Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
The Houston Texans have turned their fortunes around, answering a season-opening three-game losing skid that landed them in the cellar of the AFC South with four straight wins that catapulted them to the top of the division. The torrid Texans bid to continue their winning ways on Thursday when they welcome a familiar face in Brock Osweiler and the visiting Miami Dolphins to NRG Stadium.
“He ain’t here no more, so I don’t really care for him. We didn’t win a lot with him,” Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney told the Houston Chronicle of Osweiler, who lasted just one season with the Texans despite signing a four-year, $72 million contract in May 2016. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Osweiler has fared much better in Miami with 619 yards passing and five touchdowns in two starts in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill. “No emotion. This really is just another game, but it’s the most important one because it’s the next one,” Osweiler said of facing the Texans. An aggressive and opportunistic defense has been a major reason for Houston’s ascent, as the club has yielded just 36 points in its last three games while recording three fumble recoveries and as many interceptions — including one for a touchdown — in its last two.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Texans -7.5. O/U: 44.5
ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (4-3): Trade rumors began to circle as former first-round pick DeVante Parker was made a surprise inactive in Sunday’s 32-21 setback to Detroit, but injuries to fellow wideouts Albert Wilson (hip) and Kenny Stills (groin) have made it an easy decision for Adam Gase. “We don’t have any more receivers, so I’m sure he’s going to play,” Gase said of the 25-year-old Parker, who claims he’s 100 percent healthy after being hampered by a quadriceps injury. Danny Amendola led the team with six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown versus the Lions. Kenyan Drake found the end zone for the first time since Sept. 16 and has 15 catches in his last three games.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (4-3): Lamar Miller, who recorded his first 100-yard performance since the 2016 season in Sunday’s 20-7 win over Jacksonville, shared his reasoning of opting against re-signing with his hometown team and inking a four-year, $26 million contract with the Texans in 2016. “They offered me to come back,” the 27-year-old Miller told the Houston Chronicle. “I just felt like Houston at the time was a winning organization. They were giving me an opportunity to showcase my skill set. I don’t regret anything. I love it here in Houston.” Miller will face a Dolphins rush defense that was gashed for 248 yards by the Lions. Deshaun Watson overcame a bruised lung and injured ribs to throw a touchdown pass last week.
1. Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins didn’t take too kindly to Miami CB Xavien Howard claiming he “likes to push off a lot,” so much so that the two-time Pro Bowl wideout offered the following response: “Who’s Xavien Howard?”
2. Dolphins DE Cameron Wake recorded two sacks and two forced fumbles in last meeting with the Texans.
3. Houston has won seven of eight encounters overall with Miami, including all four at home.