Dec 18, 2011; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (22) runs with the ball as Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd (31) tries to tackle him during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans: Key Matchups to Watch

The Miami Dolphins and the Houston Texans always bring a clash to the table, and with a lot of changes on each team this game may be an interesting one to watch. With that, let’s check out the most intriguing matchups.

Aug 27, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins linebacker Cameron Wake (91) looks toward the sideline between downs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE

Miami’s Defensive Line vs. Houston’s Offensive Line:

This clash is a vital one for the Miami Dolphins. Many members of the defensive line have been together for quite a while now, and there is a verity that Cameron Wake, Paul Soliai, and Jared Odrick can get to the quarterback tallying 41.0 total sacks last season. But with a new coordinator and coach, how effective can they be? Ultimately, the line is the Achilles heal behind a week one victory.

In terms of protecting the man under center, the Houston Texans’ offensive line allowed 16.0 sacks in the 2011-12 season (which is low considering other lines in the NFL). Left guard Wade Smith and left tackle Duane Brown are two strong blockers for Matt Schaub. If these men can provide their quarterback with enough time in the pocket then they will be successful in their 2012 season debut.

August 24, 2012; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

Ryan Tannehill vs. Matt Schaub:

Tannehill is making his first stint in the turquoise and the expectations are unspeakably high. The first-year player has the arm strength and accuracy to throw the ball in a tight window. In the preseason, he evidently displayed that the transformation from college to the NFL was easy, but the regular season is a whole different story. The former Aggie will feel comfortable in a system with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.

Schaub has been one of the most consistent players in the NFL throughout his nine years. His 2011 season wasn’t his greatest showing but he will bounce back with an enormous set of numbers. Additionally, with weapons like Andre Johnson and Arian Foster it is tough to argue against this Houston offense, and their quarterback is an accountable part of it.

Reggie Bush vs. Arian Foster:

Surprisingly, Reggie Bush finished his 2011-12 season rushing for over 1,000 yards, and this year he projects the same if not more. Emerging into week one won’t be a nice stroll through the park, instead it will be an obstacle course for the seven-year veteran. Bush, the former Trojan, has the ability to apply real estate into the open field with his blazing speed and changed mentality of running north to south instead of east to west.

Arian Foster is one of the best running backs in today’s game, and it is well deserved. His mentality on every play is to use versatility to move around the defense. In this matchup, Foster will have time to run through the daylight with great blocking and considering Miami’s run defense isn’t the greatest.

With all that being said this game will be an entertaining one in a land where only the strong survive.

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Tags: Arian Foster Houston Texans Miami Dolphins Reggie Bush Ryan Tannehill

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