The 4-3 Dolphins will travel to Houston to take on the 4-3 Texans in this week’s Thursday night matchup. Although these teams have identical records, they are headed in opposite directions after coming off very different weeks. Miami suffered its third defeat in their last 4 games with a 32-21 home loss to the Detroit Lions. To add injury to insult, wide receiver Albert Wilson suffered a significant hip injury and will be out for at least the next few weeks. Brock Osweiler has now started 2 games for the injured Ryan Tannehill and is 1-1 after winning in week 6 against the Chicago Bears. The Texans won their 4th game in a row last week with an impressive 20-7 road victory of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Their defense has stepped up as they have allowed their opponents to score an average 12 points over their last 3 games.
Miami’s defense let them down last week as they allowed the Lions to gain 465 yards of offense. They particularly struggled against the run giving up 248 yards on the ground and had just 2 tackles for losses. They did not force a turnover and sacked Matthew Stafford 4 times. For the season, the Dolphins defense has allowed their opponents to average 25.3 points and 415 yards per game. Offensively, Osweiler played well as he finished with a passer rating of 115. He complete 22 of 31 passes for 239 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Danny Amendola who had 6 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. They also had success running the ball gaining 107 yards on just 19 carries which is an average of over 5 yards per carry.
The Texans defense dominated again last week and has helped turn their season around. They forced 3 turnovers with an interception and 2 fumble recoveries. They sacked Cody Kessler 4 times and had 4 tackles for losses. They also did a good job against the rush allowing the Jaguars to gain just 70 yards on 22 carries, which is an average of just. 3.2 yards per run. Offensively, Deshaun Watson played well enough to earn the victory. He completed just 12 of 24 passes for 139 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Will Fuller V who had 6 catches for 68 yards. Lamar Miller had a good day running the ball with 100 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
Houston will have home field advantage for this game and are favored by 7.5 points. They have gone just 2-5 against the spread this season including 0-3 at home. The Dolphins have gone 4-3 against the spread including 1-2 on the road. The momentum rides with the Texans as they started the year 0-3 while the Dolphins started 3-0. This is an important game for the AFC as the Dolphins sit in second place in the AFC East, the Texans are in first place in the AFC South.