- We have added a new writer to Phinphanatic.com, his name is Shane and he comes to us now from Raleigh, NC. However, most of you already know him as one of the Phinphanatic producers of our “LIVE” Sunday game chats and as our Forum moderator…OrlandoNole. Here is his first contribution to Phinphanatic.com
This week the Miami Dolphins will face for the first time this season a team that runs the true 4-3 defense. While the Houston Texans are 0-4 they have arguably played the toughest schedule in the NFL to this point in the season. They will be playing at home and with their coach on a bit of a hot seat, they will be hungry for a win. With Miami’s recent resurgence, this game doesn’t look like the breather I am sure Houston was expecting when the schedule first came out.
The Texans rank 26th in the NFL giving up just under 140 rushing yards per game. Miami is ranked 10th in the NFL averaging 126 yards per game running the ball. Those stats for Miami are actually a little deceiving, because in the last 2 games when they decided to commit to the run they have rushed for 216 against the Patriots and 167 yards against San Diego. While Houston has given up at least 139 yards rushing per game in every game except last week against the Colts where the Texans jumped out to a lead and the colts were forced to throw the ball.
While this is one team against another it will pit the first match up of number 1 overall picks with Mario Williams lining up directly across from Jake Long on nearly every play. When the Texans chose Williams in the 2006 draft over Reggie Bush and Vince Young most draft experts and fans felt they made one of the biggest draft day blunders in history. Two and a quarter years later, it is looking more and more like the Texans made the right choice with Williams. Hhaving a breakout year in 2008 he is picking up right where he left off with 4 sacks already in the season.
Jake Long will have his hands full and this will be his first true test as a rookie that anchors the young but talented Dolphins offensive line. I will be keeping a close eye on this match-up throughout the game because I feel the winner in this battle will go a Long way in deciding who wins the overall game.
This writers prediction is Long will step up and Miami will be able to run the ball and give Pennington enough time when he needs it. Miami 31 Houston 18.