Andre Davis (David J. Phillip/AP)
In the Texans matchup against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, you expect to hear the names of Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and Mario Williams called early and often, as well as that of Ronnie Brown, Chad Pennington, and Joey Porter. We now focus on a few players who could make an impact that may not be so high on everyone's radar.
When the Texans have the ball:
Most teams are extremely concerned about Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and rightfully so, but opposite Johnson are Kevin Walter and Andre Davis. Walter is a great possession guy, and Davis is a deep threat in his own right. The Dolphins and their porous secondary will have their hands full with the Texans short passing game.
Rookie left tackle Duane Brown will have to deal with the Dolphins Joey Porter, who is having a monster season. Brown must play well for Matt Schaub to have a chance in the pocket.
Although Owen Daniels is a household name in Houston, he’s not widely regarded as one of the best tight ends in the game. Despite his lack of national publicity, make no mistake, Daniels can play. Daniels should have an advantage against most of the Dolphins linebackers.
Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder has done a great job of making hardcore Miami fans all but forget about Zach Thomas. Crowder is an active linebacker who simply makes plays.
Dolphins DE/OLB Matt Roth was on the bubble for a roster spot entering camp, and he’s now a solid starter. Roth is strong at the point of attack and can get heat on opposing quarterbacks.
Safety Yeremiah Bell is having a Pro Bowl type of year, and his presence has allowed the team to be able to absorb what seems like a first-round bust in Jason Allen.
When the Dolphins have the ball:
It’s hard to be under the radar when you’re the first-overall pick, but not much has been said about Jake Long as he has been a rock at left tackle. Long has all the physical tools to be great and he is playing at a very high level as a rookie.
Wide receiver Greg Camarillo is best known for his overtime touchdown reception to save the 2007 Dolphins from a winless season. Camarillo has survived the personnel turnover and is playing very well in 2008.
Tight end Anthony Fasano was cast off from Dallas Cowboys and has played well in Miami. Fasano has been a great target for Chad Pennington over the middle of the field.
Tight end David Martin has turned into somewhat of a big play threat for the Dolphins as he has enough speed to get deep in the seam. He should be able to get free against the Texans secondary.
We expect linebacker Morlon Greenwood to have a big day against his former team. Greenwood is a tackling machine and he’s been somewhat overlooked this year by the fine play of DeMeco Ryans and Zac Diles.
Fred Bennett played well a week ago against Indianapolis and he should have an opportunity to make a big play or two against Chad Pennington.