I spent my Tuesday evening happily re-watching the Miami Dolphins 35-13 thumping of the Oakland Raiders, and thanks to ‘NFL Game Pass’ (officially the greatest thing for fans since the advent of the forward pass), I sorted through the snaps with a fine-toothed comb.
Two things of note.
One: Reggie Bush is still fast. Real fast. As in, able to out-run entire secondaries, fast.
Two: We’ve got ourselves a fullback.
Undrafted rookie Jovorskie Lane was originally a longshot to make the team, but after the first two games we’re beginning see why Mike Sherman wanted to keep his former Texas A&M fullback around. The guy’s a moose. He’s a lineman in the backfield. A 5’11, 275 pound wrecking ball that you can identify on the field solely from the camera’s long shot. He stays upright, holds his blocks, and helped clear paths for Reggie Bush all day. Both of Bush’s long third quarter touchdown runs were partly set up by Lane. Reggie obviously deserves much of the credit for the brilliance of both runs. He broke four tackles en route to the first score, and out ran the entire Raiders defense on the second score. But, Lane had key blocks that set up both runs.
Let’s break it down with shots from each play as they developed.
The play – 8:31 left in the 3rd quarter. Reggie Bush runs off right tackle for a 23 yard touchdown. He breaks a tackle from an Oakland CB near the line of scrimmage, slips by a DT and FS in the second level, and flattens another CB in the secondary.
Dolphin FB Jovorskie Lane, and WR Brian Hartline each pick up critical blocks to open up the play. Pay attention to Lane (framed) as he meets and completely seals Oakland LB Carl Ihenacho near the line, and Hartline (framed) as he runs to the center of the field to eliminate S Tyvon Branch.
As the ball is snapped the offensive line engages their blocks. Lane makes his move toward Ihenacho, and Hartline focuses on Branch. Oakland CB Joselio Hanson (framed) is left alone, but will soon be embarrased by Bush.
Blocks are contained beautifully. Lane completely absorbs Ihenacho to seal the edge (framed). If not for this block, Bush is leveled in the backfield before he works his magic. Hartline also clogs Branch (framed), as Hanson makes his move to stop the play.
It’s all Reggie from this point out. He runs completely through Hanson (framed), and has a bit of daylight in the second level as DT Desmond Bryant and FS Michael Huff break toward the play.
Bryant over shoots the tackle as Bush cuts inside easily shedding the arm tackle (framed). Michael Huff prepares to be humbled, and CB Pat Lee decides to try and actually play tackle football. He too, will fail.
Bush escapes Huff (framed). Lee realizes he’s the last line of defense.
Bush lays waste to Lee and scores.
The second touchdown run is just as impressive. Bush and his blockers execute the play beautifully.
The play – 4:11 left in the 3rd quarter. Reggie Bush runs left for a 65 yard touchdown. Once again, FB Jovorskie Lane serves as the lead blocker, disrupting two potential tackles in the second level. Bush is also aided by a seam created near the line of scrimmage by blocks from WR Davone Bess and TE Anthony Fasano.
As the ball is snapped Bush and Lane dart left. Lane (framed) is the lead block for the entire play, but Bess (framed) creates a key block to get the play going.
Bess contains the corner (framed), while Fasano contains the linebacker (framed). This creates a perfect hole for Lane and Bush to squeeze through to the second level.
Lane and Bush are through the hole. Lane disrupts Oakland LB Rolando McClain (framed), while Bush kicks into high gear. Oakland S Tyvon Branch approaches next.
Lane, still on his feet, engages Branch long enough for Bush to squeeze by.
These were two outstanding plays. In both, we see the elite speed of Reggie Bush, and fantastic blocking by receivers and an undrafted rookie. If the Dolphins can keep this up, it will continue to bode well for the run game, and may open up the passing game as well.