Big Dave wrote:
1) Don't take things out of context. You skipped an entire portion of my argument, cherry picking what works for your POV and ignoring the meat and potatoes.
A little defensive, aren't we? I took your comments that summarized what you said, but left out the "data of proof" as there is not reason to post the entire post. Anyone can go back and reread it.
2) Even if we do take his comment to mean that the run abandoned us in this game alone, the stats bear that out (even better than my 1/2-( | )ed argument for the entire season being a wash in the running game). After a full half and a whole 23 offensive plays, we netted -12 yards rushing. That's -2 yards per rushing play. Over the course of a full half.
The reality is that through an entire half, running the ball = moving backwards. Only 2 of the 6 rushing plays were for positive yards. Running the ball was pointless after that. We didn't stop running the ball after just 1 series. We tried for a full half and got nowhere (no drive had more than 6 plays, and we were in 3rd and long all night) . And even when we might have had the opportunity to run the ball, Thigpen (stupidly) decided that throwing was the better option almost every time.
The running game was poor, but since the game finished at 16-0, there was no reason to abandon it. You still run the ball even if it seems pointless unless you have Dan the Man running the offense. The last I looked we had noone even close to being the proven gunslinger that he was. You still have to try to run the ball to keep the defense honest.
When you're net gain is in the negative, there is every reason to stop what it is that you're doing. And, unless Thigpen was netting in the negative (which he wasn't), we had some
success (which isn't an endorsement); certainly more success than -12 yards.
BTW, giving the ball to the back 5 times in the first quarter and once in the 2nd quarter is not " Over the course of a full half". I think the bottom line is that the Dolphins abandoned the run prematurely. The passing game wasn't doing much better. Maybe we can say the passing game gave up on the pass as well;)
Except that it was over the course of a full half. We only ran 23 offensive plays the entire half. When exactly were we supposed to run the ball more during the half? There was no real opportunity to run it.
The first drive, we ran on 2nd down for 3 yards to get a 1st down - then we tried he reverse which left us in 2-19. Then 3-15.
The second drive, we ran on 1st down but had a penalty which left us in 1-20. We ran it again for 2 yards, 2-18, then were in 3-9.
The third drive we ran on 2-10 which left us in 3-5.
The fourth drive we ran for -3 yards on 1-10 to leave us in 2-13, then 3-13.
The fifth drive was under the 2 minute drill (so you wouldn't expect a run anyways).
When were we supposed to dedicate to the run? Which run do you call on 3-15? Or 3-9? Or 3-5 (there is an argument that one could
run the ball in this situation, but most every team in the league wouldn't even try)? Or 3-13?
have run the ball on first down more, but we need to take in to account 2 things (especially when it comes to criticism on this board):
1) How many times have we read people yap about our play calling being too predictable on 1st down by calling runs? Would running the ball every first down have pleased us here? I doubt it. Of the 2 (technically 3 with a penalty) times we tried to run on 1st down in the first half, we gained a net -11 yards (a 10 yard penalty, a 2 yard gain, and a -3 yard loss).
2) Thigpen, according to Sparano, routinely called passing plays when he had the option to run (including times when we should
An entire half of running the football went for a grand total of -12 yards. You don't keep calling runs when they move us backwards. And even when we did call them in the second half, we were no better than 2nd and long EVERY SINGLE TIME WE TRIED TO RUN. Continuing to run the ball served NO purpose whatsoever. And you have to account for the fact that we only had 4 possessions in the second half (with the exception of a final last ditch effort to avoid a shutout with less than 2 minutes).
So unless you're advocating that we run every first down, or run in 3rd and long, you can't really argue that we abandoned anything at all.
Henning is right. When looked at objectively (looking at when we did try to run and the utter lack of success doing it), the only conclusion one can draw is that the run abandoned us.