The Dolphins 3rd preseason game set them up against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. This will mark the second pre-season meeting between the two teams with Miami taking the first one to the win column. So this has to mean something right?
Well, of course it doesn’t mean anything.
With their 3rd pre-season contest on the books, the Dolphins showed some stinginess with their first team defense. On the first Houston possession Matt Shaub moved the ball 29 yards before Brent Grimmes stepped up on an interception – a pass intended for D. Hopkins. After Miami was forced to punt on their next drive, the defense stepped back onto the field and continued their aggressive play style with a quick secondary and even quicker zone play by the linebackers. Cameron Wake continued where he left off last year with a sack on Shaub to end the Houston drive. It was only until 00:03:53 seconds left when the Dolphins starting secondary was switched with back-ups and rookies that Houston scored on a short left pass from Shaub to Daniels.
The Dolphins offense started slow but when they found their groove they moved the ball well. Tannehill’s numbers for the first quarter where 7 of 8 for 82 yards and a touchdown, looked poised through out even thought his pocket crumbled a couple of times – He ended the first half with 10-15 for 141 yards and 1 TD.
[dropcap][/dropcap]Mike Wallace recorded his first touchdown as a Dolphin on a 9 yard pass in the end zone from Tannehill. Wallace also added help on a Lamar Miller TD late in the 2nd quarter with a nice block that let Miller walk right on into the end-zone. Miller ended the night with 5 for 10 yards and a touchdown, Thomas stole the show with some tough inside running gaining 25 yards on 5 carries and a reception for 27 yards on the first half. Dustin Keller was 1 for 14 but suffered a knee injury when Houston safety DJ Swearinger went low while making direct contact with his helmet against the tight end’s knee, looks serious as the knee bent backwards (no word yet on his status). Gibbson took over after the keller injury as Tannehill’s third option catching 2 for 32 yards and looked fluid around the Texans linebacker corps.
The second and third teams for the Dolphins didn’t look quite as crisp allowing Houston to score two touchdowns and a field goal. Matt Moore could do little with an offensive line that allowed Houston rushers to break through and sacking Moore 4 times during his outing. the 2nd defensive team was as aggressive as the first forcing the ball loose a couple of times. In total the Texans offense threw for 326 yards against the Dolphins defense winning the game 24 – 17, the Dolphins where only able to compile 179 total passing yards.
All in all the first team defense and offense looked to be in sync. The speed of the defense was noticeable even though there seemed to be some gaps in the zone blocking, but the pressure was there and led by Cameron Wake (recording a sack). The offense started slow but found its rhythm on their second possession and moved the ball quickly down the field. We finally saw Wallace and he didn’t disappoint even though the Tannehill pass was a bit off. The Keller injury hung over the game making a nice outing by the Dolphins but brought up more questions in the tight end position for the near future.
By Sergio Peralta