MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Miami Dolphins are a finesse team that will get punched in the mouth by a more physical opponent in the playoffs.
It was the big storyline to emerge from the Dolphins’ Week 7 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, when Nick Sirianni’s bunch imposed its will against Miami late in the game.
But as we discussed in our Week 13 PFN Miami Dolphins Podcast, that narrative probably needs revision.
Miami Dolphins Out-Physicaled the New York Jets
As opposing defenses have gone more and more to two-high safety looks against Miami in an effort to keep Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle in front of them, it’s created opportunities to better run the football.
The Dolphins, in Week 12, had one of their best ground games in some time, rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries against a stout New York Jets front.
And they did it with both speed and power.
Yes, the team rushing average (4.5) improved significantly when Raheem Mostert sprung loose for a 34-yard touchdown late in regulation. But don’t minimize the hard work done by Jeff Wilson Jr., who set season highs in carries (11) and yards (56). He put up a 5.1 yards-per-carry average in Week 12 despite no rush going for more than 14 yards.
“It’s speed to power,” said Dolphins fullback Alec Ingold. “You see Raheem Mostert doing sideline drill teach tape every single week, and he’s one of the fastest guys in the league. When you’re able to make that physical track meet happen, it’s important.
“It takes all 11 to have that physical presence, but when you’re going up against good defenses, and you have to have four, five, six-yard carries and string those out and stack them, that’s another place of improvement where you’re able to see the development throughout our offense. So if the big plays aren’t happening, you can still rely on those fundamentals and techniques.”
“You have guys everywhere, and these guys make tremendous, memorable, remarkable plays on the field,” he said. “It’s kind of hard to sometimes look down and see the nitty-gritty and the stuff that goes on under the surface of the whole ordeal, but to know that we have that and it’s in us and running hard and physical, that’s been my style. That’s been my way ever since I started playing football when I was five years old.
“That was kind of my father’s motto. You take no prisoners, and you go out there, and when you run, you try to take a man’s will. That’s always something that I’ve always tried to do and is something that has always been a separation to my game. To have the physical part, you’re definitely need it going to the stretch we’re going to and playing the teams we’re about to face. It’s definitely going to be something that’s needed.”
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