Miami Dolphins rookie QB Ryan Tannehill will likely have a big cheering section in his first career NFL start, as the Dolphins open the 2012 season with a road game in Houston.
Tannehill grew up in Big Spring, a small West Texas town near the panhandle, but he went to school at Texas A&M, which is only a hour down the road from Reliant Stadium.
The Texans lost Mario Williams in free agency, but they'll still be a stiff test for the rookie, who many thought would need to sit in his first season in the NFL. In their first year with Wade Phillips as a defensive coordinator, they were ranked No. 4 in the NFL in run defense and No. 3 in pass defense, even with Williams missing most of the season due to injury.
On the other side of the ball, the Miami defense will be tested by a Texans team many think could be a Super Bowl contender. Houston features both a dominant running tandem of Arian Foster and Ben Tate and an explosive passing offense headlined by Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.