The Miami Dolphins cane out of their bye week with a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, and a new attitude. They took their frustration of a slow start out on the Tennessee Titans and will now look to keep up the momentum against a team they have literally never beaten. Can the Dolphins overcome the hurdle that is the Houston Texans and snap a seven-game losing streak to the 2002 expansion franchise?
As we do every week, we ask Phinsider contributors to make their prediction of the results of the game. You will find them below. After that, you will also find your chance to make your prediction. SB Nation is tracking how well each team's blog predicts their scores throughout the season, with all of the managing editors hoping to gain bragging rights.
Here are the predictions:
Houston 24 - Miami 30
So far so good with the Dan Campbell experiment. Miami has NEVER beaten the Texans as they have usually gotten themselves pushed around by Houston in the past. Things have seemingly changed under coach Dan and this team seems to have signaled with last weeks performance that they will now be the ones doing the pushing around. On paper the teams look closely matched but Miami's new attitude on the field will carry them to a victory this week at home. Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of Dan Campbell is called Logic.
Houston 14 - Miami 31
Looked like a totally different Miami team. Can't remember the last time I was that hyped up. Look for Dan Campbell to remain undefeated after Sunday. We will finally beat the Texans. Remember to check under your bed before you go to bed, the boogeyman may be hiding under there from Campbell.
Houston 17 - Miami 30
One of the keys over the win against the Titans last week was Miami's defense, which was much simplified under Lou Anarumo. The Dolphins will go into the game with the same mindset, and will place great emphasis on stopping Deandre Hopkins, their top receiving threat. On offense, this offensive line is going to be tested against JJ Watt and company. It will be interesting to see how they hold up. With both teams coming up with a win last week, this one is tough to call. However the Dolphins are on a high at the moment. Miami win.
Brian "Turtle" Naidus
Houston 24 - Miami 31
Coach Campbell starts 2-2, gets to .500 and begins preparing for a trip to Foxboro. A good day for fantasy offenses for both teams, Miami just makes one or two more plays on defense and special teams to get the edge here. #CampbellMania2015 is in full effect by Monday.
Houston 16 - Miami 24
The Dolphins hold on behind strong play from the defense. The offensive line will need to protect better, but committing to the run will again pay dividends.
Chris "Duke" Early
Houston 20 - Miami 24CAMPBELL SMASH!!!
What. Was. That? Lamar Miller had 19 or more carries 3 times under Joe Philbin. Dan Campbell runs him 19 times in his first game. He responded with a 113 yards and a TD on those 19 carries. The offensive line was a sieve the first 4 weeks. Last week, they allowed a total of 6 pressures. Billy Turner struggled with the Philbin finesse game. With Campbell's punch-you-in-the-mouth kinda style? He played like a starting caliber right guard. I mean, you expected the Dolphins to play with a little more passion. But the contrast from a Campbell coached team to a Philbin coached was so stark, it was like night and day. The Dolphins looked like an NFL team. They didn't sleepwalk through the game; they played aggressive. I don't know if the X's and O's stuff will carry over week end and week out. But I do know that the WAY the Dolphins played WILL carry over.
There were two plays that I thought highlighted the contrast. In the first quarter, Miller runs right for a 22 yard gain. At the end of the run, Miller was at the sideline with a defender bearing down on him. The Philbin Lamar Miller steps out of bounds right there. The Campbell Lamar Miller stays in bounds and hits the defender. He doesn't gain much - maybe a yard or so. But that showed me that he's buying in to the toughness.
The second play was towards the end of the game, right after the 2 minute warning. Miami was up comfortably 31 - 10. It is 3rd and 8 from the 12. Miami is going to run the ball, wind some clock, turn it over on downs, and be happy about a big win. Except, they don't. Tannehill takes the shotgun snap, no play action, just a straight drop, and fires the ball into to Jordan Cameron for a touchdown. Tannehill has already put them away on the previous drive, going 5-5 for 89 yards, capped off by a 2 yard PA rollout to Dion Sims. That final TD was a statement: "We are not going to just beat you, we are going to crush you!"
In Monday's post practice presser, Campbell said they needed to stay aggressive and not fall into that post-win lull that the team had done previously. I think this team has enough veteran leadership that they will continue the drive to compete and play tough. They know all of the good will and positivity from the victory over the Titans will disappear quickly if they come out flat against the Texans.
The Dolphins have never beaten the Texans and now would be as good a time as any to do that. The Texans are 2-4, and are rolling with Brian Hoyer at QB. They still have Arian Foster and DeAndre Hopkins is leading the league in receiving yards. Houston is middle of the pack defensively and could be without CB Kareem Jackson and ILB Benardrick McKinney. They still have J.J. Watt and Jadaveon Clowney though. Miami's OL will have their work cut out for them, especially the guards, who I assume will be tested heavily by Watt.
Last week was about the Dolphins and how they would respond to Campbell. We got that answer. This week, it's about how Campbell and how he will fare after the "new" has been worn off. Can the Dolphins get 2 straight wins?
Houston 20 - Miami 27
Dolphins fans are riding high after a beatdown of the Tennessee Titans and the Dolphins looking like the team we expected to see this season. That said, they cannot ride that new-coach high forever. Unfortunately for the Texans, the Dolphins will also be looking to fix the fact that they came out and laid an egg against the Buffalo Bills in the first game in Sun Life Stadium this year. We've reached Week 7 and this is just the second Sun Life Stadium game of the year, and Miami will want to erase what happened last time; this team should also want to end the fact that the franchise has never beaten the Texans - ever. That ends this week, though I am not ready to say this is a blow out.