Sunday, September 18, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Texans 23, Dolphins 13
By James Walker
MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the Houston Texans' 23-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
What it means: The Dolphins fell to 0-2 by dropping their second home game to start the 2011 season. They're already two games behind every team in the AFC East. The New England Patriots (2-0), Buffalo Bills (2-0) and New York Jets (2-0) are off to fast starts in a deep division. Miami was 6-2 on the road last year and have to post a similar mark if it wants to get back in the race. The Dolphins have just one home game left in the month of September and October.
Turning point: Dolphins cornerback Vontae Davis went down early in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. The Texans quickly took advantage. Houston quarterback Matt Schaub connected with Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson on a 23-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach. Schaub fooled Dolphins backup corner Nolan Carroll with a pump fake to free up Johnson in the back of the end zone.
Rookie producer: One of the few bright spots for Miami was the play of Dolphins rookie running back Daniel Thomas. He rushed for 107 yards on 18 carries in his regular-season debut. Thomas did well in between the tackles, which is needed in Miami’s offense. He missed Week 1 with a hamstring injury.
Injury watch: In addition to Davis, Miami linebacker Karlos Danby also suffered a groin injury in the second half and didn't return. For Houston, Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster re-aggravated his hamstring in the second half and didn't return.
What’s next: Miami (0-2) will travel to play the Cleveland Browns (1-1) in Week 3. The Browns won their first game of the season Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins are in must-win territory early in the season. It's going to be a long year for Miami if the team can't win on the road.