Texans-Dolphins Preview: How Much Should Everyone Play
Will we see more C.J. Stroud than the game against the Patriots?
C.J. Stroud needs the reps. While the rookie quarterback handled himself pretty well in the joint practices, he still needs the reps. Stroud played just two series with the offense against the New England Patriots. I expect and hope he will play more Saturday against the Dolphins.
Head coach DeMeco Ryans will play more players against the Dolphins than he did against the Patriots.
“With our game this week, we’ll play all our players will play,” he said. “All of our players will see time in the game and that’s how we’ll go about it.”
So, how much should each player play?
Did I mention he needs the reps? Stroud was good in the first joint practice and solid, but irregular in the second joint practice. With the unknown of the third preseason game, it would be beneficial to the Texans and to Stroud to see him have enough time to get into a rhthym. Obviously, some quick and early success might be enough for everyone.
I’d think at least double the previous game, and maybe even the whole first quarter. Esepcially if a drive, or two, ends unceremoniously. Stroud has displayed the ability to bounce back in practice it would be nice to see it in the game if the opportunity presented itself.
The Starting Offenisve Line
The starting offensive line is composed of Laremy Tunsil, Kenyon Green, Juice Scruggs, Shaq Mason, and George Fant. Tunsil and Mason didn’t play in the first preseason game. Fant played left tackle, not his expected right tackle. I’m sure it isn’t easy to get Laremy Tunsil into a preseason game. It is necessary this week though.
C.J. Stroud was running for his life in the first game. This can’t happen in the second game. He needs to be able to operate with some confidence in his offense and especially his offensive line. Almost as important, DeMeco Ryans needs to find out what the setllted level is of his offensive line. The starters should be in as long as C.J. Stroud is in the game, so about a quarter of football.
The running back didn’t play against the Patriots but he said “he’s live” for the Dolphins. Pierce has had some tough runs in practice, but that’s practice. It isn’t a real game. And I can’t imagine Pierce was going to unleash his violence on his teammates.
I am excited to see what the rushing attack can do. No just Pierce, but Pierce working in tandem with Devin Singletary. The rushing attack will be the comfort zone for this team. The offense will rely on it, and fall back on it. It needs to get tested, or test an opposing defense, before Baltimore. I also believe the floor of the offensive line gets higher when the rushing attack is running well.
Derek Stingley, Will Anderson, Christian Harris, and others played sparingly against the Patriots. It would be nice to see some of the joint practice success on Saturday. The defense has far less to prove than the offense, that side of the ball has been good and sometimes excellent.
Without much to prove, I wouldn’t play anyone considered notable for long after Tua Tagovailoa left the game. It would be nice to give Will Anderson a handful of opportunities to take down a quarterback for his first professional sack, albiet in a preseason game. There are some spots featuring some awesome fights for a place on the roster including defensive tackle and linebacker. Get those players some work when the Dolphins bench their starters.
The afternoon affair with the Dolphins is the lone home game for the Texans in the preseason. It will be about a month until the home opener against the Indinapolis Colts.
After the game we will have the 11 observations post on the site for paid subscribers only. Don’t miss that and the joint practice reports from New Orleans later this week! Upgrade to paid today!