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Playoffs
09-17-2011, 11:37 AM
Pro Football Focus
Three to Focus on – Texans @ Dolphins
September 17th, 2011 | Author: Matthew Phillips

The Houston Texans took advantage of a Peyton Manning-less Colts team in Week 1, beating them 34-7, and with that result logged, the AFC South is primed to be a very winnable division for the Texans. It appears as though they’ll be getting back last year’s rushing champ, Arian Foster, for Week 2, adding one more weapon to their arsenal for a a more challenging test this week in Miami.
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The Miami Dolphins new pass-first offense looked very effective against the Patriots last week. Chad Henne threw for a career high 416 yards and two TDs earning him a +7.2 PFF score, but unfortunately for them, the defense gave up a ridiculous 622 yards. Miami is the only team in a very competitive AFC East that opened with a loss.
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Here are three points to focus on that could determine the outcome:
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1) The Miami Secondary
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Sean Smith was ranked as the eighth-best cornerback last year with a +12.0 overall PFF grade and Vontae Davis was not that far behind him with a +9.0. Add Yeremiah Bell, who was eighth among safeties, and you have a potent secondary going into the 2011 season, right? This clearly meant nothing to Tom Brady who absolutely torched Miami’s secondary by throwing for a career high 517 yards and four touchdowns. After Week 1, While Smith and Davis each finished with negative coverage grades for the day, it was the nickel and dime corners that really got exposed: Benny Sapp earned a -3.4 coverage grade and Nolan Carroll a -3.2. The Dolphins released Sapp the next day, and signed Will Allen to replace him.
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Matt Schaub is definitely going to be testing Miami’s defensive backfield this week. Can the Dolphins make the much-needed adjustments to stop him?
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2) Super Mario Williams vs. Jake Long
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The No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Jake Long, has proven over the past three years to be one of the best offensive tackles – if not the best – in all of football. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft, Mario Williams, has averaged nine sacks every year. The Texans switched to a 3-4 defense this year, forcing Williams to spend some time switching from his normal defensive end spot to a stand-up outside linebacker role. So far so good. Williams did not miss a beat in Week 1 as he recorded eight QB pressures and two sacks, leading to a +6.9 pass rushing score, tops for all OLBs.
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Something has got to give here if and when the two square-off against each other. Williams lined up on the defense’s right side (opposite where Long will be) on only 15 of his 49 snaps in Week 1; a much smaller ratio than his more even split in 2010. It’ll be interesting to see what that number is in Week 2.
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3) Eric Winston vs. Cameron Wake
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Switch the teams around and we have another great OT/OLB battle. Cameron Wake finished last year with 14 sacks and a +38.9 PFF rating. He has started off the new year just where he left off, recording three pressures, a hit, and a sack on Tom Brady last week. Houston’s right tackle, Eric Winston, was roughed up a bit last week by Robert Mathis, allowing three pressures and a sack. If the Dolphins want to win this game, Wake is going to need to get pressure early and often on Schaub to help disrupt the Texans’ passing game.
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https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/09/17/three-to-focus-on-texans-dolphins/