Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins - Five Questions with Battle Red Blog

Tim from Battle Red Blog predicts a healthy dose of tight end Owen Daniels as the Houston Texans take on the Miami Dolphins this Sunday. That doesn't bode well for Miami's reeling defense.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Tim, the Managing Editor of SB Nation's excellent Houston Texans blog, Battle Red Blog, some questions ahead of the Sunday's Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins game.  

Here are my questions with his answers:

1. As someone who put Arian Foster at number one on his fantasy draft board this year, and a fan of the Dolphins as they get ready to face him, can you tell us how Foster is doing?  Will he start?  If he's not going to play, is Ben Tate really as effective as he seemed on Sunday, or was that a factor of playing the really bad Indianapolis Colts?

BRB:  Foster returned to practice on Wednesday, and the signs point to him playing on Sunday.  If he's healthy enough to play, I'd expect him to start.  Assuming Foster plays, he will be spelled by Ben Tate, who looks like the real deal; I don't think Tate's success last week was purely a product of the opponent.  In terms of how much of a shared workload you'd be looking at if both Foster and Tate are healthy, we really don't know.  Tate missed all of last season, so we've never really seen a backfield with both of them available.  If Foster can't go, Tate will get the start and the lion's share of the carries, considering Derrick Ward is working through an ankle injury he suffered against the Colts last week.


2. I think the pick up of Johnathan Joseph this offseason is a great move for your defense.  Along with moving Mario Williams to linebacker, what else is new with this defense that will allow the Texans to finally turn that corner and head to the post season?


BRB:  The difference between last year's Frank Bush-led joke of a 4-3 and this year's Wade Phillips' 3-4 is night and day.  While the Texans are clearly benefiting from the increased simplicity and aggression of Phillips' scheme, the influx of talent on that side of the ball is a huge reason why the Texans have looked like a completely different team.  The arrivals of Joseph, J.J. Watt, and Danieal Manning, plus the decision to move Glover Quin to safety, plus the return of Connor Barwin and DeMeco Ryans to the lineup, means Wade Phillips has more talent to work with than any other defensive coordinator in franchise history.  The proverbial corner should be turned.


3. This preseason, when I completed my predictions post, I actually had the Texans winning, not just the AFC South, but, in their first playoff appearance, the AFC as a whole.  I am not confident in that pick, but when I did my full predictions, that's what I ended up with, and that's what I am sticking with.  How far do you see this team going this year?


BRB:  Prior to Peyton Manning being ruled out for the season opener (and quite possibly much longer than that), I predicted the Texans would finish 9-7 and win the AFC South.  I'll stick with that, though this team has the potential to be better than that.  I do think that the Texans could be awfully dangerous in the playoffs, especially if the defense continues to develop under Phillips.  Nine years without a playoff appearance has probably left me more jaded than I should be, considering the talent on this team, but I can't go as far as predicting a Super Bowl appearance.


4 The Dolphins defense as a whole struggled on Monday night, and what is supposed to be a strength, the cornerbacks, had an off night.  Other than Andre Johnson, what should we expect out of the passing attack from Matt Schaub?


BRB:  Kevin Walter, Houston's WR2, is likely to miss the game with a shoulder injury, which means Jacoby Jones will get the start opposite Andre Johnson.  In addition to the usual Andre Johnson targets, I'd expect a steady diet of looks to Owen Daniels, with the occasional two TE (three TEs, really, as FB James Casey is a converted TE) set to keep Miami off-balance.


5. Miami has never beaten the Texans.  What surprises does your team have in this second week of 2011 that will continue that streak?


BRB:  As I alluded to in the previous answer, the move of James Casey to fullback has opened up a whole new set of possibilities on offense.  Take a look at this excellent post by MDC, one of BRB's tremendous writers.  The possibilities are very exciting for Houston fans, and (I'd imagine, anyway) worrisome for opponents.


Best of luck to you guys on Sunday.  Here's to a clean game with no injuries.  

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I really want to say thank you to Tim for agreeing to answer my questions.  Make sure you head over to Battle Red Blog to view my answers to his questions.

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