Miami Bounces Back as Dolphins defeat Houston Texans in 2nd Preseason Matchup

Dolphins Defeat Texans Preseason

Photo by Miami Dolphins

HOUSTON, TX – Aside from one unfortunate pass early on, the Miami Dolphins played a near-perfect game both on offense and defense as they defeat the Houston Texans by a score of 28-3 in their second preseason game of 2023.

With most of the starters playing on both sides of the ball for Miami, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, their offense was efficient and their defense didn’t allow a single touchdown on the day, including an immediate red zone opportunity.

Then, the second-string for Miami stepped in and continued to dominate the field, leading to a total shutdown of the Texans. All around, the success the Dolphins had against Houston today was miles ahead of what they were able to turn out the week prior against Atlanta.

Responding to Adversity, and Fast

With the majority of Miami’s starting offense leading off for the Dolphins, expectations were high to see what Tua, Tyreek Hill, and the offensive line could deliver. However, on the first snap of the game, a rollout pass to the left by Tua was picked off and returned to the red zone for the Texans. A disaster to begin with, the defense was immediately put to the test as Houston’s first-round pick, CJ Stroud was given the ball with excellent field position.

Miami’s defense, which only allowed a single touchdown vs Atlanta the week prior, was put to the test early. However, it was Houston’s offense that stopped them from scoring. After a delay of game penalty, missed throws, and questionable play calling, the Texans failed to covert on a fourth down and gave the ball right back to the Fins.

This time, Tua didn’t disappoint. Following some quick short throws to Durham Smythe and Hill, the offense had some momentum. Tua was accurate, and the play-calling was solid. Then, it was the run game that took over as running back Raheem Mostert bounced into the end zone for the first touchdown of the preseason for Miami.

Stroud and the Texans looked to answer, as after a few first-down conversions they breezed for over 60 yards. However, Miami’s defense stopped them again on third down. Rather than going for it on fourth down again, they settled for a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.

After Tua’s touchdown, he was done for the day as Skyler Thompson stepped in at quarterback for the majority of the game. Despite an immediate three-and-out his first time on the field, his second time was much better. A 15-play, 80-yard drive that was defined by the short pass and the work on the ground by Savon Ahmed, wrapped up with a touchdown pass to Ahmed to raise the lead to 14-3.

Houston could not get the ball rolling on offense, due to a combination of self-inflicting penalties and a tough blitz-heavy defense.

With minutes to go in the first half, Thompson got the ball back and handed it off to Ahmed for a 65-yard run to ensure some points would be scored. Thompson did just that with a right-side lob to Braxton Berrios in the end zone, bumping the lead up to 28-3.

Houston has a Major Problem

The second half of football was slow and mainly uneventful aside from some key plays here and there. As far as Houston goes, their second-string offense was stagnant and unable to get by the Dolphins’ defensive line on the ground, as well as their secondary through the air. In two games of work, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has only allowed nine total points.

Thompson and the Dolphins’ offense also felt flat at times, but some premiere runs by De’von Achane kept drives alive. Late in the third quarter, Miami earned their final touchdown thanks in part to rookie running back, Chris Brooks, who stiff-armed his way into the end zone.

Stat-wise, it was all Miami. Tua’s scoring drive consisted of 61 passing yards from five completed passes. However, Thompson put up the most numbers with 157 yards and three touchdowns.

In total, the Dolphins racked up 398 offensive yards, 23 first downs, and dominated the time of possession. Meanwhile, Houston only managed 186 yards and 10 first downs.

During the game, Achane may have suffered a right shoulder injury as he was carted off the field. No official word was given about his state. However, he will likely get an MRI tomorrow to see the extent of his injury.

Miami will head back to Florida for a trip to Duval County to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, August 26th at 7 pm. It’ll be the final game of the preseason for the Fins as they’ll prepare for their first regular season game on September 10th vs the Los Angeles Chargers.

📸Credit: Miami Dolphins

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