Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fins' run game going through a renaissance of sorts


The Miami Dolphins dodged a bullet this week, as an MRI revealed no structural damage to running back Reggie Bush's left knee on Monday. He sustained the injury in the second quarter of Miami's loss to the New York Jets and was not able to return to the game.

The league's fifth-leading rusher is expected to be ready to play in Week 4 at Arizona. Bush hopes to not miss a beat when he returns, as he has led a renaissance of sorts for the Dolphins' rushing game.

The Dolphins hired former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as head coach this offseason, and he brought with him his West Coast offense, which relied on short passes to set up the deep passes, as opposed to rushing the ball. The expectation was that the ground game would be a tertiary weapon in Miami, as Philbin's Green Bay offense ranked no higher than 20th in the NFL in either rushing attempts or yards in the previous two seasons.

But Bush and the Dolphins' tailbacks have been the driving force of the offense, and Miami has the third most rushing attempts in the league through three games.

In fact, all of the Dolphins' early season rushing statistics are impressive:

If this production holds, the Dolphins will field one of the league's most feared rushing attacks.

Alongside Bush, second-year back Daniel Thomas has been a short-yardage bruiser, which was a quality that he disappointingly lacked in his first season. Rookie Lamar Miller has been a highly effective change of pace option, averaging 5.9 yards per carry while displaying exceptional vision and speed in his limited playing time.

A good running game and a good defense has been a winning formula in the NFL in the past. The Dolphins have both and certainly hope that the old adage holds true.

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