Duke Johnson vs. Jets, December 19th
107 yards/2 TD/1 catch, 20 yards
Duke Johnson was the shot in the arm that the Miami Dolphins running game needed all season, and it took them until Week 15 to start to figure it out.
The running back-by-committee approach did not work for Miami this season. Myles Gaskin was expected to be the feature back, with Salvon Ahmed and Malcolm Brown being his compliments. All three players were either underwhelming or downright bad, even with the struggles of the offensive line taken into account.
But a shorthanded Dolphins team brought in hometown hero Duke Johnson to help in their late-season matchup with the New York Jets, and he quickly became the best running back that Miami had carry the ball all season. He ran with noticeable purpose, hitting holes and breaking tackles with ease, making fans wonder where he had been all year.
Johnson made the most of his opportunity. He became the first Dolphins’ player to go over 100 rushing yards all season, finishing with 127 total yards from scrimmage. He also added two touchdowns, leading Miami to a big victory over a division opponent.
Johnson’s time in Miami may end up being just a flash in the pan, but fans will always remember his running as a breath of fresh air in a rough running back season.