Dolphins' home struggles continue in loss to Houston
Miami, FL – Matt Schaub threw for 230 yards and two 13 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Arian Foster ran for 33 yards on 10 carries before aggravating a hamstring injury. He did not appear in the second half and was spelled by Ben Tate, who made his NFL debut last Sunday in the Texans' 34-7 thumping of division rival Indianapolis.
Tate ran for 103 yards on 23 carries, while Andre Johnson had seven catches for 93 yards and a touchdown for the Texans (2-0).
Foster said he pulled himself out of the game when he felt his hamstring tighten up.
"It's tough, but I have to realize that it's only game two (of the season)," said Foster. "It's a long season, so I have to get healthy."
Chad Henne threw for 170 yards with one touchdown and an interception on 12- of-30 passing for the Dolphins (0-2), who have lost six straight and 11 of 12 at home.
"This sucks because we're really trying to get things going in this community. Get that spirit back up in this stadium and the community. But in order to do that, you have to win and we haven't done that," said Miami wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who caught six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.
"This crowd deserves it. They're loyal. Every day I run into fans who say they've been season ticket holders for 30-some years and you want to play for those people. And when you come up short, it hurts, it's frustrating and it's embarrassing."
With Reggie Bush rendered ineffective -- six rushes for 18 yards -- rookie second-round pick Daniel Thomas carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards for Miami.
Houston reeled off a methodical, 12-play, 75-yard drive on the game's opening possession, which resulted in a 23-yard Neil Rackers field goal.
After a Dolphins three-and-out, Jacoby Jones returned a Brandon Fields punt 40 yards to the Miami 44. The Texans advanced to the four-yard line before the drive stalled and Rackers' 22-yard field goal made it a 6-0 game.
A 41-yard completion from Henne to Davone Bess coupled with a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on the Dolphins' next drive moved the ball to the Houston 23-yard line. Dan Carpenter hit a 42-yard field goal to cut the Texans' advantage in half, but the Miami offense sputtered through the rest of the half.
Johnathan Joseph intercepted Henne near the Miami goal line at the start of the second quarter and Schaub capitalized two plays later, rolling to his right and hitting Owen Daniels for a four-yard touchdown and a 13-3 Houston lead.
The Dolphins then worked their way into field goal range but Carpenter's attempt was blocked by J.J. Watts.
Carpenter then missed a 34-yarder and Rackers made good on a 36-yard try to give the Texans a 16-3 lead at the half.
After the break, it was the Texans offense which ran out of gas. The Miami defense, which allowed a franchise-high 622 yards in Monday's 38-24 loss to New England, forced punts each of Houston's third quarter possessions.
Miami, on the other hand, reeled off a seven-play, 62-yard scoring march on its second drive. With the Dolphins working out of the no-huddle, Thomas had rushes of 14 and 13 yards. On 1st-and-10 from the Houston 12, Henne spotted Marshall with one-on-one coverage on the sideline. Marshall caught an out and carried cornerback Jason Allen into the end zone to make it a 16-10 game.
Staying in the hurry-up, the Dolphins, aided by Brian Hartline's outstretched, 25-yard catch along the sideline, moved the ball 75 yards down the field early in the fourth quarter before Carpenter's 34-yarder cut the Texans advantage to three points.
The Texans, however, proved their mettle, needing just five plays to re- establish a 10-point lead. Tate reeled off a 16-yard run during the brief drive and Schaub found Johnson in the end zone from 23 yards out.
"The main focus was closing the game out. Getting first downs and closing the game out," said Tate. "But at the same time I wanted to score. It's a reward for myself and the offensive lineman, you know they like to see a running back score, and I wanted to score."
The Dolphins followed with a three-and-out and the Texans received the ball with 8:01 remaining. They ran Tate eight consecutive times before punting back to the Dolphins with 2:51 left.
After Miami failed to convert a 4th-and-19, Houston ran out the clock to seal the victory.
The Texans snapped a six-game road losing streak. They are 6-0 all-time against the Dolphins...Tate was a second-round pick in the 2010 NFL draft but broke his ankle during the preseason of that year.