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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Bye Week

Prediction: MIA 21, HOU 27

The Dolphins head to Houston with their impressive 2-2 mark and face the only team they have never beaten. In three previous meetings, the Fins have never beaten the Texans. But the Texans are 0-4 and beyond desperation as they let two games slip away from them already this year.

Miami Dolphins (2-2)
Homefield: Dolphins Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 NYJ 14-20 +3 36
2 @ARZ 10-31 +7 38.5
3 @NE 38-13 +13 34.5
4 BYE - - -
5 SD 17-10 +6.5 45.5
6 @HOU - +3 45
7 BAL - - -
8 BUF - - -
9 @DEN - - -
10 SEA - - -
11 OAK - - -
12 NE - - -
13 @STL - - -
14 @BUF - - -
15 SF - - -
16 @KC - - -
17 @NYJ - - -
MIA at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Chad Pennington     180,1
RB Ronnie Brown 80,1 10  
RB Ricky Williams 40,1 10  
TE Anthony Fasano   50,1  
WR Davone Bess   20  
WR Greg Camarillo   50  
WR Ted Ginn Jr.   20  
PK Dan Carpenter   3 XP  
Pregame Notes: It's going to be a lot harder for the Dolphins to sneak up on another team after creaming the Patriots in Gillette Stadium and then taking down the visiting Chargers last week. That means that the worst team in the NFL with a 1-15 record just beat the two teams from the AFC Championship game last year. The season has already served up more victories than last year and the "wildcat" single wing formation has brought back an element of fun to the game. This is truly a new Dolphins team.

Quarterback: Chad Pennington has not only been that game manager that the offense wants, he's actually been scary good lately while defenses are spending their time figuring out how to stop the Dolphins from running. After completing 17 of 20 passes for 226 yards against the Patriots, he had 22 of 29 for 228 yards and a score against the Chargers. He has completed 67% of his passes this year and has three scores but only one interception (which was in week one). He doesn't carry much fantasy value but he's been a great addition to the Dolphins.

Running Backs: The first two weeks met the expectations of everyone for what Ronnie Brown could do returning from a knee surgery and sharing carries with Ricky Williams. And then came the New England game where Brown ran for 113 yards on 17 carries and scored a total of four touchdowns. Even Ricky Williams had 98 yards on 16 carries in that game. But last week Brown was given 24 rushes and gained 125 yards and one score while Williams was reduced to a season low 13 runs for 39 yards.

Brown has benefited from being the guy in the wildcat formation that is not only the ultimate in rudimentary formations but the Pats and Chargers could not stop it anyway. Even if the Dolphins turn back into a pumpkin and end up 2-14 on the season, it has been a well-deserved treat for Miami fans who have hung through bad years.

Wide Receivers: The Dolphins have moved Davone Bess up into the slot and Derek Hagan was inactive last week. Ted Ginn Jr. caught seven passes for 55 yards against the Chargers for one of his best games ever but the only player here with any fantasy value is Greg Camarillo who leads the Dolphins with 214 yards on 17 catches. The wideouts have not caught a touchdown yet this year and the 68 yards by Camarillo last Sunday was a season high for all team wideouts.

Tight Ends: The Dolphins usually rely on their tight ends more than their wide receivers and Anthony Fasano has caught 14 passes for 195 yards and two scores this year. Even David Martin has a touchdown though rarely more than one catch. Fasano is fantasy relevant with about 50 yards or more in very game.

Match Against the Defense: The Texans rush defense has been good this year though they have given up seven rushing scores to really drop their ranking. The Fins are going to split carries anyway so look for a decent game from Brown with a score and a moderate showing by Williams. Brown has taken the primary job but Williams still has more than a mere supporting role.

Pennington goes against a secondary that has allowed at least one score each week but never more than 250 passing yards (and Pennington is not Manning either). Look for an average showing by the Miami passing game with no more than one passing score if that. The Dolphins have yet to score a passing touchdown on the road this year.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 21 4 26 2 31 26
Preventing Fantasy Points    HOU 26 27 10 27 23 31

Houston Texans (0-4)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @PIT 17-38 +6.5 43
2 BYE - - -
3 @TEN 12-31 +5 38.5
4 @JAX 27-30 +7.5 42
5 IND 27-31 +3 47.5
6 MIA - -3 45
7 DET - - -
8 CIN - - -
9 @MIN - - -
10 BAL - - -
11 @IND - - -
12 @CLE - - -
13 JAX - - -
14 @GB - - -
15 TEN - - -
16 @OAK - - -
17 CHI - - -
HOU vs MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub     280,2
RB Ahman Green 40 10  
RB Steve Slaton 70,1 40  
TE Owen Daniels   50  
WR Andre Johnson   90,1  
WR David Anderson   10  
WR Kevin Walter   80,1  
PK Kris Brown 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Texans lost in overtime in Jacksonville and then came home and figured out a way to squander a 17 point lead in the last four minutes of the game and allow the Colts to win. That one's going to leave a mark. But the good news is that the Texans have now ended their four game hell and now face the Dolphins, Lions and Bengals. There's a chance to get back on track.

Quarterback: Matt Schaub missed last week with the flu but is expected back for this game. In his place Sage Rosenfels spent 56 minutes showing that he should be the starting quarterback and then used the final four minutes to prove why he is not. His first fumble was returned for a touchdown by the Colts and his second helped cement the loss. Schaub had come back to life in week three when he passed for 307 yards and three scores. These next three games should all be good ones for Schaub.

Running Backs: Steve Slaton comes off his first two touchdown game when he rushed for 93 yards on 16 carries against the Colts. That makes three games in a row with a score though he went from eight catches in week four to only one last Sunday. Ahman Green also returned and ran 12 times for 47 yards which prompted Gary Kubiak to say that he was impressed with how Green ran and that he would like to use him more going forward. But Slaton has been the clearly more productive player and Green will be injured soon enough anyway.

Wide Receivers: Playing without Schaub, Andre Johnson had his best game of the year with nine catches for 131 yards and one score - his first of the year. No other wideout had more than 36 yards last week though and Schaub returns for his first home game of the year. That should matter.

This will also be the softest passing defense that the Texans have yet faced. Going against PIT, TEN, JAC and IND is no way to rack up a lot of yards.

Tight Ends: Owen Daniels chugs along as a solid fantasy tight end. He never scores but always has around 50 yards per game and sometimes as many as 80.

Match Against the Defense: The question here is which Miami team shows up? The one that bashed the Pats and beat the visiting Chargers or the one that was overwhelmed by the Jets and Cardinals? Look for a decent game here by Slaton but nothing big. I like him to score one time and to add some yardage via receptions.

Schaub faces a secondary that held Rivers to only 159 yards but gave Warner 361 yards. The Texans must have this win and Schaub has to win it for them since the rushing game will likely be only average this week. Look for a nice passing effort here that will get nice efforts from both Walter and Johnson who should both score. This will be interesting since the Texans have to turn a corner and it's hard to accept the Fins could have gotten that good so quickly.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 9 21 15 14 22 30
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIA 20 3 31 5 5 2

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