FanPost

Armchair Scouting & Prediction: Houston Texans

We got a real drunken toddler wrestling match coming up this Sunday, and I'm here to break it down.

Seriously, my hope is always to watch an opponents' two previous games, to get a sense of what they've been doing well or poorly in their most recent games. For this one, I was only able to watch the Texans game from last Sunday, a gnarly 38-22 loss that was far, far worse than even the score indicates.

But the article gets ahead of itself. Let's look at the numbers, and try not to get too depressed:

The Tale of the Tape

All statistics are per game

Dolphins"}">Dolphins Texans
Passing Yards 223.3 (25th) 205 (30th)
Rushing Yards 78.6 (30th) 76.1 (31st)
Points Scored 17.3 (28th) 14.9 (32nd)
Pass Yards Allowed 291.1 (31st) 253.3 (25th)
Run Yards Allowed 115.8 (19th) 148.1 (31st)
Points Allowed 29.1 (29th) 30.1 (31st)
Net Turnovers -4 (tie 23rd) -4 (tie 23rd)
Against Penalty Yards 50.6 (12th) 61.5 (23rd)

Remember how pathetic the stats were in the matchup against the Jaguars two weeks ago? Well, your eyes do not deceive you - these ones are worse. While the Dolphins have slightly improved in a few areas, they still rank 25th out of 32 or lower in every key area except for average run yards allowed per game and penalty yards against. And even in those areas, they're not great.

As bad as that is, the Texans have definitely been holding Miami's beer. They are last or dead last in several major categories, and no better than 23rd in any of them. The stats suggest a team that is every bit as bad as the entire NFL-watching world assumed they would be in the wake of the last few years' horrible mismanagement. Houston sports a 1-7 record that is identical to the Dolphins, but are they different in any notable way?

Houston Texans versus LA Rams

I fired up the old Sunday Ticket Shortcuts version of the Texans' 38-22 loss to the Rams last week to get an idea. As I stated in my intro, the score belies the reality: Houston is terrible.

The Rams were up 7-0 at the end of the 1st quarter, 24-0 at the half, and 38-0 at the end of the third. They probably could have put up a 50-point shutout win, but they decided to rest many of their starters for the fourth quarter, which allowed the Texans to start racking up some preseason-esque empty numbers and make the final score look at tad more respectable on paper. But don't let those fool you.

On offense, the Rams got nearly everything they wanted, especially in two areas. One was running between the tackles, where Darrell Henderson feasted all day to the tune of 90 yards on 14 carries (6.4 yards per carry). The Rams put up a total of 165 yards and two TDs on the ground, and again - that was with them barely giving much effort in the 4th. The other area where the Texans looked squishy was over the middle, giving up a ton of wide-open catches to a bevy of Rams pass-catchers.

The Texans offense was arguably worse. On their 9 offensive series through the first 3 quarters, they mustered a putrid 65 total yards on offense. You're reading that right - sixty-five. Six of those nine series were three-and-outs, two of them lasted only four plays, with the other one only being six plays. It was tragic. Even with really bad offenses, you can see a few things that they are OK or even good at, but this was not the case watching the Texans in this game. They looked about as bad as an NFL team can look.

Texans at Miami

What we have here is a case of two bad teams who are bad for different reasons. Our Dolphins clearly have talent, as evidenced by the stretches where the offense or defense will actually live up to their potential and look pretty good. However, they rarely do it at the same time in the same game. Add in that the coaching staff has taken many steps backwards, and we end up with an infuriating lack of focus or a clear offensive plan beyond each week's opening script. I still firmly believe that this Dolphins team has the talent to be at least an average team, but some poor personnel decisions and erratic coaching has resulted in multiple close losses.

The Houston Texans are another animal. They simply do not have an NFL roster, and it is painfully obvious. Their lone win came over the Jaguars on opening day. Since then, they've gotten blown out in nearly every other game. I didn't see any lack of effort in watching their game against LA - I just saw a sad lack of talent and experience. Yes, the Rams are a good team, but they aren't quite at the world-beater level that you might have assumed after seeing them pound the Texans into ground round for three quarters. That's what happens when a very good (though not quite elite) team squares off against an awful team.

Game Prediction

But the Dolphins are clearly not the LA Rams. We've seen the Dolphins lose to other really bad teams, namely a Jaguars squad who had lost their previous 20 games before bagging one against our guys in London.

That said, I predict a win, finally. I don't expect it to be very pretty, seeing as how the offense has mostly been an utter trainwreck all season. Still, they should be able to muster a few touchdown drives against a really poor Houston defense. And one of the few positive signs was seeing our own defense look much more like its 2020 version, and that was against a Bills team who had firebombed them in the previous two contests. Barring a rash of injuries to key players on Miami's roster, I see a win:

Dolphins 27, Texans 13

It won't be any work of art, for sure. It might even be frustratingly close through the first half, with our offense stuck in the mud for a bit while Houston lingers around. But I think our talent wins out, overcomes the inevitable lack of clear strategy on offense, and pulls out a "street ball" win.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Think our guys finally get off the schneid this week?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.