Three Things: Miami Dolphins must improve in short yardage, takeaways

Miami DolphinsFootballSportsHouston TexansSean SmithMatthew StaffordJ.J. Watt

Three Things to consider on this sports Wednesday:

Thing 1: So Texans defensive end J.J. Watt says he got the Miami Dolphins snap count from "Hard Knocks."

So what?

In the next breath, Watt told NBC that was nothing that couldn't be gleaned from a boom mike used for any regular game broadcast.

Now, if somehow the Texans were able to figure out the route calls, well, that might be a different story.

Texans linebacker Bradie James told me his unit went back and studied film of Texas A&M's offense from last season to get a better feel for the Mike Sherman-Ryan Tannehill pairing.

"But that was mostly short-yardage," James said.

Sure enough, the Dolphins went a combined 2 for 13 on third and fourth downs on Sunday, including 1 for 6 when needing 5 yards or fewer for the conversion.

The only success in those spots came on a 24-yard checkdown to Jorvorskie Lane on third and 1 from the Dolphins' 15.

Thing 2: No matter what you read elsewhere (even here) about the Dolphins' three trips to the red zone on Sunday, they weren't completely fruitless.

The first one, which reached the Houston 14-yard-line late in the first quarter, produced a Dan Carpenter field goal. Only problem was Reggie Bush had to lose 7 yards on a third-down fumble before it could happen.

Thing 3: Of the nine NFL teams that failed to produce a single takeaway in Week 1, eight lost, including the Dolphins. 

Only exception was the Lions, who needed a Matthew Stafford touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining to squeak past the Rams and new coach Jeff Fisher.

Yes, the same guy who spurned the Dolphins this offseason.

Going back to the preseason, the Dolphins are now minus-six in turnover margin.

Kevin Coyle's defense is still looking for its first interception, although Sean Smith had one erroneously wiped out by penalty at Carolina.

 

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