Can Dolphins Lead League in Rushing?

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by SF Dolphin Fan, Jul 15, 2017 at 12:32 PM.

  1. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    I know at first glance this may seem like a huge stretch. But after the awful first five games last year, Miami ran the ball very effectively with the emergence of Jay Ajayi. Plus, we know that Adam Gase loves to pound the rock and has had success doing just that elsewhere.

    The Dolphins established their identity as a running team last year and that should continue right off the bat in 2017. Ajayi has confidence and obvious talent, the depth behind him is at least decent with Kenyan Drake as a potential big-play guy. Also, Ryan Tannehill is an athletic quarterback who can get off of the pocket and rush for yards if needed.

    Another point, MIami has weapons in the passing game which will make it difficult for teams to sell out to stop the run.

    The offensive line is an obvious question, but this unit could also be pretty good if Mike Pouncey stays healthy and someone emerges at guard. Those things can happen.
     
  2. The Ghost

    The Ghost Stamos

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    Without question we should be at the top of the league in rushing offense and total offense, provided that we stay healthy. Pouncey is the key to that.

    Ajayi is absolutely ready to explode.
     
  3. insomnia411

    insomnia411 The world is yours

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    J Train and Drake are certainly talented enough to lead the league in rushing, and we also have the skill position players to take the pressure off of them, but I'm just not sure that our interior o line is good enough.
    Two big IFs are at play here.
    If Pouncey can stay healthy and play at a high level and if we can get solid LG play from Larsen or Asiata then our o line/ run game will be in very good shape.
     
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  4. Gsmack_42

    Gsmack_42 Well-Known Member

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    I only see it, if the Cowboys lose a OL or two.
     
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  5. nick1

    nick1 I am Groot Moderator Finheaven VIP

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    Cowboys and Titans should lead the league in rushing. But I hope we are in the top 5.
     
  6. multistage

    multistage Well-Known Member

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    We have the backs.

    It's all about the line.

    With our passing attack potential, that should really loosen things up. If the D starts to crowd the rush, Tannehill has a plethora of high performance targets at all ranges. Thomas, Drake, and Williams up close, Juice and Thomas (again) intermediate, and Stills and Parker deep. That'll keep the rush honest. Theoretically.
     
  7. gregorygrant83

    gregorygrant83 A True Fan

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    If Miami leads the league in rushing fans will complain about a down year by Tannehill, Parker, Landry, Stills and Thomas. I don't see how this team could put up the passing numbers fans want and also lead the league in rushing.
     
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  8. LoneStarPhin

    LoneStarPhin Well-Known Member

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    yep. we'll be good at rushing and good at passing, and have one of the best offenses in NFL, then spend the offseason arguing with know-nothings who say Tannehill is not elite because he's a game manager.
     
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  9. phish

    phish Well-Known Member

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    The only way we will be in the top 5 is if Tannehill rushes for at least 400yds with a high ypc
     
  10. ChrisTRD

    ChrisTRD A True Fan

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    I hope they call more designed run plays for Tannehill.
     
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  11. gregorygrant83

    gregorygrant83 A True Fan

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    I really disagree. Coming off a knee injury, I want to see Tannehill running only in a few cases when the pocket breaks down. Only on 3rd downs where he has a legit chance of gaining the needed yardage. If it 3rd and 15 just throw the ball away and punt. I wouldn't call more than 6 or 8 designed running plays for Tannehill during the entire season. Phis I take it you were saying that's what it would take for Miami to lead the league in rushing, not that's what you want to see.
     
  12. LANGER72

    LANGER72 A True Fan

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    I think we will be top 10 rushing and top 10 passing.
    I really have no concerns about moving the ball and scoring.

    Can we slow down and stop good offenses like the Pats. Defense especially against the run needs to improve drastically.
     
  13. EvilDylan

    EvilDylan A True Fan Donator

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    They can, but they won't.
     
  14. Pandarilla

    Pandarilla Well-Known Member

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    Ajayi is capable, but I think there's a better chance we lead the league in average yards per carry.
     
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  15. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Dallas and Buffalo will be hard to top for sure. I think Houston will certainly try to run the ball a lot with Foreman and Miller and a rookie quarterback.
     
  16. finmann

    finmann Pro Bowler

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    Absolutely we can lead the league in rushing but not with Ajayi alone. Everyone is fixated on him as they should be, but this kid Kenyan Drake can be something special, in fact I see him as a 1000 yard back. At 6'1 215lbs with speed to burn, he and Ajayi could possibly put up 2000 yards this season. Drake needs to come into camp work hard, keep refining his skill and I'm telling you he'll do some damage. Let's not forget Damien Williams, although he doesn't get much love, a great change of pace back for the Aayi and Drake, quick, shifty and great hands out of the backfield. If these three guys put it all together this year, no doubt we could possibly lead the league in rushing.
    Finally the Oline has to play at least decent........well that's another story.
     
  17. Digital

    Digital Starter

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    IMHO, no.

    It would have to be a perfect storm of events to even put us in the top 3 I think. It would require our OL coalescing into a dominant run group, which seems unlikely. To get that, we would need James to play consistently well, Pouncey to be consistently healthy, Asiata to be an instant success, and Larsen to win the RG job rather than the LG job. Then, they'd have to come together as a group early.

    It would also take Ajayi being healthy, and the Dolphins having more than a handful of games where we grind and pound teams into submission. Given Tannehill's success, the blossoming of Stills and signals of blossoming for Parker to join Landry, I don't see us running enough to make it work. We added Julius Thomas to stretch the field ... let's see how that works. But, given his injury history and Fasano's run blocking prowess, it might actually help.

    Then we'd need some chunk yardage from the periphery backs like Drake and possibly Grant.

    I'm looking forward to an improved run game through getting more snaps this year. But it seems like quite a stretch to get to the level the OP is suggesting. I hope the OP is right though. We have the runner in Ajayi, and a balanced offense looks likely this year, so there is hope.
     
  18. foozool13

    foozool13 #12 #13 #23 #29 #54 #99 Donator

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    Pouncey is the key.
     
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  19. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    All good points. The defense needs to improve as well and give Miami a chance to run more plays. A lot does need to go right to be top 5.
     
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  20. biggrouper

    biggrouper Scout Team

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    Don't think leading the league in a single stat is as important as being top 10 in many.
     
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  21. Beelac8

    Beelac8 Member

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    I think this honestly comes down to pouncey if he's going to be healthy was a lot of the reason why those like stretch plays Broke for ajayi during the pitt and buffalo games.
     
  22. hoops

    hoops exited stage left

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    Cowboys and titans
     
  23. Anvil35

    Anvil35 Leave Users Titles Alone!! Finheaven VIP Donator

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    I dont care about leading the league in any category...other than wins!
     
  24. claytonduper

    claytonduper Starter

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    Additional thoughts on the running game:
    • Anthony Fasano may be a bigger boast to our running game than our guards.
    • We need that short yardage high percentage conversion on 3rd and 4th downs.
    • We need to be able to pound the rock in the 4th quarter to control the game/clock
     
  25. tay0365

    tay0365 FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP Donator

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    There is a chance we could be, but odds are at best we will just be a top 10 running team.

    1. Though Adam knows Ajayi is a big part of this offense and will run him plenty, at the end of the day, his offense is a very aggressive passing (I expect to still pass a little more then run...probably 55/45 or 60/40).

    2. Defense will have no choice but try to stop the run, even if it means cheating up a bit. Getting beaten by the run is far worse then by the pass. So Tannehill will get plenty of chances to pass the ball, and will decrease the chance by Ajayi and the other RBs.

    3. With the type of receivers Miami has, then add some talent at TE, and finally not forget that the RBs can also catch the ball well out of the backfield, Miami will have too many mismatches in the pass-game to just mostly grind it out like other running teams.

    Though I don't think the RBs will get the ball as much as they would need to to lead the league on the ground, I do still think they will be effective enough where they will be atop ten or even top five, with maybe the best yards per attempt stat in the NFL.
     
  26. datruth55

    datruth55 Starter

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    Fasano will help, however, once we lose Pouncey we're done. Last year with Pouncey in the lineup Ajayi averaged over 6 ypc...when Pouncey was hurt it was around 3 - 3.5 ypc. Unfortunately the interior of the O-line isn't good enough to survive without Pouncey in the lineup and I don't expect Pouncey to play 16+ this year.
     
  27. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Converting the short-yardage plays, at a better than NFL average, is the true test of how good a running game really is. That is my concern with Miami as well. If the team can improve in that regard, it will show up big in the win/loss column.
     
  28. phish

    phish Well-Known Member

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    I don't my Tanny running on 3rd and 4 or a busted play but I wouldn't call too many designed an run plays. Although I do think they should have Tanny bootleg to both sides as he is pretty accurate on the run.
     

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