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Saturday, 15 September 2012

NFL Week 1 Review - Houston @ Dolphins

My preview:
Dolphins +12.5 @ Texans: I would like to know the ATS of teams who featured on Hard Knocks in their season opener. I would guess that good teams are too highly rated while a team like the Dolphins would be over rated. The Dolphins were excellent in the second half of last season. If they went with Moore I would be even more confident. Houston have to deal with an offseason of expectation and you cannot claim a large improvement for Schaub since they did not drop off significantly without him. Can the defence and the offensive line continue at such dominant levels?

Take the Dolphins
This game illustrates how hard it is to cover the NFL. You look at the box score and see Foster* with two touchdowns, Schaub with a clean game, and, of course, the final scoreline and you could easily buy into the pre-game narrative.

* Take out the 14-yd and 2-yd touchdown runs that people will see in the game highlights and he was 24-63yd

During the game, however, there were a few comments on Twitter about the Dolphins' lines dominating. Their defence held up until the offence imploded in the second quarter. The first Houston drive ended with a missed 52-yd field goal, the second was a three and the third stalled at midfield. Then came Tannehill.

The first of his interceptions was brought back to the 14 and an unnecessary-roughness penalty compounded the error. Still the defence held. Houston finished the drive at the 20. The second interception started a run of three turnovers in three plays from Miami and Houston converted each into touchdowns. It is hard to forgive Tannehill from for this given the preconceptions about him but remember:

  1. He will regress
  2. People are extra down on him because of where he was drafted. I mean look how poorly Gabbert and Ponder did when over drafted. Lets see how he plays before we bury him.
JJ Watt tipped two passes ot the line that caused interceptions and claimed he learned the snap count from watching "Hard Knocks". This is nonsense. You can hear the snap count on all game tape. Watt has gotten a lot of tips since he came into the league. Tannehill just got caught out by how good he was.

Houston faces Jacksonville and the latter would appear to be the play there. Oakland at Miami is a more complex affair. I want to be on both these teams. I am hoping people forgive Oakland's back-up long snapper - after all The Onion did warn us! Oakland do have a good pass defence but I think Miami should be able to run on them and Carson Palmer's dink and dunk will not work on Miami's defence.

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