The Houston Texans and Denver Broncos run very similar offenses because Houston coach Gary Kubiak worked as the Denver offensive coordinator throughout their Super Bowl days.
The similarities are especially striking in the No. 1 receiver both teams have: The Texans have Andre Johnson. The Broncos have Brandon Marshall.
So the Dolphins assignment this week is to keep Marhall from having a similar game to the one Johnson had against Miami. Johnson caught 10 passes for 178 yards.
It is striking that these two players are built out of a similar mold. Johnson is 6-3 and 223 pounds. Marshall is 6-4 and 230 pounds.
So keeping Marshall from hurting the Dolphins as much as Johnson did has been on the forefront of coach Tony Sparano's mind. The Dolphins have been spending a lot of time in practice trying to get a good feel for what Marshall is likely to do, with receivers Brandon London and Derek Hagan playing Marshall on the scout team.
I asked Sparano if he's concerned the success or lack of success the defense has against its scout team this team offers an omen of what will happen Sunday?
"Yeah, and I read an awful lot into that, probably too much sometimes," Sparano said. "It keeps me up a little bit at night sometimes. Our guys, right now, we have two guys that are running around out there that have the jersey on. We put them in the jersey so the defense knows where the players line up and that's been Hagan and London today, the two of them.
"So you go one play and then the next guy comes up and he gets going. Hagan and London are big, strong guys that can get the ball, that have consistently done that in practice for us right now. So, that's been a pretty good situation for our defense to have those guys running down the field and the ball getting up to them. Now when you're seeing them catch a ball, and then another ball, and then another ball, and it's not contested, and you're not getting over there, and doing some things to pull the ball out and competing for the ball, it concerns you, yeah."
According to Sparano, the Dolphins did just fine defending the looks Hagan and London provided. "Today we had a good day out there," he said.