Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
If you’re reading the headline and thinking that it’s the Green Bay Packers with one of the top rushing attacks and the Miami Dolphins with a bad run defense, you’re still living in 2013.
That’s because in 2014, the Dolphins are ranked fifth in the league in rushing and the Packers are ranked dead last, allowing 163 yards per game. That’s why the Dolphins will need to focus on running the ball on Sunday.
“I think our backs have run the ball hard, number one. I think our line has gotten better and is giving them an opportunity to get to the line of scrimmage. We haven’t had a ton of negative yardage runs,” Joe Philbin said. “That’s been a big plus and we’ve been able to kind of pop through there, and get a couple of explosive runs at the same time. I think Lamar Miller’s emerged. Obviously, (Knowshon) Moreno really has only played in one game. He had a positive game when he played. Daniel Thomas and Damien Williams have contributed well. So I think it’s been an overall good effort by the backs and I think our perimeter blocking has improved. Like anything else, it takes more than one guy. I don’t think it’s been one person. I think it’s been a collective effort.”
Although Green Bay is ranked last in the league, Philbin said they are much better than that and won’t put too much stock into what the numbers say. Instead, he will look at the film and realize the type of athletes they have on their defensive line and the rest of their defense.
“I think they definitely are playing better than the numbers suggest, especially as of late. You look at what they’ve done the last couple of weeks from a defensive standpoint and they’re doing great job as always taking the ball away. You just don’t see on the film guys getting blown off the ball and knocked off the football a whole lot. I think they’re tackling better. I think their secondary is tackling better as of late. As you know, Dom (Capers) does as good of a job as there is in football preparing a defense for a game. I don’t think the piece of paper, they’re a much better football team than some of their stats indicate.”
Even with Philbin saying all of that, it’s clear that the Dolphins need to come out running the ball and continue to wear down the Packers. If they do that and stay committed, they have a much better chance of winning.