Behind Enemy Lines: Previewing Week 9 with Dolphins Wire

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The Houston Texans take on the Miami Dolphins Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Central Time at Hard Rock Stadium.

Miami and Houston kind of mirror each other in that they had a nice win to start the season and have been on a seven-game losing streak since.

For Houston, the streak has largely been due to playing a rookie quarterback with some injuries sprinkles in here and there. The Dolphins’ being on a seven-game schneid is puzzling.

To help provide a preview is Mike Masala from the Dolphins Wire. Check out his insight into the Dolphins and how he thinks the Week 9 matchup will transpire.

How is Miami on a seven-game losing streak?

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texans-justin-reid-dolphins-tua-tagovailoa-talented

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The main issue with Miami this season has probably been poor coaching. The Dolphins have shot themselves in the foot time and time again this season with penalties including issues getting lined up.

They’ve also had poor play-calling on both sides of the ball. Between the trio of coaches involved in the offensive play-call early in the season and the defensive coaches apparently running different coverages than they did when they were successful last year (according to Xavien Howard), they’re setting themselves up to fail.

Are GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores on the hot seat?

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dolphins-brian-flores-tua-tagovailoa-downplay-deshaun-watson

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Neither Flores nor Grier is safe right now. As previously mentioned the head coach and his staff have been the biggest issue so far this year. However, Grier hasn’t exactly put his coaches in the best position to succeed.Grier’s biggest offseason move was bringing in Will Fuller, who has played in just two games this season due to injury. That was his issue in Houston, so it was obvious that it was going to happen in Miami.

On top of that, Grier’s draft picks have struggled. Austin Jackson has been moved from left tackle to left guard and has struggled there as well. Noah Igbinoghene can’t get on the field at cornerback. Tua Tagovailoa has looked okay but hasn’t shown the pedigree that a fifth-overall pick should show.

If these performances continue, it’s likely that both Flores and Grier are gone.

Can Miami even draft their way out of this?

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2021-nfl-draft-watch-stream-listen-day-1

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

They’ve put themselves in a tough position again with drafting. Their first-round pick in 2022 belongs to Philadelphia, so even if Miami were to tank, they don’t get any benefit.

Grier’s 2021 draft has been performing better than most of his others, but if it’s him in charge in 2022, there won’t be much faith in him digging the team out of the hole.

What would keep Miami from getting involved in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes?

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texans-2021-training-camp-deshaun-watson

(AP Photo/Justin Rex)

As we all saw over the last month, the only thing keeping the Dolphins from acquiring Deshaun Watson is the pending legal issues. If those are cleared up, one way or another, and any penalty is decided, Stephen Ross will likely have that trade completed immediately.

Who are some underrated Dolphins?

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

On defense, Emmanuel Ogbah deserves to be talked about more. He hasn’t recorded many sacks this year (2.5 through eight weeks), but he’s getting to the quarterback (12 quarterback hits, on pace for a career-high 25.5). PFF also has him graded as the seventh-best edge defender this season.

Offensively, that honor probably goes to Jaylen Waddle. The rookie was a first-round pick this year and has definitely been talked about, but he’s been overshadowed by Ja’Marr Chase’s incredible start. In his first eight games, Waddle had 48 receptions for 413 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also shown to be one of the best receivers at creating separation.

What is your prediction?

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texans-dolphins-week-9-time-tv-schedule-streaming-info

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

DeVante Parker’s injury and Tyrod Taylor’s return make this game a lot tougher, as the Dolphins probably would’ve been the pick by a touchdown. However, something in last week’s matchup against Buffalo should’ve sparked something in this defense to wake them up to prove they can shut down most teams if they want.

Dolphins 20, Texans 16

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