A pair of 4-3 AFC teams matched up on Thursday night to kick off the Week Eight slate as the Dolphins traveled to Houston to face the Texans. A 14-10 game at the half, the Texans exploded with a 28-point second half to blow the Dolphins away.
It was a game filled with odd plays, including a 28-yard touchdown pass from WR Danny Amendola to RB Kenyan Drake, a long pass play that bounced off a defender’s helmet and landed in the hands of WR DeVante Parker and a catch that wasn’t a catch cradled by WR DeAndre Hopkins against the back of his leg.
Dr. David Chao suggested before the game that Houston QB Deshaun Watson should be past his rib and lung injuries that have plagued him in recent weeks and it seems the doc was correct. Watson tossed five touchdown passes compared to only four incomplete passes. Watson still didn’t run much, only one carry for 14 yards but he didn’t really need to as Houston pulled away and the Dolphins got little pressure on the quarterback. Watson finished with 239 passing yards for the game.
With rookie WR Keke Coutee (hamstring) out, we expected the receiver duo of DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller to dominate looks from Watson and they did. Hopkins caught six of seven targets for 82 yards and two touchdowns, while Fuller led the team with a 5/124/1 line, much of that coming on a 73-yard bomb when Fuller was all alone. The bad news came near the end of the game as Fuller suffered an apparent knee injury on a deep target. He needed help off the field and after visiting the blue medical tent, was quickly ruled out. Many, including Dr. Chao, have already suggested this injury was an ACL tear, which would end Fuller’s season. Rookie TE Jordan Thomas caught his first two career touchdowns.
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RB Lamar Miller was primed for a big game. Not only was this matchup appealing as the Dolphins have allowed a fantasy RB1 performance in every game this season but also because Miller formerly played for Miami. If you believe in “revenge games,” you had to like Miller this week. He paid off with his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game, rushing for 133 yards and a score. It’s Miller’s first 100-yard rushing streak since Weeks Six and Seven of 2015.
Although Miami folded in the second half, content to settle for field goal attempts when trailing by multiple scores, they still had some solid fantasy producers. Their best and most surprising player was WR DeVante Parker. Rumored to be on the trade block after a season marred by injuries and surprise inactives, Parker’s agent took things public after Week Seven, calling out HC Adam Gase for not using Parker effectively. This game made it look like the agent was right all along. With WRs Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson on the shelf with injuries, Gase was forced to use Parker and the former first-round pick caught six balls for 134 yards, both team-highs. The 134 yards is also a new career-high for Parker.
RBs Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore split 24 carries down the middle and Drake ended with the better fantasy box score as he found the paint twice and totaled 95 yards. Gore rushed for 53 scoreless yards. Veteran WR Danny Amendola caught five of six targets for 43 yards and also threw the touchdown to Drake. QB Brock Osweiler threw for 241 yards and one interception.
Good news for Cardinals fans and David Johnson fantasy owners. New Arizona OC Byron Leftwich said he wants to replicate everything from the offense of former HC Bruce Arians. It has been a very frustrating season for the Cardinals offense, led by OC Mike McCoy until he was fired following the team’s Week Seven game. Leftwich, previously praised by Arians, got the promotion and will now call the plays. We can expect more innovation and more overall usage for Johnson moving forward.
The New York Giants promoted former first-round WR Corey Coleman from their practice squad. While the Giants’ top two receivers, Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, are locked in, there is an opportunity for Coleman to establish himself as the third option on the depth chart. … Free agent DB Obi Melifonwu, recently cut by the Raiders, visited the Cowboys. … Ravens HC John Harbaugh suggested the team would look to get TE Hayden Hurst more involved in the offense moving forward. … The Giants signed CB Tony Lippett.
Redskins WR Jamison Crowder, who missed Week Seven with an ankle injury, did not practice yesterday and will presumably miss the team’s Week Eight matchup against the Giants. … Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (hip) did not practice and is likely out for the team’s Week Eight game. … Panthers WR Torrey Smith (knee) did not practice. Rookie WR D.J. Moore could be in line for an expanded role Sunday. … Pass-catching RBs Theo Riddick and Giovani Bernard both missed practice with knee injuries. … This is no surprise, but Patriots rookie RB Sony Michel did not practice after suffering a leg injury last week. Although HC Bill Belichick chose not to provide an update, it is safe to assume Michel won’t play Sunday. … In a surprise, Colts RB Marlon Mack was downgraded and did not practice, dealing with an ankle injury. Mack has already missed several games with multiple injuries this season. … Jets WR Robby Anderson is one of several Jets receivers dealing with an injury. After missing practice with an ankle sprain, he looks like a long shot to play this week. … Broncos rookie RB Royce Freeman missed another practice with a bad ankle and will likely sit out Week Eight’s game. … Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) has already been ruled out for this week. … After previous reports that RB Bilal Powell’s neck injury could be career-ending, Jets HC Todd Bowles said the veteran back is expected to make a full recovery. … Jaguars CB A.J. Bouye is out for the Jaguars Week Eight game after suffering a calf injury at Wednesday’s practice. … 49ers RB Matt Breida (ankle) missed practice again on Thursday. … Bears WR Allen Robinson (groin) did not practice and is looking doubtful to play this week. … 49ers WR Pierre Garcon (knee) missed another practice and is expected to sit out this weekend…A large number of players managed a limited practice on Thursday. Among them were: RB Chris Thompson (knee), WR Paul Richardson (knee/shoulder), TE Rob Gronkowski (back), RB Peyton Barber (ankle), QB Cam Newton (shoulder), QB Derek Anderson (back/calf), RB Chris Ivory (hamstring), TE Jack Doyle (hip), WR Josh Gordon (hamstring), WR Geronimo Allison (hamstring), TE David Njoku (knee), WR Dante Pettis (knee).
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