What are realistic expectations for the defense?
A point of emphasis for the Houston Texans in the offseason, the defensive unit came to play last week in Foxborough. The unit held New England to 164 total yards of offense, applying consistent pressure to the quarterback and blanket coverage in the back end. The lack of rhythm from their opponent was a crucial factor in the Texans' victory.
The expectations for the Houston defense heading into a matchup with the Miami Dolphins is largely based upon the playing time of the team’s starters, especially that of star wideouts Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and franchise signal caller Tua Tagovailoa. In an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel left all options on the table.
“Loosely, I would expect players to play in the game,” McDaniel said on Thursday. “I think I’ll be able to make some of those decisions this afternoon regarding who, what, when, and why.”
Regardless of the personnel that Miami chooses to employ, this game is still a crucial momentum builder for the Texans' defense. Against the Patriots, they showed cohesiveness on all three levels of the defense, can that continue against the Dolphins?
All eyes will be on the squad against a formidable foe. Any similarities to last week’s performance will surely continue the rise in their stock ahead of the regular season opener.