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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: MIA 20, HOU 27

The Dolphins are still searching for their firs twin of the season and hit the road where they have lost both times by just three points. The Texans started the year out with two wins and now are 2-2 without a big chunk of their offense. The Texans get back a few injured players this week and are at home. The Dolphins are still the Dolphins.

The Texans won 17-15 when these teams met in Houston for week four of the 2006 season.

Update: Ahman Green has been limited in practice this week and remains questionable to play. I am not going to add him back into the projections though he could end up with some playing time. If he does play, he won't be 100% and will share with Ron Dayne who would likely get the majority of carries anyway.

Jerome Mathis is likely still out this week and Jacoby Jones has returned to limited participation in practice this week but is still healing from his shoulder injury. I am downgrading Jones and there is a good chance that he does not play depending on what happens Friday and Saturday. If you really need Jones, check the pregame inactives and realize that he won't be 100% even if he does play.

Miami Dolphins (0-4)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @WAS 13-16 +3 35
2 DAL 20-37 +3.5 40.5
3 @NYJ 28-31 +3 35.5
4 OAK 17-35 -3.5 40
5 @HOU   +5.5 43
6 @CLE 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 NE 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 NYG 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 BYE - - -
10 BUF 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @PHI 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @PIT 26-Nov MON 8:30 PM
13 NYJ 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @BUF 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 BAL 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @NE 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 CIN 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
MIA at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green     220,2
RB Ronnie Brown 70 60,1  
TE David Martin   20  
WR Chris Chambers   80,1  
WR Marty Booker   50  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   10  
PK Jay Feeley 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The vaunted Miami defense is gone now and the offense is not quite good enough to make up the difference. Each opponent has scored at least 31 points over the last three games and two of those were at home where the Fins used to be safe. Two road games against a banged-up Texans team and then in Cleveland offer some hope of a turnaround but the second half schedule is even worse than the first half.

Quarterback: Trent Green has thrown for at least one score in every game this year but only once had two touchdowns and his big yardage of recent weeks disappeared against the Raiders who held him to only 158 yards once they prevented Chris Chambers from running free. When an offense revolves around only one receiver, taking him away spells certain disaster but at least Ronnie Brown remains a valuable outlet. The Texans secondary should be as weak as any that the Fins have faced this week.

The Dolphins threw for 249 yards and one score in week four when Culpepper played last year.

Running Backs: It is becoming hard to remember just how ineffective and under-used that Ronnie Brown was those first two weeks of the season. In the last two games, he's run for 246 yards and three scores and added 12 catches for 172 yards and a fourth score. Brown has assumed his rightful place as the central figure in this offense and while little else is working well, Brown is excelling and leading the league in total yardage each week.

Brown only gained 49 yards on 12 carries in Houston last year. He did add eight catches for 62 yards.

Wide Receivers: Chris Chambers' hot start to the season ended when the Raiders held him to only two catches for 21 yards after three straight weeks of 90+ yards. Even Marty Booker struggled with only one catch for eight yards. This passing scheme is all about finding Chambers and when he is covered, then resorting to Booker. When those two are covered, then the only remaining option is a quick pass to Ronnie Brown. Neither Derek Hagen nor Ted Ginn matter at all. In fact, Ginn was the #9 pick in the NFL draft and so far has only caught one pass for 15 yards. Compare that to what Dwayne Bowe has done.

Chris Chambers only had three catches for 28 yards and one score in Houston last season.

Tight Ends: Sure it would be helpful for the tight end to show up in a game where the wideouts are covered but David Martin comes off his worst game of the year with just once catch for six yards. Problem too is that it wasn't all that much worse than any other game.

Match Against the Defense: The Houston rush defense has been solid this year and only Addai was able to score against them. The Texans are only allowing 3.6 yards per carry so expect a sub-100 yard game from Brown that will end up with plenty of receiving opportunities to help prop up his fantasy value this week. Brown remains a good fantasy start but should ring in with more moderate numbers than the last two weeks unless the Miami defense finally shows up this year.

Green faces only an average secondary that has given up about two scores per week over the last three games and nice yardage as well. Expect Chambers and Booker both to bounce back this week with at least moderate numbers but the Texans at home will be playing better defense.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 18 7 20 12 15 30
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 18 10 23 18 23 7


Houston Texans (2-2)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 KC 20-3 +3 38
2 @CAR 34-21 +6.5 39
3 IND 24-30 + 6 47.5
4 @ATL 16-26 -2.5 39.5
5 MIA   -5.5 43
6 @JAC 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 TEN 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 @SD 28-Oct SUN 4:05 PM
9 @OAK 4-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
10 BYE - - -
11 NO 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @CLE 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @TEN 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 TB 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 DEN 13-Dec THU 8:15 PM
16 @IND 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 JAC 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
HOU vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     230, 2
RB Ron Dayne 80,1    
TE Owen Daniels   50,1  
WR Andre Davis   80,1  
WR Jacoby Jones   30  
WR Kevin Walter   60  
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: That giddy feeling from their 2-0 start is gone now and the Texans are just trying to remain above .500 on the season. The offense was decimated with injuries to Ahman Green and Jacoby Jones to add to the already missing Andre Johnson. And yet they still played competitively in Atlanta against one of the worst teams in the league. Back at home this week the Texans look to right their ship and they have been playing better at home this year.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub's return to Atlanta only produced one score but he threw for a season high 317 yards using just Kevin Walter and Andre Davis and he only had Ron Dayne as run support. Jacoby Jones should return this week as well as Jerome Mathis, so Schaub is back to near full strength for wideouts and there is a chance that Ahman Green returns this week which would be another boost.

The Texans threw for 230 yards and one score against the Dolphins last year.

Running Backs: With Ahman Green out last week, Ron Dayne took the rushing load in Atlanta and a turned in 62 yards on 15 carries - roughly what Green might have done in that game. Green is out with a sprained knee and could return depending on his status later in the week. I will project for Dayne as the starter and update later in the week if warranted. HC Gary Kubiak is optimistic that Green could return.

Dayne was the starter in week four and turned 22 carries into only 58 yards when the Dolphins came to Houston.

Wide Receivers: Andre Davis comes off his best effort in years, gaining 117 yards on five catches and scoring once in Atlanta. Coupled with the 70 yards he had against the Colts means he has earned a spot on the field even when Jones and Johnson have returned. Jacoby Jones missed last week with a sore shoulder but early word is that he will return this week. Andre Johnson remains out but had fluid drained from his knee and his knee has healed. Now he just needs to regain the strength and flexibility in the knee. Expect Jones and Walter to be the starters this week with plenty of playing time for Davis. The unfortunate loss of both Jones and Johnson may have a positive spin if Davis can continue to play well since he would not have been given the opportunity without those other injuries.

Andre Johnson caught nine passes for 101 yards and one score against the visiting Fins last year.

Tight Ends: Owen Daniels still has not scored this year but he has turned in around 60 yards in each of the last three games. When Andre Johnson left, Daniels has stepped up to help fill the void and has the confidence of Schaub.

Match Against the Defense: Here's where the surprise comes this year. The Dolphins have been terrible at stopping the run. It is the weakest link for the team and trying to compensate for it has allowed opponents to score two passing touchdowns in each of the last three weeks despite having very few passing completions and yards. Look for the starter here - probably Dayne but possibly Green - to turn in at least solid rushing numbers and to score at least once.

Schaub faces a secondary that has given up those two scores but almost no yardage this year to receivers because opponents are so busy successfully running the ball. Look for Jones to score in this game if he is healthy enough to play since split ends have already recorded four scores against them this year. I also like Daniels to finally get his first score of the year against a team that has already surrendered two touchdowns to lesser tight ends this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 14 18 13 13 6 5
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 27 29 13 8 29 21

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