The First Place Texans Host the Dolphins to Get NFL Week 8 Started

Profile Picture: Scott Shapiro

October 24th, 2018

Week 8 commences with a battle of 4-3 teams on Thursday night in Houston.

The first place started off 0-3 and head coach Bill O’Brien was on the “hot seat,” but quite a bit of good fortune and a season-best performance against division rival Jacksonville last Sunday have Houston alone in the top spot in the AFC South.

Despite the four-game winning streak, I am not sold on the Texans. They barely pulled out a 37-34 overtime win in Indianapolis when Colts head coach Frank Reich opted to go for it on 4th down in his own territory. The failure of the questionable tactic set Houston up for a game winning 37-yard field goal from placekicker Ka’imi Fairbairn to give them their first win victory of 2018.

I loved Houston in Week 5 when they out-gained the Cowboys in yards 462 to 292, but poor game management and play calling forced them into extra time where they once again came out on the right side of a 19-16 victory.

In Week 6, Houston was down late in the fourth quarter as double-digit favorites, but lucky for the Texans, Bills’ backup quarterback Nathan Peterman threw a pick-6 which finished off a come from behind 20-13 win in NRG Stadium.

The Texans played well in a wire-to-wire 20-7 win in Jacksonville this past Sunday, but that came against a Jaguars squad that cannot get out of its own way lately.

I understand why Houston is favored over a banged-up team on Thursday, but laying over a touchdown with this poorly coached squad is not something I am willing to do. Miami will roll out backup QB Brock Osweiler for the third straight week on Thursday night with starter Ryan Tannehill still sidelined with a right shoulder injury. Osweiler has been okay in his first two starts that include an overtime win against the Bears and more recently a 32-21 defeat at home to the Lions. Osweiler still has some weapons at his disposal, but it looks like he will be without two key pass catchers in Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills.

Despite the lack of weaponry I still think the Dolphins can create enough offense to stay in this game on the road. Miami will need to contain the run and DeAndre Hopkins if they hope to spring the upset in primetime. One of the league’s best cornerbacks, Xavien Howard, should give Hopkins all he can handle and the run defense should play better on Sunday against a subpar Houston offensive line.

I am not sure Miami can win this game on the road, but they should hang in there against a Houston team that is 0-6 ATS over the last 3 years coming off a victory against a division rival. Look for the Dolphins to stay within a score as Osweiler takes on his former team to start Week 8.

Take the points.

Play: Miami (+7.5)- 1 unit

Year to Date Record: 20-12-3 (+5 units)