After a rough week of dealing with the loss to the New England Patriots, it's finally time to get ready for the Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins Week 2 game. Here are the five things I will be watching for tomorrow:
1 - Chad Henne vs. Houston secondary. After a career high in a record setting performance last week, Henne will look to continue his reboot this week against the Texans. Last season, the defense was the biggest liability for Houston, but they have added several talented members to the roster this offseason and they are looking to get better. Last week, as the Texans destroyed the Indianapolis Colts, they only allowed 172 yards passing, making them ninth in the league in passing yards allowed. It will be fascinating to see if Henne can carve apart the Texans secondary, of if the Texans defense steps up.
2 - Marc Colombo vs. Mario Williams. Is there any doubt of the weakest link on the Miami offensive line? Mario Williams is a freak, and can rush you in, seemingly, an infinite number of ways. The Dolphins will have to figure out some way to slow down Williams, or else Henne is going to be running for his life all night. Look for tight end and running back help to be moved to wherever Williams is lined up (read - on the right side).
3 - Dolphins secondary/linebackers vs. Matt Schaub. Last week, Tom Brady torched the secondary. Vontae Davis and Sean Smith pride themselves on being able to shutdown some high caliber receivers, even if they don't get the media attention for it. The performance from the secondary was so bad that Benny Sapp was released and veteran Will Allen was brought back to the team to try to stem the cracks before the dam completely breaks. While Schaub is not Brady, he's still a very talented, veteran quarterback. Plus, he has targets like Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels. If the secondary can't shut down the Texans' passing game, and the linebackers have't yet realized that they really are allowed to cover a tight end on a receiving route, it could be another long game for the defense.
4 - Daniel Thomas/Charles Clay/Larry Johnson - None of these three made an appearance last week (Thomas and Clay were inactive due to injuries, Johnson just never came into the game), but the running game needs them. Reggie Bush is expected to get at least 20 touches (rushes and receptions), but someone else needs to make a difference in the Dolphins backfield. Thomas and/or Johnson have to be the between the tackles runner for Miami, and Clay needs to make a fan base forget about the Dolphins releasing Lousaka Polite.
5 - Miami Dolphins Redzone Offense. The Dolphins have a new, explosive offense. They have a quarterback that three for over 400 yards last week. Yet, they have the same redzone frustration from last year. For some reason, this team stalls when they get inside the 20. Last week, there were no Wildcat plays to blame the stalling on, but the Dolphins made odd play calls anyway. Maybe the addition of Thomas and Clay back in the lineup will help with this problem, but Johnson was available last week. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll addressed this during the week, and, hopefully, has a solution.
What are you watching for?