Foster hurts Achilles, year may be over
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett wasn’t that excited about his team’s trip to Miami, and now it’s easy to see why.
Mallett missed the team plane and had to fly to Florida on his own, which was just the start of a lousy weekend for the Texans. They gave up six touchdowns before scoring Sunday and lost to the Miami Dolphins, 44-26.
To compound the misery, running back Arian Foster hobbled off the field late in the game with an Achilles tendon injury that might end his season.
Houston (2-5) fell behind 35-0 after 16 minutes, trailed 41-0 at halftime, gave up 503 yards and allowed Ryan Tannehill to complete his first 18 passes.
”Terrible,” coach Bill O’Brien said of the Texans’ performance. ”It’s something I take full responsibility for.”
The Dolphins had been 0-7 previously against Houston, the only team they had never beaten.
Foster was hurt without being hit during garbage time. He was in motion and crumpled to the turf as the ball was snapped. He said he’ll undergo an MRI on Monday.
”I feel terrible for him,” O’Brien said. ”He’s done a lot for us in the two years I’ve been here. I hate that part of the game.”
The four-time Pro Bowl running back was having a subpar season. He rushed for a season-high 59 yards against Miami, but was averaging only 2.6 yards per carry this year.
In the wake of the injury, Foster said he was grateful for the support of his teammates.
”It’s who you play with, who you live with,” he said. ”I appreciate it. We’ve got a lot of love on this team to go around and it’s reciprocated.”
As for the game: ”Not fun. We got whipped.”
Mallett, who lost the starting job two weeks ago to Brian Hoyer, blamed traffic for missing the team flight.
”You’ve got to be on time,” Mallett said. ”That’s not the leadership role I need to exhibit. I need to be better.”
Hoyer played the entire game and went 23 for 49 for 273 yards and three touchdowns. But he was sacked four times and had a deflected pass intercepted and returned for a score.
Miami became the first team in at least 75 years to score four offensive touchdowns of at least 50 yards in a half, according to STATS. Tannehill extended his two-game streak to 25 consecutive completions, an NFL record, before he threw his only incompletion in the fourth quarter.
Jarvis Landry scored on a jaw-dropping 50-yard catch and run through most of the defense, making the Texans look hapless.
”Somehow he makes 46 guys miss,” Tannehill said.
Landry also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill. Lamar Miller scored on a 54-yard reception and an 85-yard run. Rishard Matthews scored the game’s first points when turned a short pass from Tannehill into a 53-yard score.
That was all in the opening half, when the Dolphins built a 41-0 lead.
”I don’t think that I have ever been a part of anything like that,” Hoyer said. ”It just seemed like bad thing after bad thing.”
The Dolphins began pulling their regulars at halftime, and the Texans drew small solace from scoring four touchdowns in the second half.
Miami’s Dan Campbell became only the fifth interim coach of 26 in the NFL since 2000 to win his first two games, according to STATS. Since the firing of Joe Philbin on Oct. 5, the Dolphins (3-3) have gone from notorious underachievers to contending for their first playoff berth since 2008.
They’ve outscored two opponents 82-36.
”I always said this team had the players and playmakers and talent to play like we have the last two weeks,” Tannehill said. ”For whatever reason we weren’t showing up the way we wanted to. Give credit to Dan and rest of the coaching staff that they’ve turned it around.”
NOTES: Texans LB Akeem Dent hurt his hamstring in the fourth quarter. … Dolphins CB Zack Bowman hurt his shoulder in the second quarter. LB Spencer Paysinger hurt his groin and did not return. … One bright spot for Houston: Shane Lechler, Campbell’s former college roommate, averaged 48 yards on eight punts.
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