Five Things To Watch As Miami Travels To Houston


Aug 9, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas (33) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins will be facing off against the Houston Texans this Saturday at 8 P.M in Miami’s third preseason game.

Miami currently holds a record of 1-1 during the exhibition season and is looking to continue improving upon a bad showing to open the season against Dallas.

Here are five things to keep an eye on come Saturday:

WR Rishard Matthews – Matthews has finally returned to practice and will be looking to out-perform his fellow teammates vying for the 4th and 5th receiver positions. Matthews should be good to go come Saturday and should, in my opinion, play a huge role in the offense as the coaching staff will likely want to see where he is at physically and mentally. If Matthews does indeed shine against Houston, look for the 5th spot to come down to a BumphisMcNuttFuller battle.

Which running back will shine this week? – During Miami’s first two preseason games both Jonas Gray and Mike Gillislee have shined. Both players looked great against both Dallas and Jacksonville. Gray is a bowling-ball type back who uses his power and strength to overpower defenders. Gillislee, on the other hand, is more of a complete back who not only has power but also has a nice burst of speed. If both players perform well again this week it will make GM Jeff Ireland’s job much harder come roster cuts.

Will kicker Caleb Sturgis take the place kicking job and run with it? – Miami recently released K Dan Carpenter after five stellar seasons with the club. Sturgis was brought in as “competition” for Carpenter, but it was quite evident to most fans that Sturgis would eventually seize the job from Carpenter and his enormous salary at some point this season. Sturgis has looked good thus far through camp and one preseason game – nailed a beautiful 58-yard field goal attempt and booted every kick off out of the end-zone. Keep an eye on Sturgis this weekend.

Will QB Ryan Tannehill finally connect with WR Mike Wallace? – When Miami faced Jacksonville, Miami’s biggest offseason acquisition, Mike Wallace, finally took the field. While it was exciting to see Wallace in Miami colors, it was disappointing that Wallace finished the night without a catch and without a target. This past week, Tannehill has been hooking up with Wallace on a regular basis. Hopefully he finds Wallace AT LEAST once during the game to give Miami fans something to talk about.

How will the offensive line look this week? – Yes, I know the offensive line as a whole last week looked awful. But the starters actually looked pretty good after the first drive and a half. After G Josh Samuda was pulled – for an injury or for doing terrible depending on who you talk to – and G Nate Garner entered the game, the offense put together a beautiful drive resulting in a 22-yard touchdown to TE Dustin Keller. While that sounds all purdy and what not, Garner suffered an injury this week and will be out for quite some time. Don’t be too alarmed though, the offensive line received a boost by G John Jerry returning to practice. Jerry probably will not play Saturday but it’s definitely a good sign to see the big fella back out there. Once Jerry gets himself healthy and back into game shape, this offensive line should be fine.