The temperature is starting to drop (well, not in Houston) and football is officially back with the Texans taking the field Sunday afternoon. It's a time of year where you lose touch with loved ones and find yourself watching meaningless games in November because you have a fantasy player on the field. You shouldn't know who Ronnie Hillman is, but you will, and people not obsessed with football will think you're crazy, but ignore those people because they don't know what they're missing.
Texans vs. Dolphins Things To Watch For:
1. Running Back Carries - With Arian Foster sore from an injury, expect Ben Tate to get at least an equal amount of carries if not more. If this game goes as planned, expect Tate to get nearly every carry in the second half if the Texans have a big lead. I don't think the Texans would put Foster out there if there was a significant threat of a re-injury, but there's no reason to risk it in a game they should dominate.
2. Starting Field Position - The Texans kept Trindon Holliday to give them the ball at the 35 instead of the 25 and he'll need to do that consistently to stay on the roster. I don't expect anything from him as a receiver, so he's only worth a roster spot if he effects field position. Teams with deep rosters and good depth typically have good special teams because they have better backups than bad teams like the Dolphins; Holliday has a great chance to return a kick for a touchdown today.
3. Pass Protection On The Right Side - I agreed with the decision to start Derek Newton even before the injury to Butler because of what he gave you in the run game, but I'm a little concerned about him in pass protection. He'll face a great pass rusher in Cameron Wake today so expect the Texans to help him with a tight end or a back chipping on their way out into their pattern. Also would like to see the Texans run right at Wake to make him work, get pushed on a little bit, and hopefully have him tired out by the 4th quarter.
4. Spy Reggie Bush - Bottom line, he's their only big time threat. I like Anthony Fasano at tight end but I don't think Tannehill will have much time to throw and even if he does, he's not a deep threat. The Texans will likely crowd the box with eight and even nine guys with a rookie quarterback under center and a terrible group of receivers so I don't expect much out of the Dolphins rushing attack, but I am worried about Bush as a receiver. Expect the Dolphins to run a few screen plays and flare out Bush to the flat as a quick read for Tannehill. No linebacker can guard Bush in one on one coverage so they'll have rally quickly to prevent Bush from breaking a big play.