What happened to the Dolphins running game?

Opponents Schemes – Opponents are now scheming against the Dolphins rushing attack. The Bengals and Rams both stacked the box, bringing their safety up (even in nickel packages) to stop the run.  Teams are daring Ryan Tannehill to beat them. Thankfully, Tannehill has been up to the task, since the Dolphins won their last 2 games. Mike Sherman said on Monday that opponents were bringing an extra run stuffer into the box ‘almost 100% of the time’, even in substitute packages (nickel and dime)

The problem is that the Dolphins have 6 or 7 guys lined up to block 8 defenders on running plays.  Jake Long and the boys are good, but they aren’t good enough to block 2 defenders at the same time.  The only way to keep opponents from stacking the box is to make them pay through the air. I think more playaction passes will help open things up. On good playaction plays, the defenders creep up to the line of scrimmage to stop the run, which opens up holes in the defensive backend.  The more success that Ryan Tannehill and the passing offense has, the better the Dolphins will be able to run the ball.

I think the Dolphins running game will get back on track, hopefully next week against the Jets. The Dolphins were outrushed 162 to 19 against the Rams but still managed to win the game. BUT, that’s not going to happen very often. I’m sure the Dolphins coaching staff will study ways to improve the rushing attack during the bye week.

Don’t forget to stop by later this week, as we have an exclusive interview with Jake Long’s wife, Jackie.  Jackie was nice enough to share some insights into what Jake is like off of the football field. 

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