The Houston Texans are going with Kyle Allen as their starting quarterback. The Texans are shelving the Davis Mills experiment as they take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 12 at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Dolphins are having a whale of a year with a 7-3 record in a highly competitive AFC East. With tiebreakers over the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, all Miami has to do is keep their steady pace and they could win the division for the first time since 2008.
To preview the matchup, Mike Masala from the Dolphins Wire stopped by to field a few questions about the hot shots from the AFC East.
What is the mood like in South Beach with the Dolphins actually in the thick of things?
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MM — The atmosphere surrounding this team right now is surreal. There hasn’t been much to be happy about over the last 20 seasons or so, but what Mike McDaniel and his team are doing is awakening feelings that most Dolphins fans haven’t felt since the days of Dan Marino. Miami hasn’t made the postseason since 2016, but this feels like the year that they finally break through and maybe even win a matchup or two.
What has Mike McDaniel done to change the culture — or did Brian Flores already do that?
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MM — Brian Flores’ time in Miami, while not long, was necessary. He brought a sense of professionalism and accountability to South Florida. It may not have resulted in postseason success, but he seemed to be building something. With McDaniel’s arrival, the team is clearly much looser. He’s a player’s coach who’s able to be honest when he needs to be. The guys seem to love him, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Where has Tua Tagovailoa elevated his game in 2022?
(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
MM — There were points during Taogvailoa’s first two seasons when he was just trying to do too much, and with the talent that he had around him, it was never going to work out. Now, with an improved offensive line, two elite playmakers in Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, and an offensive scheme that benefits his skillset, we’re seeing Tagovailoa’s peak. He can manage a game, get the ball into his receivers’ hands and let them do the rest. He’s also not turning the ball over as much, which is a great sign as well.
Who are some unheralded Dolphins that Houston fans should keep an eye on?
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MM — Undrafted cornerback Kader Kohou has been thrust into the spotlight on defense, as he starts opposite Xavien Howard. The Texas A&M Commerce product has made an impressive jump to an NFL-caliber player in just a few months. He’s not perfect, but he gets the job done.
On the other side of the ball, it has to be Trent Sherfield. While Cedrick Wilson Jr. was expected to be Miami’s third wideout this season, it’s been Sherfield who’s grabbed that role and ran with it. His stats might not be crazy (22 receptions, 247 yards and a touchdown), but he makes plays when the Dolphins need them the most.
What is your prediction?
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MM — It was the Dolphins who took home the victory when these two teams met last year. And, while the Texans have added some young talent, Miami made a much bigger leap. It will be hard for Davis Mills and company to keep up with the output of McDaniel’s offense. Dolphins 34, Texans 23