MIAMI (CBSMiami) - With the NFL trade deadline now in the rearview mirror perhaps the Dolphins can get the focus on the game a little bit more.
We know Tua Tagovailoa is the quarterback for the rest of the season, as long as he is healthy, and the Houston Texans, ironically enough, are a very beatable team coming into Hard Rock Stadium for week 9.
A consistent 60 minute effort that has been so elusive will be needed this week.
Clean up time
This has really been the story of this season after the opening day win at New England. The Dolphins just have not been able to play the game without making an inordinate number of mistakes. Whether they are mental mistakes with penalties or as we saw last week, confusion when just lining up offensively, the errors have literally cost this team games that they could have won.
Tua take over
Even those who have been critical of the Dolphins quarterback have to admire his mental fortitude, the way he is handled this season, and his own personal situation with the team rumored to be after Texans quarterback Deshawn Watson. Tua has been all class, never blaming those around him on the field, which he legitimately could, and has played well enough to win games. I think we are all curious to see if he had time to throw the ball consistently and a full complement of weapons to get it to, what he could do. Tua has been limited in practice this week with an injured finger.
Two times for the defense
Despite the loss last week in Buffalo the defense, at least for about three quarters, showed progress. The hope is a second straight effort like that against a team like Houston can finally produce a win and break the losing streak.
With the playoffs not in the cards, you may ask what is the motivation for players at this point? First, these guys are professionals. It's their job. Second, players have pride. They don't reach the top of their sport by accident. And third, despite the losses this group cares and likes one another. It hasn't worked out on the scoreboard but the Dolphins players continue to support each other.
The Dolphins-Texas game kicks off at 1 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium.
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