Who has it in his mouth? Breakdown matchups for the Dolphins (7-3) vs.


Here’s how the Miami Dolphins (7-3) and Houston Texans (1-8-1) match up in six key areas ahead of Sunday’s Week 12 game at Hard Rock Stadium (1 p.m., CBS);

When the dolphins run; Miami came off a season-best 195 yards in a dominant victory over the Cleveland Browns that preceded the bye week. Jeff Wilson Jr. The Dolphins found themselves in the hunt for an incredible run at the trade deadline. His 119 rushing yards in the second game with Miami is a single-season rushing performance on this team.

Miami moved defenders at the line of scrimmage with each member of their offense, anchored by Terron Armstead at left tackle. Robert Jones at left guard and Brandon Testa at right tackle have been solid as each line has been inserted, complementing the already reliable right guard Robert Hunt and Connor Williams at center. Austin’s return could make for an interesting decision for Dolphins coaches in the potential to resolve the moment in the line.

The Texans have the worst defense in the NFL. They held an opponent under 100 yards only once, and gave up 281 and 314 rushing yards to the Bears and Titans, respectively. With five of the top six tackles being defensive backs, it shows how often opponents get to the second level against Houston. line: Dolphins

When the Ravens run: A rare bright spot for Houston this season has come in rookie running back Dameon Pierce. The Texans have been a workhorse, averaging 17.5 carries per game. He is averaging 780 yards on the year for 4.5 yards per carry. Pierce was just held to his worst performance of the season, though, with 8 yards on 10 attempts against the Washington Chiefs.

The Dolphins run defense is an average bunch, No. 16 in the NFL; But that number ranges from yards on the ground to moving quarterbacks like the Bears’ Justin Fields and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson. Against running backs and the traditional running game, Miami was outstanding, as evidenced by holding star Cleveland running back Nick Chubb to 30 yards on 10 carries from his 33-yard touchdown once Miami led by multiple scores. line: Dolphins

When the dolphins have passed; Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has tied the best three seasons of his career in a row to post a passer rating of 135.0 or greater against the Lions, Bears and Browns. Throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions in each of those three games, that’s a 9-to-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the stretch.

The league leader in quarterback rating in the NFL’s passing attack was No. Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill maintained his league lead in receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,148) in the bye week as Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson was retained last Sunday. Meanwhile, Jaylen Waddle’s 878 yards is fifth in the NFL. Miami’s offensive line also kept Tagovailoa clean from his return concussion.

Armstead will have to contain 34-year veteran Jerry Hughes on the sideline. He is on pace for a career high in sacks, already with eight this season on defense for coach Lovie Smith. Houston’s secondary has potential in the future with sto- rookie cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., last season’s No. 3 pick, and second-round pick Jalen Pitre at safety. line: Dolphins

When the Ravens passed: Houston turns to quarterback Kyle Allen over Davis Mills. Allen, who has not thrown a pass for the Texans this season, completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,318 yards, 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his previous four NFL seasons. Mills had thrown 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 61.9 percent of his passes as the Texans starter through the first 10 games.

Brandin Cooks is the first deep threat in the NFL, but he sank with 39 receptions for 461 yards and one touchdown. Houston got more efficiency from second-year wideout Nico Collins, who has 28 catches and 402 yards on 47 targets compared to 66 for the Dolphins. It will take considering all that the team received from the team by trading Houston in 2019.

Bradley Chubb has been playing edge defender for the third time for Miami since the team acquired him, Jaelan Phillips, Melvin Ingram, Andrew Van Ginkel and others could form a formidable transition despite the loss of defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah for the season. Look at cornerback Xavien Howard after getting a bye week after groin injuries limited his effectiveness in the first half of the season. line: Dolphins

Special parts: The Dolphins continue to be plagued by special teams mistakes and misfortunes. The latest slide is with Jason Sanders missing two extra points last season against Cleveland, which happened because of the third short kick he missed in the past two games for himself. Miami also had a 48-yard kickoff return. The Dolphins were good in the punting game, but they didn’t even have to use it against the Browns.

The Texans have kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, and he made 18 of 20 field goal attempts and all 15 extra points. Cameron Johnston is their punter, and they have King Desmond, who was an All-Pro in 2018 with the Rockets, returning punts. line: Weaving

Intangibles: The Dolphins are rested coming off a bye week and are playing at home. Last season, they played their most complete game of the season in a 39-17 win over the Cleveland Browns. The Texans are competing for No. 1. pick in the 2023 draft with the worst record in the NFL.

Houston just made a quarterback change with Mills underperforming. Miami is a double digit favorite and another tuneup ahead the challenge of December was brought forward. line: Dolphins

PREDICTION: Dolphins 31, Texans 13

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