at a high level. The safeties do a good job as well. We have a lot of respect for those guys."
Turn the turnover page- Going into last week's roadie versus the Jags, the Texans were dead last in the League in both turnovers and turnover differential. But three interceptions in Jacksonville, and zero turnovers on their side of the ball got the Texans out of the cellar. They're now at minus-5 in turnover differential.
The Dolphins are better than that, at minus-1. But Tannehill was picked off twice last week at Tennessee, and the Texans need to keep improving in the turnover differential category. 
"I think that since 2006, when teams don't turn the ball over in the game, they win basically 75 percent of the time," O'Brien said. "So I think we start with that. Let's take care of the ball. Let's try to get some takeaways and see if we can do that."
Be Special- The Texans re-signed cornerback Charles James, II on Tuesday, and are counting on him to contribute on special teams. He made a few standout plays on punt coverage during the preseason games, and punter Shane Lechler liked the addition.
"He's a good guy," punter Shane Lechler said. "Hopefully he brings us some energy on special teams."
Lechler and the Texans are facing the League's best punt returner in Jarvis Landry. He leads the NFL with 19.1 yards per return, and has taken one back for a touchdown.






The Texans (2-4) travel to Miami (2-3) for a Week 7 matchup with the Dolphins. A win Sunday would be the eighth for the franchise in as many games against the Dolphins. Here are five key storylines to follow.1. Hold the run- The Texans have to stop the run. Miami is averaging 4.71 yards per carry, and that's the third-best mark in the NFL.

"They want to run the football," Texans head coach Bill O'Brien said. "They actually ran the ball twice as much as they did in the previous game, and they threw the ball about half as much as they did in the

previous game."

The Dolphins blasted the Titans last Sunday in Nashville, battering Tennessee by a 38-10 margin. Lamar Miller spearheaded the ground game with 19 carries for 113 yards and a score.

The Texans are around the middle of the pack in the league at stopping the run, as they've allowed 109 yards per game. Last Sunday in Jacksonville, they gave up just 83 rushing yards. But quarterback Blake Bortles accounted for 37 of those yards, as he was flushed from the pocket numerous times.

"I think last week we did a better job then we have been," defensive end J.J. Watt said about the Texans' run defense. "I think that stopping the run is always a key. We need to do that again, force them into long situations on third down." 2. Stonewall Suh & Co.- Over the past five games, the Texans have allowed just five sacks. That's an

excellent statistic, but one that's even more impressive with the five different o-line combinations Houston's employed in 2015. According to offensive coordinator George Godsey, the line deserves a lot of kudos, but it's been all 11 on offense making it happen.

"It's a credit to the whole offense, receivers getting open, not just the offense line, but the backs and the tight ends doing a good job with their responsibilities, quarterback getting the ball out," Godsey said. "If receivers aren't open, that causes the quarterback to hold the ball. I think it's everybody working together." 

The headliners on defense for Miami are tackle Ndamukong Suh and end Cameron Wake, but former Texan defensive lineman Earl Mitchell's also chipping in to a unit that's impressed Godsey.

"Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, everybody on their defensive front, Mitchell, as far as penetration, I think last week was a good example of what they're capable of, whether they bring an extra rusher or not," Godsey said. "I think it's a concern from our perspective."

Quarterback Brian Hoyer also appreciates the talent that will line up across from him on Sunday, and said the Texans must be mindful of it throughout the day.

"Cameron Wake has four sacks last week," Hoyer said. "Obviously that catches your eye. I think Ndamukong Suh is obviously a great interior player. That was a big deal for them in the offseason. We knew coming into this game he's a big part of what they're doing over there."3. 3rd down conversion-Statistically, nobody's better on third down this season than the Texans defense. They're

allowing teams to convert just 31.25 percent of the time. The Dolphins' offense, conversely, has been one of the worst in the NFL at a 31.15 percent clip. Forcing Miami into third-and-long situations, in Watt's eyes, is a key.

"Make them try and beat us with their arm," Watt said. "Go out there and do our best to put the quarterback in uncomfortable situations and see if he can throw us a couple."

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrown nine touchdowns and seven picks, and he's completed 59.5 percent of his passes. He knows Watt and the pass rush can be special, but also is very complimentary of the Houston secondary, including rookie corner Kevin Johnson.

"He's playing pretty well," Tannehill said. "He's quick in and out of his breaks. He does a good job. Obviously (Johnathan) Joseph on the other side, a veteran guy, been doing it a long time and playing at a high level. The safeties do a good job as well. We have a lot of respect for those guys." 4. Turn the turnover page- Going into last week's roadie versus the Jags, the Texans were dead last in

the league in both turnovers and turnover differential. But three interceptions in Jacksonville, and zero turnovers on their side of the ball got the Texans out of the cellar. They're now minus-5 in turnover differential.

The Dolphins are better than that, at minus-1. But Tannehill was picked off twice last week at Tennessee, and the Texans need to keep improving in the turnover differential category. 

"I think that since 2006, when teams don't turn the ball over in the game, they win basically 75 percent of the time," O'Brien said. "So I think we start with that. Let's take care of the ball. Let's try to get some takeaways and see if we can do that."
 


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  1. Be Special**- The Texans re-signed cornerback Charles James II on Tuesday, and are counting on him to contribute on special teams. He made a few standout plays on punt coverage during the preseason games, and punter Shane Lechler liked the addition.

"He's a good guy," punter Shane Lechler said. "Hopefully he brings us some energy on special teams."

Lechler and the Texans are facing the league's best punt returner in Jarvis Landry. He leads the NFL with 19.1 yards per return, and has taken one back for a touchdown.



The Houston Texans roster in photos.


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