NFL Week 8 Game Preview: Dolphins (4-3) at Texans (4-3)
Two teams trending in opposite directions meet in this week’s Thursday Night Football showdown.
Houston just won their fourth game in a row, surviving a 0-3 start to emerge as leaders of the AFC South division.
Miami pulled off an unlikely upset of the Chicago Bears with a backup quarterback in Week 6, but they are a far cry from the team that started 3-0. Brock Osweiler starts his third consecutive game for the injured Ryan Tannehill this week.
Osweiler put up tremendous numbers in his 2018 debut versus the Bears. He got a big assist from wide receiver Albert Wilson who turned a pair of dump-off passes into 118 yards and two of Osweiler’s “touchdown passes.”
Meanwhile, Houston’s four-game winning streak is full of question marks. They haven’t exactly rolled over anybody and have injury issues at quarterback, too.
Deshaun Watson is reportedly playing with rib injuries and a bruised lung. The team was so concerned about the pressure in the lung that they bussed him to last week’s game rather than put him on a plane.
Watson’s 12 completions in 24 attempts and 139 yards won’t get him invited to the Pro Bowl. It has rallied the rest of the team around their gutsy signal caller.
But the teams Houston beat the past four weeks have an unimpressive 10-18 record. Can the Texans handle the 4-3 Dolphins?
Injuries and notes:
Watson will start Thursday despite his lung issues and other assorted injuries. Wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins (foot) and rookie Keke Coutee (hamstring) were limited in practice. Only Coutee is a risk to miss the game.
Tight end Ryan Griffin missed Tuesday’s practice with an illness. Will Fuller (hip) and Lamar Miller (chest) were full participants.
Linebacker Tyrell Adams was placed on injured reserve and corner Aaron Colvin is doubtful for Week 8. Corner Shareece Wright, linebacker Brian Peters, and safety Andre Hal are all listed as questionable.
Reports from Miami indicate that Albert Wilson could wind up on injured reserve after specialist chimes in on his right hip injury. Kenny Stills has already been ruled out for Thursday’s game with a groin injury.
Danny Amendola (shoulder) and Ryan Grant (Achilles), as well as the Dolphins’ best receiving tight end Mike Gesicki (shoulder), are all listed as questionable. Parker might be the healthiest receiver on the field, and he’s coming off a quad injury himself.
Defensive end Charles Harris (calf) will not play Thursday and safety TJ McDonald is questionable with an ankle injury.
Four straight wins have knocked down the fire under Bill O’Brien’s seat for now. Houston has to take advantage of Jacksonville’s recent woes to grab control of a winnable division. A healthier Watson and continued improvement from his defense will be key to a playoff berth and O’Brien’s future.
Adam Gase continues to tread water in Miami. Injuries will make his task formidable again this week, but he better figure things out quickly. Tannehill’s shoulder injury might end his tenure with Miami and that of his head coach.
How to watch the Dolphins vs Texans game.
Fox Sports and the NFL Network will broadcast this game to a national audience Thursday. Millions of fans who grew tired of expensive satellite and cable bills will watch Fox’ live stream feed on Sling TV.
Internet TV providers like Sling, Fubo, and DirecTV Now offer an economical alternative to traditional television companies. They offer live stream NFL action on all the NFL-contracted networks delivered directly to your favorite internet-connected device.
Check out their websites to learn what else they offer in your area.
Who will win the Dolphins v Texans game?
Houston’s four-game winning streak might seem like a mirage but, combined with Miami’s injury woes, it has the Texans posted as 7.5-point favorites in the most popular sportsbooks.
Strange things happen on Thursday Night Football. Under-achieving wide receivers could step up and backup passers might look like Dan Marino. But Houston seems motivated to rally around their injured quarterback and keep their streak alive.
Final score: Texans 24, Dolphins 17