There is plenty of blame to go around this team this week. Brock Osweiler. The run defense. The pass rush. The offensive line. The....well, the team. It was painful to watch, because the Dolphins actually had decent plays and success at times - just never enough to string it together and stay in this game. It is the story of the Dolphins this year.
DeVante Parker may be the only Dolphins player to have a good game. Osweiler threw for 241 yards, with Parker recording 134 yards of those. He caught six passes during the game, after having two for 40 yards the rest of the season.
The Dolphins defense - which was supposed to be the strength of this team - has completely collapsed at this point. And, they are relatively healthy when compared to the offense. This is just miserable to watch, with no one able to consistently perform.
The Dolphins now have 10 days to try to fix whatever they can. Will Ryan Tannehill be able to return? Will Matt Burke solve the defensive woes? Will Miami find a way to turn 4-4 into a playoff team?
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered over the next eight games, and right now, it does not feel like those answers are readily available.
The Dolphins receive the opening kickoff.
Dolphins first possession. Should anyone be surprised that the Dolphins were penalized on the opening kickoff? The Texans re-kicked, with a touchback pushing Miami out a few extra yards after the original return, then a five-yard penalty on Houston added to it. Brock Osweiler went to Jakeem Grant on the first play, picking up three yards. Frank Gore then picked up nine yards to set up Miami with a first down. Gore then picked up seven yards on the next play. J.J. Watt then batted down a Osweiler pass, then sacked Osweiler, then was called for a neutral-zone infraction, setting up a 3rd-and-11. Osweiler then found Danny Amendola for 10 yards, setting up a 4th-and-1. Miami went for it on the 4th down play, faking a handoff to Gore, then looking for him in the flat, where he was tackled before the ball arrived, but no flag was thrown.
Texans first possession. Lamar Miller ran the ball on first down for one yard. This is a battle between players facing their former teams, with Osweiler having been a Texans quarterback and Miller having played with the Dolphins. On second down, Akeem Spence just missed a sack, with Deshaun Watson able to get rid of the ball, but the pass falling incomplete. After all-day to throw the ball on 3rd down, Watson had to dump it off and the Texans went three-and-out.
Dolphins second possession. Watt again ate up James on the first down, tackling Gore for a two-yard loss. Osweiler then threw a bubble screen to Jakeem Grant - who was blatantly tripped on the punt return but no flag was thrown - who took it 13 yards for a first down. After a play action fake to Kenyan Drake, Osweiler ran through his progressions and came back to Drake on a one-yard throw, with Drake then winding through the defense for nine yards. A Wildcat play converted the first down as Kalen Ballage picked up five yards. Drake then took a hand off 11 yards. After a timeout, the offensive line gives up pressure immediately up the middle and Osweiler has to just throw the ball into traffic to avoid an immediate sack. Drake then picked up four yards. On 3rd-and-6, Miami turned to Drake, who picked up five yards. On 4th-and-1, Miami settled for the field goal this time. On the kick, which sailed easily through the uprights, the Texans were called for unnecessary roughness for a high-low block on John Denney, and Miami received 15 yards and a first down. Drake then scored on a 12-yard run.
Texans second possession. Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins on first down for six yards, then Miller picked up four yards. Miller then picked up seven yards and two yards, setting up a 3rd-and-1, which Houston converted on a Watson to Will Fuller for 34 yards. Miller then picked up 19 yards on the next play, driving down to Miami’s three. Miller was stopped by Vincent Taylor for a one-yard loss on the first try, but then punched it in on the two-yard run.
Dolphins third possession. After a hold on the kickoff, Miami started at their own 10. After a five yard run from Gore, the clock ran down on the quarter.
End First Quarter. Tied 7-7.
Dolphins third possession (continued). Osweiler was given a wide open passing lane and missed Amendola badly, overthrowing him and being picked off. Amendola was held on the play, which was a part of the issue with the interception.
Here’s the obvious hold on Amendola that resulted in interception pic.twitter.com/KnzbAfPuik— Dave Hyde (@davehydesports) October 26, 2018
Texans third possession. After an Alfred Blue three yard run, Watson found Jordan Thomas for a 13-yard touchdown.
Dolphins fourth possession. Osweiler found Amendola for a four-yard gain on first down. Gore then picked up four yards, setting up 3rd-and-2. Osweiler found a wide-open Mike Gesicki right at the line of scrimmage, but the rookie tight end ran across the field instead of turning it up field and converting for the first down. Jakeem Grant was called for offensive pass interference for blocking down field, but Gesicki has to turn up field and get to the sticks in that situation - bad rookie mistake. Miami would punt.
Texans fourth possession. The Texans would start at their own eight after a great punt from Matt Haack. On first down, Blue picked up six yards, then followed it up with a 12 yard gain. Then Miller picked up 14 yards. Miami’s run defense needs to finally show up, and they need to do it now. The responded on the next play, stopping Blue for a one-yard loss. Watson to Fuller only worked for three yards, setting up a 3rd-and-8, with Miami reading the screen pass perfectly, but Watson breaking out for a 14-yard gain. A holding penalty on Houston then backed up the Texans, before an incomplete pass. Watson then somehow avoided two near-sacks to find Fuller for 10 yards, setting up 3rd-and-1. Miami held on third down and the Texans punted.
Dolphins fifth possession. Drake made a gorgeous cut on first down to bounce outside and pick up five yards. Osweiler threw a duck that wobbled its way to Grant on a 16-yard out route. Parker then picked up 19 yards on a bubble screen. Drake could not find a hole on first down for a one-yard loss. Osweiler was forced to call a timeout on 3rd-and-11 just before the play clock expired. After the timeout, Osweiler threw behind Parker, who adjusted to the ball and picked up 17 yards. Osweiler tried to throw the interception on the first-down play, scrambling and throwing the ball straight to the defense, but luckily it was dropped. He found Gore for four yards before throwing toward Grant, who was not even looking for the ball yet, and Miami settled for a field goal.
Texans fifth possession. Miller picked up eight on the first play. The Dolphins swarmed the line of scrimmage on second down, stopping Miller with a one-yard gain before the Texans let the clock run down to the two-minute warning. Blue was stopped for no gain by Cameron Wake on the next play, leading to a punt.
Dolphins sixth possession. Drake picked up eight yards on first down. Osweiler then connected with Gesicki, but it was for no gain. After Amendola went up in the air and pulled in a 13-yard gain, Miami was given another first-down. Osweiler then looked toward Gesicki again, but it was incomplete. After Osweiler fumbled but it was called back as an incomplete pass - thank you Brady - Osweiler was incomplete on 3rd-and-10, leading to a punt.
Texans sixth possession. With 20 seconds on the clock, the Texans took a knee and ended the half. Or not. The Texans were called for an illegal formation, so teams were brought back out of the locker room to try kneeling on the ball again.
End second quarter. Texans 14-10.
The Texans received the opening kickoff of the second half.
Texans seventh possession. Miller picked up eight yards on first down, then 58 yards on second down. Yeah, Miami run defense is still in the locker room. After Blue ran for no gain, Watson appeared to have a touchdown pass after scrambling, but an ineligible player down field backed up the Texans. A Watson to Fuller pass picked up four yards, setting up 3rd-and-Goal from the Miami ten. An eight yard pass from Watson to Moore set up 4th-and-Goal from the two, with Watson able to scramble away and find Thomas for the touchdown.
Dolphins seventh possession. Gore picked up four yards on first down, then a pass to Gore for no yards turned into a Houston penalty for offsides and Miami moved to 2nd-and-1. After Osweiler badly missed a wide open Parker deep on what could have been a touchdown pass, he came back to convert the first down with an eight-yard gain. Gore then picked up four yards, followed by two throw aways as Osweiler was chased out of the pocket twice and threw the ball away both times. Miami punted.
Texans eighth possession. Miller lost two yards on first down as Reshad Jones then Jones stopped Ervin after four yards on as pass from Watson. On 3rd-and-8, offsetting penalties replayed a first-down conversion from Hopkins - who pushed off on the play - against Xavien Howard. On the second 3rd-and-8 play, Watson was incomplete targeting Miller and Houston punted.
Dolphins eighth possession. Gore picked up seven yards, then eight yards, then another eight yards. Then Miami pulled out the trick play with Osweiler throwing backward to Amendola who threw across the field to Drake for the 28-yard touchdown.
Pretty damn throw from a WR to a RB!— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) October 26, 2018
Texans ninth possession. The drive started with a two yard run from Blue, then ended with a 73-yard touchdown pass from Watson to Fuller, who beat Bobby McCain for the easy score.
Dolphins ninth possession. Miami started with one yard loss from Gore, followed by a no-gain run. On 3rd-and-11, Osweiler looked deep to Grant, who went up high for the catch, only to have the the pass broken up and fly down field to Parker for a 46-yard play. After a Drake three-yard run, then another four-yard run, Osweiler scrambled and could not find a receiver - despite Gesicki being open - and threw the ball away. Miami settled for a 46-yard field goal.
Couldn’t draw it up better.— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) October 26, 2018
Texans tenth possession. Miami tried the surprise onside kick, but Houston recovered. The defense stepped up on the first play at least, stuffing Miller for no gain as the quarter ended.
End third quarter. Texans 28-20.
Texans tenth possession (continued). The Dolphins decided to not cover Hopkins on the next play, allowing him to stand by himself down the right side of the field for a 49-yard touchdown.
Dolphins tenth possession. Miami started with Drake picking up nine yards, then one yard to convert for the first down. Then Osweiler found Parker for a 30 yard gain, bringing him to six receptions for 134 yards. Drake lost three yards on first down, then a nine-yard pass to Amendola was followed by a high pass to Parker which was broken up as the receiver came back down to the ground, leading to a field goal.
Texans eleventh possession. Miller picked up two yards on first down. Cameron Wake was called for offsides on the next play, setting up a 2nd-and-3, with Watson finding Hopkins for 14 yards. Miller then picked up three yards. Watson looked deep for Fuller on first down, with Bobby McCain being called for pass interference for running through Fuller who slowed up with an apparent knee injury. There were actually three defensive penalties on Miami on the play, with a holding on McCain and an illegal contact on Howard declined and the pass interference accepted. Miller picked up five on the first down play from the Miami eight. Miller gained one on 2nd down, leading to 3rd-and-Goal from the Dolphins two. Watson then found Hopkins on the slant for the two-yard touchdown.
Dolphins eleventh possession. Yeah, at this point, I am not sure I need to continue. The Dolphins went three-and-out, losing four yards, so yeah...
Texans twelfth possession. Blue picked up one yard on the first down play, then an encroachment penalty on Akeem Spence gave Houston five free yards. Blue picked up another one yard, then Hopkins picked up four more yards on a pass from Watson. Blue picked up two yards on another run, then three yards on 2nd-and-8. Blue then added another eight yards on 3rd-and-5, to keep possession and keep killing the clock. Blue ran for five yards over the next three plays, leading to a punt.
Dolphins twelfth possession. Osweiler found Amendola for seven yards, the Gesicki for 10 yards. With 20 seconds remaining, Osweiler found Grant for four yards, with a hit to the head leading to an injury ten-second run-off and the end of the game.
Final. Texans 42-23.