HOUSTON VS MIAMI PREVIEW By Brad Lorkovic (LORK 88) Speechless. Thats the nice way to put how most of us Texan fans are feeling after a 0-3 start that is scaring many of us into believing we were actually better last year. While people want to think this season is like last season or people want to think its different, we need to treat this as the true indicator to how the 1st half of the season is. I say this because this is probably our in the beginning stages of the season to go against a team we have a reasonable shot of winning. Can we pull it off and get on the right track, or is this more justification for a long season? Houstons Running Game vs. Miamis Run D: This was supposed to be Houstons main form of offense, but it hasnt been working like we wanted at all. Weve got to be run the ball effectively. Dayne gets the start again with Gado getting more time at RB to see what he can do. In terms of run D, Miami is just big. Theyve got Keith Traylor in the middle to eat up blocks and everyone other than Jason Taylor is at least 290 lbs. This is more for the reason to let their LBs to run and make plays. Zach Taylor is all over the field all the time and Crowder is a great young LB as well. The main battle here will be trying to get runs outside to help negate their size. Willie Parker had success against their run D, but bigger RBs like McGahee and Henry have struggled. Houstons Passing Game vs. Miamis Pass D: Carr is a man on fire right now in terms of completions and making smart decisions. I know a lot of people never thought theyd hear that, but hes getting the job done. Hes been hooking up deep with AJ who is 3rd in the league in receiving and Moulds who looks like hes 26 years old. Our TEs are also being very effective and were moving the ball. Miamis DBs arent anything to fear, but their D Line is overpowering. Traylor in the middle is just a huge plug in the middle, and Jason Taylor is still a great pass rusher. Hopefully the bootlegs and roll outs can negate this strength and size advantage to help us more our speed. Miamis Rushing Game vs. Houstons Run D: Luckily for us, Ronnie Brown and Miamis running game havent been going as expected so far kind of like our running game. However, we shouldnt underestimate Ronnie Brown at all as our run D hasnt been what its expected. However, their O Line has look like our O Line from 2005 and is sluggish. However, our D Line has been slacking as well this season. And for how much its getting paid, it should be doing quite a bit more. However, Mario has his best chance to shine this week as hes going up against LJ Shelton. Again, this is another situation where it comes down to who can do better than normal this season and exceed expectations. Miamis Passing Game vs. Houstons Pass D: Heres the key battle of the game and what it will all come down to: can we stop the pass and can we get some sacks! This is the week when it has to happen. Culpepper has been nothing short of a disappointment and their O Line has given up more sacks (15) than we have (10). Based on both these facts, we could see our DBs look decent. With all that said, we still shouldnt give Culpepper any time to throw because of his offensive weapons which include Welker, Chambers, and Booker at WR and McMichael at TE. Whoever can do better than expected in this area will have the best shot of winning the game. Position Battle QB Advantage: HOUSTON RB Advantage: MIAMI WR Advantage: PUSH TE Advantage: MIAMI OL Advantage: PUSH DL Advantage: MIAMI LB Advantage: MIAMI CB Advantage: PUSH S Advantage: MIAMI K/P Advantage: PUSH Key Factors To The Game 1) Time of possession. Were second in the league in TOP with barely 24 minutes a game. Weve got to have longer drives and hold on to the ball more to keep our Defense on the sidelines. In the same sense, our Defense has to stop Miami and help out our Offense to be able to put up long drives by getting them the ball. 2) Pass rush. Its imperative that Houston gets pressure on Culpepper so he doesnt have time to pass. With all of his receiving threats, the more time he has to throw, the more time he has to make a smart decision. They have a weak O Line so this is the week to go with the blitzes and force bad throws. 3) Weve got to keep drives alive. We cant have 3 and outs, we need to keep moving the ball steadily. 3rd downs are key and we need to quit getting ourselves into those 3rd down and long situations. This will keep drives longer and our horrid defense off the field. We also need to be able to stop them on 3rd down to help our offense.