Who has the edge? Breaking down the matchups for Dolphins (7-3) vs. Texans (1-8-1)

Here’s a look at 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 is coming off a season-best 195 yards rushing in their dominant victory over the Cleveland Browns that preceded the bye week. Jeff Wilson Jr. has gotten himself incorporated into the Dolphins run game incredibly quickly since the trade at the deadline. His 119 rushing yards in his second game with Miami is a season-high individual rushing performance on this team.

Miami is moving defenders at the line of scrimmage with every member of its offensive line, anchored by Terron Armstead at left tackle. Robert Jones at left guard and Brandon Shell at right tackle have been solid since each’s insertion into the line, complementing the already-reliable right guard Robert Hunt and Connor Williams at center. Austin Jackson’s return could make for an interesting decision for Dolphins coaches in potentially breaking up the current momentum on the line.

The Texans have the NFL’s worst run defense. They’ve only held an opponent under 100 rushing yards once, and they’ve surrendered performances of 281 and 314 rushing yards to the Bears and Titans, respectively. With five of their six top tacklers being defensive backs, it shows how often opponents get to the second level against Houston. Edge: Dolphins

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

The Dolphins’ run defense ranks middle of the pack, No. 16 in the NFL, but that number has been skewed by the yards on the ground they’ve given up to mobile quarterbacks like the Bears’ Justin Fields and Ravens’ Lamar Jackson. Against running backs and the traditional run game, Miami has been outstanding, as evidenced by holding star Cleveland running back Nick Chubb to 30 yards on 10 carries aside from his 33-yard touchdown once Miami led by multiple scores. Edge: Dolphins

When the Dolphins pass: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has strung together the best three outings of his career in succession, posting 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 has spearheaded the No. 2 passing attack in the NFL. Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill maintained his league lead in receptions (81) and receiving yards (1,148) on the bye week as Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson was held in check last Sunday. Meanwhile, Jaylen Waddle’s 878 receiving yards rank fifth in the NFL. Miami’s offensive line has also kept Tagovailoa clean since his …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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