Dolphins re-commit to running game in 33-17 win over Raiders
http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/thedaily ... r-raiders/
by Ben Volin
The Dolphins finally ran the ball Sunday in their 33-17 win over Oakland. And ran it. And ran it some more.
“Stood convicted,” Tony Sparano said.
The Dolphins hadn’t run the ball with conviction much this year. In last week’s loss to Chicago, they ran it 13 times (and only seven hand-offs). Only three times in 10 games did they attempt 30 rushes, with the season-high coming with 36 attempts in the Week 1 win at Buffalo.
But the Dolphins went run-crazy against Oakland, rushing a whopping 49 times for 186 yards. While the 3.8 yards per carry isn’t ideal, the average was hurt by Chad Henne rushing three times for minus-4 yards, and Lousaka Polite rushing for 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 situation.
And for the first time this season, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams were both effective. Williams rushed for 95 yards on 20 carries – 4.8 yards per carry, with a 45-yard touchdown run, the Dolphins’ longest rushing touchdown of the season – while Brown went for 85 yards on 24 carries (3.5 yards per carry).
“We were able to get in a little rhythm, so that made it easier for us,” Brown said.
The running game was a large reason why the Dolphins were able to completely dominate the pace of the game. Miami held the ball for 41:38, its best time of possession of the season and one of the best in the NFL this year.
Left guard Richie Incognito said the Dolphins didn’t do anything special. In fact, they mostly stuck to their “staple” run plays, as Sparano promised he would after his team’s dismal rushing performance in the previous loss to the Bears.
“We kept things simple from a game plan standpoint,” Incognito said. “And we just kept dialing up our base runs, and hit them.”
“Running the football is all about getting into a rhythm,” Incognito said. “We got into a rhythm early and we just kept chipping away, chipping away, and then we hit a big one at the end of the game.”