Every year around Christmas time, people make their lists of what gifts they want to receive. Most people want money, clothes, or things like that, but what do Miami Dolphins fans want to find under their tree this year?
The Dolphins are 8-6 and, despite riding a three-game losing streak, are just inside the playoffs as the No. 7 seed. There is plenty for the Dolphins to be grateful for, but asking for a few things during the holidays never hurt anyone. For this exercise, the Christmas list will go in chronological order from now until the playoffs begin.
Stocking stuffer: McDaniel sticks to the running game
First-year head coach Mike McDaniel has become a coach of the year candidate thanks to his creative and efficient passing attack and his development of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. One of the few areas he leaves himself open for criticism is his tendency to abandon the running game too early. That wasn’t the case Saturday.
On the road at Buffalo and facing a forecast of cold and snowy conditions, one thing to like was how McDaniel went to the run early and made it a regular part of his game plan for most of the night. Miami finished with 25 carriers for 188 yards and a touchdown while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Running back Raheem Mostert carried the ball 17 times for 136 yards and backup Salvon Ahmed added six carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Wilson Jr. has been limited in practice this week but is likely to suit up against Green Bay on Sunday, so adding him will give another boost to Miami’s rushing attack.
The only times McDaniel shied away from running the ball were crucial ones, both in third-and-short situations where a give to Mostert would have made the most sense. McDaniel, who’s still a young head coach, sees how much easier life can be with a well-oiled rushing attack, it’ll be a welcome present for Dolphins fans.