Dolphins running game remains in good hands this season

Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (31) rushes for a few yards as New York Giants linebacker
Miami Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (31) rushes for a few yards as New York Giants linebacker / Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK

You have to go back to the 2016 season to find the last time a Miami Dolphins player finished with at least 1,000 yards on the ground. That would be Jay Ajayi, who totaled 260 carries for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns for then-head coach Adam Gase’s club. The Dolphins would finish 10-6 and reach the playoffs.

You would have to go even further back to find the last time the franchise led the NFL in rushing yards. Try over 50 years ago during Miami’s perfect 17-0 season in 1972. That was the year that Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Csonka (1,117) and Eugene “Mercury” Morris (1,000) became the first teammates in league history to total at least 1,000 yards on the ground in the same season.

It’s pretty early but Mike McDaniel’s squad has had a nice 1-2 punch coming out of the backfield this year. Rookie De’Von Achane (460) trails only San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey (510) in rushing yardage this season. Former 49ers’ standout and current Dolphins’ runner Raheem Mostert is 14th in the NFL with 314 yards on the ground.

A significant loss

Achane will miss at least the next four games after being placed on injured reserve. So much for the idea that the Dolphins could have two 1,000-yard runners in the same season for the second time, which would be an NFL first. His absence certainly puts a crimp into that notion.

As for now, Mostert is the main man for now...again. A year ago, he led Mike McDaniel’s club with 181 carries and 891 yards rushing. The Dolphins are averaging a league-best 185.8 yards per game on the ground. That’s quite a difference for a club that managed to run for only 99.2 yards per outing a season ago – tied for 25th in the league.

Achane’s absence will certainly be felt. Those 460 yards came on only 38 attempts, a blistering 12.1 average. Of course, Mostert’s 314 yards have come on 58 carries, a superb 5.4 yards per attempt. He’s also run for seven scores and leads the club with eight total touchdowns. The team’s ground attack is in good hands indeed.