Scouting the opponent: Houston Texans

September, 5, 2012
9/05/12
5:00
PM ET
The Miami Dolphins will begin the Joe Philbin and Ryan Tannehill era in Houston in Week 1 to face the surging Texans.

Here are some things Dolphins fans need to know about their season-opening opponent:

General outlook: The Texans are legit. After years of not being able to get over the hump, Houston finally crossed the playoff hurdle last year and won a wild-card game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans accomplished that feat without starting quarterback Matt Schaub. Now, Schaub is back and expectations are very high for the Texans, who have plenty of talent on both sides of the football.

Defense is elite: There wasn’t anything Houston’s second-ranked defense didn’t do well last year. The Texans were third against the pass, fourth against the run and sixth in sacks. The Dolphins will have a hard time finding weaknesses to attack in Houston’s defense. Miami is starting a rookie quarterback and has little talent at receiver to win through the air.

Texans Streaking: Historically, the Texans have Miami's number. Houston is 6-0 all-time against the Dolphins. That included Houston's 23-13 victory over Miami last season at Sun Life Stadium.

Overall projection: I'm holding my firm prediction for later in the week. But this game looks like an awful matchup for the Dolphins. Not only is this a rebuilding team (Miami) traveling to play a Super Bowl contender (Houston), but the Dolphins have a rookie quarterback making his first career start.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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