Tell me, what is going on with Lamar Miller?
Lamar Miller rushed the ball 10 times on Sunday for 14 yards. After Miller only managed to rush for 53 yards on 13 carries in the Dolphins Week 1 victory over Washington, this poor performance on Sunday has caused many to be concerned.
However, how much of this run deficiency has to do with Miller, and how much of it has to do with the offensive line?
Since Miller only carried the ball 10 times on Sunday, I thought we could break down each one of his carries.
Let’s take a look and see how much was Lamar Miller and how much was his offensive line.
1. (Score: 0-7) 2nd and 10 – 8:03 1st
- The Dolphins line up in 11 personnel and motion in Jordan Cameron pre-snap.
- Roy Miller blows Mike Pouncey off of the ball and pushes him into the backfield.
- Lamar Miller may have been able to hit the hole harder, but there wasn’t much that he could do with the gaps that were given to him as Tyson Alualu breaks free from his defender.
2 . (Score: 3-10) 2nd and 8 – 2:43 1st
- Defense makes a good play and collectively holds the edge on a sweep play.
3. (Score: 3-10) 1st and 10 – 14:44 2nd
- If he bounces it to the backside of the zone, he only has Demetrius McCray to beat; fine run generally.
- The left defensive end and the defensive tackle lined up as a 1-technique make a nice play to close the hole on the front side of the play.
4. (Score: 6-17) 1st and 10 – 4:18 2nd
- Miller could have bounced the ball outside after Branden Albert makes a nice block on Sergio Brown.
5. (Score: 6-17) 1st and 10 – 2:40 2nd
- Miller could have turned this into a great run if he could have somehow eluded Telvin Smith, but, other than that, this was a solid run.
6. (Score: 6-17) 2nd and 3 – 2:00 2nd
- Dolphins line up in 22 personel, and motion Jake Stoneburner to the strong side of the play.
- Tyson Alualu pushes left guard Dallas Thomas into the backfield and inhibits his ability to get to the second level and block Paul Posluszny, who shoots into the backfield to blow up the play.
7. (Score: 13-20) 1st and goal – 11:11 3rd
- This is probably Miller’s worst run of the day; there is a wide open cutback to the backside of the play where Stoneburner has Posluszny sealed off, and there are two wide receivers on two defensive backs to set up blocks.
8. (Score: 20-20) 1st and 10 – 6:30 3rd
- As Stoneburner motions into the formation, Josh Evans moves into the box.
- Miller is supposed to follow Stoneburner through the A gap and misses his lane that appears to be open.
9. (Score: 20-20) 2nd and 10 – 5:41 3rd
- Roy Miller bullies rookie right guard Jamil Douglas off the ball, while Telvin Smith slips past Ja’Wuan James, which, in concert, makes Miller reverse his field; poor execution by the offensive line.
10. (Score: 20-20) 2nd and 4 – 1:23 3rd
- Mike Bennett makes a nice play out of the 3-technique against fellow rookie Jamil Douglas, which causes Miller to reverse his course right into the arms of Telvin Smith.
The Dolphins go completely away from the run in the 4th quarter, as they run the ball two times the rest of the day—both of which went to Damien Williams—after Miller’s last carry at the end of the 3rd quarter.
On the day, the Dolphins ran the ball 16 times and had 44 pass attempts; Ryan Tannehill was great on his part (30 for 44 (68%), 359 yards, and 2 touchdowns), while the offensive line and Lamar Miller’s poor performance required Bill Lazor to switch to a pass-heavy approach as the Dolphins climbed back into the game.
While I’m confident that the Miller will play better as the season goes on (10carries is a small sample to judge any player by), I’m not as confident about the offensive line. Pro Football Focus graded the Dolphins as the 27th best run blocking team in 2014, and Sunday’s performance doesn’t make me think that we should expect much of a change.
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