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NFL Week 8: Houston was 0-3, Miami was 3-0 — now both 4-3

By Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

The Houston Texans began the season 0-3 despite high expectations. They’ve now won four in a row, and those high expectations have returned.

Miami had a good start, going 3-0, but now has faltered and stands 4-3 with an uncertain situation at quarterback.

Things are looking up for AFC South leader Houston, and aren’t nearly so bright for the Dolphins, who live in the same neighborhood as New England, the AFC East.

Houston, No. 12 in the AP Pro32, is a 7½-point choice over No. 18 Miami.

“Nobody wants to be 0-3,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien says. “You’re not looking to be in that hole, but we were. I think it’s really — again, I can’t emphasize this enough — I think it’s all about the players. If you don’t have the right type of players, then you’re probably going to be somewhere not close to where we are now. I think it’s really about the players, their resolve, their mindset, their mentality, their belief in what we’re trying to do, their belief in each other, their belief in the coaching staff.”

No one is saying the Dolphins don’t believe, either.

“Last time I checked we’re 4-3 and there’s a lot of teams around this league that are 4-3,” says running back Kenyan Drake. “All we have to do is make the necessary adjustments we need to make to be 5-3 …”

Sorry, but that will be 4-4 after …

TEXANS, 20-16

KNOCKOUT POOL: Thanks Chargers — or Mike Vrabel and the Titans for going for 2 at the end of the game. Pro Picks keeps on keeping on with Kansas City.

No. 2 (tie) New England (minus 11) at No. 28 Buffalo

Unless the weather gets brutal in Buffalo — maybe even then — should be a rout.

BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 36-13

No. 9 Baltimore (minus 1 1-2) at No. 7 (tie) Carolina

Tempted by Seattle as top upset, but can’t see Ravens as road favorites here.

UPSET SPECIAL: PANTHERS, 21-20

No. 14 Seattle (plus 3) at No. 17 Detroit

Really impressed by coaching job Pete Carroll is doing.

SEAHAWKS, 25-22

No. 10 Washington (minus 1) at No. 29 New York Giants

Really impressed by coaching job Jay Gruden is doing.

REDSKINS, 24-16

No. 4 New Orleans (plus 1) at No. 5 Minnesota

Hey Saints, remember not to let Stefan Diggs loose on final play.

VIKINGS, 29-26

No. 23 Denver (plus 10) at No. 2 (tie) Kansas City

Until weather turns nasty in KC, Chiefs will keep scoring in bunches.

CHIEFS, 34-20

No. 23 (tie) Tampa Bay (plus 5) at No. 13 Cincinnati

Bengals are looking fragile, but past two defeats were against superior talent.

BENGALS, 27-24

No. 15 (tie) Philadelphia (minus 3) vs No. 20 Jacksonville at London

Both of these teams looking fragile. At least Eagles aren’t feuding.

EAGLES, 24-16

No. 11 Green Bay (plus 9) at No. 1 Los Angeles Rams

Not often that rested Packers are such big underdogs. But they can’t cover wideouts, so …

RAMS, 33-23

No. 26 Cleveland (plus 8) at No. 7 (tie) Pittsburgh

Don’t smell a blowout here, just another Browns late implosion.

STEELERS, 20-17

No. 25 New York Jets (plus 7) at No. 15 (tie) Chicago

Jets hope Sam Darnold 2019 is where Mitch Trubisky 2018 is at.

BEARS, 27-15

No. 27 Indianapolis (minus 3) at No. 32 Oakland

How long before Jon Gruden tries to sell Golden Gate Bridge?

COLTS, 33-20

No. 30 San Francisco (minus 1) at No. 31 Arizona

Don’t think many Arizonans will vacate the golf course for this.

49ERS, 13-10

___

2018 RECORD:

Last Week: Against spread (8-4-1). Straight up (11-3)

Season Totals: Against spread (48-52-4). Straight up: (69-36-2)

Best Bet: 2-5 against spread, 6-1 straight up

Upset special: 4-3 against spread, 3-3-1 straight up.

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