HOU-MIA Grades: Lamar Miller posts season-best performance
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Dolphins’ 44-26 win over the Texans.
– RT Chris Clark was having a solid season until DE Cameron Wake came to town. He allowed three sacks, including two trip sacks to Wake, and six hurries, cumulating in a -8.9 grade in pass protection. Prior to this game, Clark had only allowed one sack, two hits, and a hurry. It would have been worse, too, if the Dolphins hadn’t been out of sight by halftime, allowing them to play their backups the rest of the way. Clark fared better against backup DE Derrick Shelby, but was still getting beat on a regular basis. Overall, a dreadful day for the Texans’ offensive line, which combined for a -13.4 grade, with Clark (-8.2) as the biggest culprit.
– The other unit to struggle significantly in this game was the Texans’ secondary. The top three corners and starting safeties all had negative grades, combining for a -13.1 grade between them. Overall, they missed nearly 50 percent of their tackles (7-of-16), and failed to prevent a single catch. The blame can be fairly evenly distributed, as Kevin Johnson (-2.4), Andre Hal (-3.6), Rahim Moore (-2.8), A.J. Bouye (-3.6), and Johnathan Joseph (-0.9) graded in the red in coverage. How WR Jarvis Landry managed to break about five tackles on a simple comeback route near the sideline remains a mystery. The talent in the front seven can only do so much when the secondary has this many issues.
– The one major positive for the Texans on the offensive side was the performance of WR Nate Washington (+1.9), whose return could not come soon enough. He caught 9-of-14 targets for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and a drop. WR DeAndre Hopkins (-1.3) didn’t have his best game, but at least caught a few passes. The same cannot be said of TEs C.J. Fiedorowicz (-1.7) and Garrett Graham (-2.5), who combined to catch no passes on five targets, with three drops and a pick six against.
DE J.J. Watt (+3.5)
LG Oday Aboushi (+3.0)
HB Arian Foster (+3.0)
WR Nate Washington (+1.9)
OLB John Simon (+1.5)
– It’s hard to tell whether RB Lamar Miller (+3.8) is back to his best, or he just took advantage of the low quality of opposition, but he did record his highest grade of the year. Miller carried 14 times for 175 yards, with 140 yards after contact, broke six tackles, and scored a touchdown. The highlight was obviously his 85-yard touchdown, but there were a number of other impressive plays, including when he broke several potential negative tackles by DE J.J. Watt in the backfield. With a 54-yard touchdown to go along with in the passing game, Miller can be pleased with his performance on Sunday.
– After a solid opening game against the Titans, RG Billy Turner (-6.1) could have used another start before coming up against Watt, who did to the second-year player what he does to most veterans; beat up on them. The stat sheet only shows a pair of sacks in 25 drop-backs, but Turner was beaten immediately off the snap on both of them. It was actually in the run game where he struggled the most, however (-3.8), allowing three tackles around the line of scrimmage, including another potential tackle-for-a-loss missed by Watt. Not a good day for Turner, but he’ll have easier matchups to come.
– There were some concerns earlier in the season about DT Ndamukong Suh’s performances. According to our grades, those concerns were unfounded, and a dominant performance against the Texans leaves Suh graded fifth overall amongst defensive tackles. In 36 rushes against Houston, Suh had two sacks, two hits, a hurry, and a pair of batted passes, culminating in a +5.0 grade. With a +14.5 grade on the season, Suh is now our third-graded defensive tackle, in terms of pass rushing alone. In run defense, he recorded a team-high +1.9 grade, including a pair of stops. Only penalties (Suh was offsides three times against the Texans) bring down his overall grade.
DE Cameron Wake (+7.1)
DT Ndamukong Suh (+4.2)
WR Jarvis Landry (+3.8)
HB Lamar Miller (+3.8)
FS Reshad Jones (+2.9)