The Miami Dolphins left Houston with their second preseason loss, coming up short in a 24-17 game. However, preseason results are completely meaningless and fans shouldn't get discouraged about the result. Instead, individual performances and the overall progress of the team is what should be monitored.
There were several positives to build off and certainly some negatives that put a damper on an encouraging performance. Lets take a look at which players took a step forward and which took a step back.
Ryan Tannehill, QB
Tannehill played well for the second straight game and looked sharp when he was on the field against Houston. He finished 10-for-15 passing for 141 yards and one touchdown which was good for a 119.0 quarterback rating. His decision making has been on point as evident in the zero interceptions he's thrown through three games. Tannehill's mobility was also on display when he eluded a sack for positive yards against a stout Texans defensive line. In addition, he showed off his impressive arm strength when he threw a dart between two defenders for a touchdown. There are still aspects of his game that he can improve including the fact that he holds on to the ball for too long, but he took a step in the right direction.
Josh Samuda, RG
Samuda wasn't as bad as most people think especially considering the fact that blocking the Texans front seven is no easy task. He was responsible for an early sack but did settle down as the game progressed. However, Samuda's struggles over the last two games indicate that he is not ready to be a starting right gaurd and is better suited as the second team center. I am not overly concerned about Samuda since one of John Jerry or Lance Louis will become the starting RG when they return from injury and should prove to be an immediate upgrade.
Mike Wallace, WR
Wallace put it best himself when he said that he and Tannehill finally got the monkey off their back. That's right, Tannehill and Wallace connected for not one, not two, but three receptions. One of those three receptions was a 33 yard connection down the sideline that Wallace made an impressive over-the-shoulder catch on while keeping both feet in bounds. It was a pass that Tannehill later admitted he wasn't pleased with but Wallace made a nice adjustment to haul it in. The Dolphins free agent prize finished with 58 yards and a touchdown.
Matt Moore, QB
Moore has a history of showing up when the games count and not performing as well in practice and in the preseason. However, his play over the last two games is becoming a concern. In Houston, Moore went a miserable 3-for-11 for 15 yards which was good for a quarterback rating of 39.6 with the second team offense. He has been extremely inconsistent while showing alarming inaccuracy. He will need to put up better performances in order to instill confidence in the coaching staff if he is ever needed to enter a game.
Jonathan Martin, LT
Martin has now had two good games in a row and is showing signs of considerable improvement. He didn't stand out last night but that's always a great sign for an offensive lineman. The Dolphins offensive line kept Tannehill upright for the most part and its encouraging to note that one of the teams biggest offseason concerns may not be as significant a weakness as originally thought.
Dolphins Starting Defense
The Dolphins starters played nearly the entire first quarter and were lights out when they were on the field. Brent Grimes intercepted Matt Schaub on the Texans third play of the game and the Dolphins front seven continuously generated pressure, both are aspects that were lacking last season. Cameron Wake made his presence felt by recording a sack. Overall, the Dolphins starting defense held the Texans starting offense to a total of zero points.