Rookie Watch – Game Day 9 vs Houston Texans (Home)

ROOKIE WATCH GAME DAY 8 Recap – Buffalo Bills (Away)

Let’s be honest we didn’t expect to win against Buffalo, but for 3 quarters of the game we held them to 3 points. No other team has done that so far. We then crumbled in the 4th quarter but considering the last time we played Buffalo we got our tails handed to us, it’s a notable improvement on the defensive side of the ball and I’ll take that and hopefully we can keep that three quarter performance and turn it into a positive result against Houston.

Jaylen Waddle – Wide Receiver #17

4 receptions for 29 yards with the longest being 12 yards. Not the best performance, but after the rookie season he has had and the state of the wide receiver room, I’m sure that he took the attention of the Bills defensive back room which was to be expected. Now with DeVante Parker on IR the already slim core of wide receivers get even smaller, so this thrusts Jaylen Waddle firmly into the WR1 role, something I definitely didn’t expect to say this season, let alone this early.

Turning our attention to Houston, they currently are on average giving up 253 passing yards per game at 8.6 passing yards per attempt, with 67% of passes being completed, with 15 of the 29 touchdowns being scored against them are passing. That is enough to make any wide receiver grin from ear to ear. I fully expect Jaylen Waddle to have a game here, especially with Tua having a point to prove against Houston and the whole Deshaun Watson rumours over for now.

Bold Predicition For The Game: 2 Touchdowns, 100 receiving yards

Jaelan Phillips – Defensive End/Linebacker #15

Falcons, 15 snaps, just 24% of the defensive snaps and compare that to last week and Phillips gets 61% of the snaps, 84% of the snaps, his highest percentage of game time this year, amazing what an injury free week can do. 2 tackles and 2 assists and 0.5 of a stuff. That equals his performance against Tampa Bay this year apart from the sack, and there is a slight trend coming here, his best games so far are against so called “elite teams”.

With Houston scoring just 4 rushing touchdowns this year, getting an average of 3.3 rushing yards per attempt and 76 rushing yards per game, screams that Houston may not have the best offensive line, and a rookie quarterback at the helm, which should be prime hunting for Phillips. Even more so, Houston have an average of 205 passing yards per game and 15 sacks taken for the season, so the passing attack should be there for all to see. I do expect Phillips to keep this train rolling and have another good performance statistically.

Bold Prediction For The Game: 1 sack, 1 stuff, 3 tackles.

Rookie Watch: Jaelan Phillips
Credit: Palm Beach Post

Liam Eichenberg – Offensive Line #74

Not another good performance by the rookie offensive tackle, but right now he continues to get a pass from me for the performance as he keeps getting schooled by wiley veteran defensive lineman. 6 pressures allowed, and a false start penalty to go along with it adds to his total of the year and now means he is tied 1st in sacks allowed (6), and tied 2nd in penalties (7) according to PFF. Whilst those are some pretty damning stats, we have to remind that he has only started 3 consecutive games at Left Tackle and shows how hard adaptation to the NFL can be.

It isn’t all doom and gloom for the rookie left tackle. Houston are not a good football team, but also do lack considerable talent compared to other teams he has faced, so after a down game, this is prime time for him to right the wrongs and get back to the performance he had against Tampa Bay being the 2nd highest ranked rookie tackles in the NFL, so the talent is there. With 2 linebackers out for Houston, I do expect a better game for Liam.

Bold Prediction For The Game:  No penalties, No Sacks Given, 3 Pressures.

Jevon Holland – Free Safety #22

How much faith does Brian Flores have in rookie Safety Jevon Holland? Enough for this to be Holland’s 4th game on the trot to play 100% of the defensive snaps.He played all 73 snaps getting 4 solo tackles and 1 assist. No passes defended sadly but for 3 quarters he kept the lid on the defence and kept Miami in the game. So it’s safe to say that he has the full trust of Brian Flores and I’m saying it here first, Jevon Holland will make Safety in the defensive all-rookie team of the year. He won’t be rookie of the year, that’s usually reserved for a sexier position like quarterback, wider receiver or defensive end.

Holland’s eyes may start to light up in the next few games with Houston this week and the Jets coming up. Mouthwatering stats from Houston as they’ve given up 7 interceptions, and 15 sacks and 30 points per game, Holland should have another stellar game and continue to shine in this defence, and I will continue to bang the drum for his first interception.Bold Predicition For The Game: 5 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Interception.

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 31: Jevon Holland #8 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball
past Siran Neal #33 of the Buffalo Bills in the third quarter at Highmark Stadium on October 31, 2021
in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

And that will do us for another week of Rookie Watch! Let’s hope for a better match and outcome for our Miami Dolphins and that we get close to some more bold predictions! FINS UP!

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Thomas Wood
NFL fantasy geek, Miami Dolphins finatic, American Football Player, Football watcher.

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