By KRISTIE RIEKEN
HOUSTON (AP) — Lamar Miller’s second big game in a row helped the Houston Texans to their fifth straight win.
This one, a 42-23 victory Thursday night over the Dolphins, meant a little more to the running back because of his ties to South Florida. Miller was born and grew up in Miami before attending college at Miami, was drafted by the Dolphins in 2012 and spent his first four seasons with the team.
Miller had 133 yards rushing and a touchdown for his second straight 100-yard game.
“It felt good,” Miller said. “I was speaking to the guys before the game and today I just had a different type of juice. I got a lot of rest last night. So today was just good. The offensive line did a great job and I’m just thankful.”
He’s the first Texan to rush for 100 yards in consecutive games since Arian Foster in 2014.
Miller’s 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter tied the game at 7. He had a 19-yard run earlier in the drive to set up the score.
He had a 58-yard run early in the third quarter on his way to another 100-yard game. He hadn’t had one since 2016 before last week against Jacksonville.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson raved about Miller’s recent work and said it’s helped make things easier for him.
“It starts with the run game,” Watson said. “They’ve got to respect it. They’ve got to get seven men in the box, sometimes eight men in the box and then they kind of open up the passing game. So the safeties are very aggressive and we can get behind those guys using our speed and our talent with Will (Fuller), Hop (DeAndre Hopkins), Tyler (Ervin) and Keke (Coutee) when he’s healthy.”
The winning streak, which leaves the Texans in first place in the AFC South, comes after they opened the season 0-3. Miller is impressed with how the Texans worked together to turn things around, but he isn’t surprised.
“It just shows the type of guys we have in this locker room,” Miller said. “When we lost three games straight everybody still came in with the same mindset to get better. I think every week we’ve just been improving and building that bond and that chemistry, and we’ve just got to keep it going.”
Some things to know about Houston’s win over the Dolphins:
Brock Osweiler started his third straight game in place of Ryan Tannehill, who is out with an injured shoulder. Coach Adam Gase was asked if he thought Tannehill would return on Nov. 4 when the Dolphins host the Jets.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’re still going through the process with his rehab stuff. I’ll worry about that next week.”
Osweiler won his first start after Tannehill’s injury, but Miami has lost the last two games with him in charge of the offense.
Osweiler, who had one tough season in Houston after signing a $72 million contract in 2016, threw for 241 yards with an interception on Thursday night.
Though his time with the Texans didn’t go well, he insisted that he doesn’t have any hard feelings toward the organization.
“There was no negative emotion or anything like that,” he said. “In fact, it was great to see a lot of the guys.”
Several Texans sustained injuries on Thursday night. Cornerback Johnathan Joseph injured his ankle in the first quarter, linebacker Zach Cunningham also left in the first quarter with a knee injury and receiver Will Fuller left the game after injuring his knee in the fourth quarter.
Joseph said he had a sprained ankle, but the coach Bill O’Brien said he didn’t have any details on the severity of the injuries to Cunningham and Fuller after the game.
Hopkins has developed a knack for making one-handed catches look routine. He had one last week against Jacksonville and added another one on Thursday night. Unfortunately for the Texans, his eye-popping grab against the Dolphins didn’t count.
Hopkins reached back and grabbed the ball with one hand and weaved it between his legs in the air before crashing to the ground. But it was brought back after he was called for pass interference.
Hopkins said that he watched the replay several times and didn’t think that he pushed off.
“It was hand battling,” he said. “The guy had two hands, he was off-balance. So I think that somebody owes me an apology. I don’t know who it is but somebody owes me an apology.”