Running Game Fails To Excite In Miami Dolphins Win

It’s not something you have to watch live or on replay to find uninspiring.  The running game for the Miami Dolphins last night was non-existent.  How can you tell by reading stat lines and watching highlights?  In the first half, the leading rusher was Chad Henne with a ten yard scramble.  Pretty indicative of a poor running game.

Jeff Ireland traded up in last April’s draft to select Daniel Thomas in round 2.   Leaving, ahem, Ryan Mallett for the New England Patriots.  Oh, you know you were thinking it.  Thomas made his Miami Dolphins starting debut last night with 4 carries for 5 yards.  His longest run?  3 yards.  So he had 3 other carries that netted him two yards total.  Hardly something to get excited about.

Thomas added a 25 yard catch and run to his stats, but we are talking about the running game here.  A running corp that is minus Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, and Patrick Cobbs.  The reality is that the running game last night failed to excite anyone.

The offensive line play was a horrible mess and Tony Sparano, a supposed offensive line genius needs to figure out what he is going to do with that unit.  No, Jake Long wasn’t in the game but you have to be able to perform without one player.  No they didn’t do use any pulling guards, but 5 yards from your top running back?  Yes the offense was scaled back and it was simply just the first pre-season game and there is hardly a reason for concern yet.  However, when your stats look like this, Nic Grigsby – 22 yards on 7 carries, Kory Sheets – 18 yards on 9 carries, Lex Hilliard – 2 yards on three carries, there is some room for improvement and there needs to be some concern somewhere.

The Dolphins have an issue at the QB position with the inconsistent play of Chad Henne, the running game needs to be vital part of the offense.  If last night is any indication, the Dolphins have some serious work to do there as well.  Whether it was the offensive line or the way the runners hit the holes, the Dolphins offense has a lot of work in front of them.

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  • Lespaul

    Whooo, what a mess. Gonna be a long season if the O-line continues to ply like that. No clear leader on the line and just basic fundamental blocking was severely lacking. I mean, this is high school level basics here and these guys were getting pushed around pretty bad. Henne had no excuses for his poor performance…neither of his INTS were a result of defensive pressure or poor route running. He just stank…it was embarrassing to watch. His one decent throw for the TD was overthrown by a country mile and were it not for Hartline’s circus catch the halftime score would have been 17-0. I am sure Ross has dusted off his broom after last night’s performance, so the coaches, managers, players and ball boys better get their sh#t together. You see what’s going on in the division and realize who they face on game one? They need to play and coach like their lives depended on it….their careers damn sure will.

  • phinfandan

    Jake Long where are you? We really need to figure out this O-line. There has been too much tinkering around with it every year. I don’t care who your back is, they aren’t going anywhere with a bad O-line. They need to get there act together soon. hopefully the will sort it out before the regular season starts.

    I read today that there is no competition for Henne as of yet. Why not just give Moore some credit for the good play and avoid saying things like that. I understand not trying to scare Henne or shatter his confidence, but don’t take away from the players who did well either.

    Go Dolphins!

  • Bobby S

    Leaving Ryan Mallett to the New England Patriots……..that isn’t what I was thinking. It still astonishes me how many people believed Mallett would have been the solution to everything in Miami…..Every team passed up Mallett. If he were considered a franchise QB like you believe, Carolina would have taken him, Minnesota wouldn’t have moved up to take Ponder, they would have drafted him, Cincy would have bypassed Andy Dalton, Tennessee would have taken him instead of Jake Locker, and San Fran wouldn’t have drafted Kaepernick instead. How about the Jags taking Gabbert? Mallett was an average college QB. He wasn’t Philip Rivers, he wasn’t Eli Manning, Big Ben, Donovan, he wasn’t even Mark Sanchez or Matt Leinart in college.

    Miami didn’t pass up a sure thing like you seem to imply. Mallett will be sitting on the bench for the next several years and won’t touch the field until Brady retires or suffers another fluke injury like he did a couple of seasons ago.

    Miami passing up Matt Ryan you could certainly argue because he was an elite QB in college and the Fish had the chance to take him. Mallett isn’t Matty Ice by any stretch of your imagination.

    Miami needs a sure thing at QB, not another project they hope will blossom into the franchise Quarterback.

    None of the QB’s taken before Mallett are guarantees either. This was a very suspect draft for QB’s with not one at all being a lock for a future Pro Bowl or All-Pro team. This wasn’t the class of 83′ or the Rivers, Manning, Big Ben draft of 2005.

    So just stop with this garbage about Mallett being the potential savior. Miami needs an enormous amount of help and is probably staring at 5-11 or 6-10 this year and they definitely need QB help, but a lock at QB.

  • Phinphanatic

    Never said he was the savior…not once. Just a point of contention with fans and some local media….so yes to those fans the phins moved up to get Thomas and left Mallett.