Texans' Collins delivers top performance of season in loss to Dolphins

Maliek Collins folded over Miami Dolphins standout quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, depositing him on the ground for a sack in the second half Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Texans veteran defensive tackle's take-down of Tagovailoa in the backfield for a loss of seven yards prompted Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel to substitute in backup quarterback Skylar Thompson. Tagovailoa's day was over as the Dolphins had already built a 30-0 lead on their way to a 30-15 victory that dropped the Texans to 1-9-1 for the season. 

McDaniel wanted to protect Tagovailoa, who suffered a scary concussion earlier this season.

Collins' performance was arguably his best of the season and one of the few bright spots for the Texans. He recorded two sacks and a career-high three tackles for losses.

This marked the first time that Collins had recorded two sacks since 2017 when he was playing for the Dallas Cowboys. He now has 100 career quarterback hits and 150 career tackles.

Did it bother Collins that the Dolphins inserted Thompson so early in the game? A bit. It was reminiscent of how the Los Angeles Rams substituted for quarterback Matthew Stafford last season while holding a big lead over the Texans at NRG Stadium.

"It's definitely disrespectful, but he was getting hit, too," Collins said. "I understand that they want to protect him at all costs. I feel like we were going to rock regardless."

Collins finished with four tackles and two quarterback hits. He had 13 yards of losses on his two sacks.

Collins has 22 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, five tackles for losses and seven quarterback hits this season.

"Maliek is capable of that," Texans coach Lovie Smith said. "It's not just about the sacks. I'm thinking overall, defensively, that's a pretty good offense. For us to hold them without points in the second half, I think that's something that probably, I think that's a positive you can kind of talk on a little bit. But Maliek did some good things. Maliek, Jerry (Hughes), some of those guys are going to play that way always."

Aaron Wilson is a contributor to Sports Talk 790.

Houston Texans v Las Vegas Raiders

Photo: Getty Images

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