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Dolphins will run and run well vs. New Orleans

We've talked ad nauseum the past week about ways the Dolphins can defeat the Saints, and one idea is to keep the ball away from quarterback Drew Brees and a New Orleans offense that is, statistically the best in the NFL.

So, of course, everyone is suggesting the Dolphins should just run the ball. It is, after all, what the Dolphins do best, as their No. 1 ranking confirms, and it's a great way to keep the ball for extended periods.

The critical thinker, however, might look at the Saints defense and counter they are No. 5 in the NFL against the run. So, on the surface, running the ball against the Saints seems as good a strategy as running into a concrete wall.

But since we're "In Depth," as the blog's title suggests we go deeper to find truth. And this is truth: The statistics that paint the Saints as a great run-stopping team exaggerate. Those statistics are based on total yards per game.

And it stands to reason if the Saints are taking huge leads on teams, those teams abandon the run and pass to make up the deficit.

"What we're looking at here is a skewed amount of statistics, though," Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning said Thursday. "We're not going to have very much running against New Orleans when they're ahead by 20 points in the middle of the second quarter. You're not seeing many teams running. They're not going to be running it, they're going to be throwing it, just like the Giants did. You're trying to get back so you don't have as much run."

So what do you do, Dan?

"You go back and look at what have people have done in the first quarter when it was tied," Henning said. "[What happened] when it was 7-7 or 0-0? Did they run the ball decently? You have to look at those stats and see if they stopped the run under those conditions?"

Ah, I love homework.

In looking at the stats under those conditions, you should be encouraged if you are a Dolphins fan, because the Saints have proven to be less than stellar. The statistics in those situation not only suggest the Dolphins will run the be well against New Orleans but, indeed, kick the ever lovin' snot out of the New Orleans defense while running the football.

First, throw out the Saints victory over Detroit. The Lions are not good and New Orleans took a 14-0 lead en route to a 45-27 victory. That game was practically over in the first quarter.

The next week the Saints yielded only 3.6 yards per carry against Philadelphia. But before the game got out of hand, up until the point the Eagles were trailing 17-10, Philadelphia rushed nine times for 59 yards. That's a a 6.5 yard per carry average while the game was still close and before Philly abandoned the run.

The next week the Saints faced a Buffalo team that stayed close for quite a while. And the Bills, a good but not great running team, ran the ball well during that time. Buffalo rushed 19 times for 79 yards, which works out to a 4.1 yard per rush average.

The following week the Jets averaged a very good 4.9 yards per carry.

Last week against, the Giants averaged 4.4 yards per rush during the game. But while the game was still in doubt, up to the point it was 27-10, the Giants had gained 62 rushing yards on 11 carries. That's a 5.6-yard per rush average.

But here is the reeealllly interesting thing that jumped out at me. The Saints have faced a Wildcat type of run play six times this year. They have yielded 49 yards on those plays. That's an 8.2-yard per play average yield against Wildcat plays

Of course, none of this will make Gibril Wilson tackle better nor will it sack Drew Brees.

But it suggests the Dolphins will absolutely, positively move the ball on the ground against the New Orleans defense. And they will be able to keep Brees on the sideline where he can do no damage.


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well reggie as you cant see that this si a DOLPHINS blog what u expect us to come out and say we lose got to be out of you mind


After the Dolphins ram it down your Saints throats your run D that is ranked 4th now will be in the bottom half of the league, somewhere between 20th and 26th. lol Dooms day reggie and Saints fans

Come on guys the saints are a seriously good team. And brees probably will want to get revenge. I write this one off, we'll get the pats next week.


You're right, our D isn't the best in the league, but they are good enough. They have 2 games for the Saints already...without a single touchdown pass from Brees.

Don't be too surpised if they shut your wildcat O down...well, ok maybe slow them down.

If the Dolphins do as you guys hope, hang on to the ball and take their time scoring....They will surely lose. Because Brees and this O wont miss a beat scoring aginst your defense.

poor reggie every couple years before week 8 the saints are the team to beat and who dat right? well this weekend is yet another chapter in that same old story the decline starts sunday and who dat is the miami dolphins enjoy watching the playoffs again.

I saw the Playbook show on NFL net w/ Brian Baldinger, Sterling Sharpe & Joe Theismann, and all three said the Saints would win easily. They said this after breaking downhours of tape, unlike us who are just fans. They are experts. They bummed me out. We are doomed.

dont put too much stock in what those so called experts say they are wrong just as much as we are baldinger and sharpe hahaha they picked the patriots to beat the giants by 2 touchdowns in the super bowl a couple years ago

saints 27

fish 6

Free Pussie,

Not that I have your attentions, listen up carefully.

Barring an unusually HUMONGOUS return game by our special teams. Or, Saints practice "ThanksGiving" unusually early.


Can he do it, you be the judge: Last 2 Starts

Mia 38 Buff 10
Mia 31 NYJ 27

That's 69pts, all offensive. That equates to 34.5 ppg.

So yes I believe Henne can do well in a shootout and late in the 2nd half when we need to slow it down then we revert primarily to the time consuming smashmouth run game.

Its already proven early ball control plan against Saints doesnt work and our pass D isnt nearly good enough to allow it to be successful early. We would probably be down a minimum of 17pts by halftime.

in 10 days sanchez will eat your players alive .
jets 67
fish 2

saint wtf are you talking about???

and in 11 days you will still be a dork

Saint isnt a saint he's a jettie poser. LOL

anyway has anyone but me noticed how gibril wilson always wants to tackle high??? i've watched him make some tackles and he never goes low, its so stupid because he rides the player for another 5 yards everytime he makes a tackle...i hate the way gibril plays, he is a pussy

Dying breed , just because you have the # 1 rushing attack , you think teams are going to lay down and give up on the run ? LOL ! You still have to prove it on the field . C'mon now ! Miami still has to prove in can run on that particular team on that particular day. The saints are #4 in the league and miami still has to prove it can run and run some more , on the saints on sunday for the play action to work. Also by your accounts the saints go up early in games , so if they go up early , you think miami is going to abandon the Run ? i think not ! Miami must run the ball . if not . they're done. you're putting to much on henne , who's just in his 3rd start.

Damn I hate the evil empire.Just thought I'd lighten the mmood.


Good Luck and I can't wait to read your posts after the game. I want to see if you guys will be more shocked than the 3 NY teams we kicked.


Yea, im sure u'll be flyin in here to gloat if they win...and like all other fans, im sure u'll bring excuses If they should lose,or dissapear altogether.


You have me all wrong. Im just saying Saints expecting run early. So to counter, use play action and hit recievers for chunk yardage.

Basically instead of long time consuming drives early have td scoring drives of 6 min or less. For example, we eat up 8mins of a quarter to score 7pts. Saints can 14pts in 5.5-6min.

Every single drive could result in a td with long time consuming drives, however saints could still double our scoring output using the same amount of time.

So IMO, to get a lead or keep it close in the first half we scoring drives of 6mins or less. 8min time consuming drives mean nothing if they comeback to score in 4min or less, which is entirely possible against our very porous secondary.

Henne has to be our first half key to victory like it or not. But the good news is under Henne's first two starts we avg 34.5ppg.

I can almost guarrantee you thats what the game plan will be. Just you wait and see.

This will be no upset......We will win. As we should...We are the better team. The Aint's are a paper tiger.


exactly how is henne going to light it up against the saints D with recievers like GINN,BESS,hartline, AND CAMARILLO, THEY aren't exactly gamebreakers here. Henne's been solid no doubt, but asking him to try and make big throws to AVERAGE at best recievers is foolish, Dolphins need to stick to the Gamplan that's worked over the last two games. Run the football with your two best players that u have on offense and create turnovers on Defense,that by far is a better stratedgy then getting into a shootout that I don't think we are good enuff to win!!!

The saints are the NY Jets South. Actually, that is being kind to the Taint's they have a bigger Fail history than the Jet's, and that is hard to do. LOL.

Come on guys the saints are a seriously good team. And brees probably will want to get revenge. I write this one off, we'll get the pats next week.

Posted by: Richard3000 | October 22, 2009 at 08:59 PM

Check your schedule Numb Nuts.

24-10 Miami.

Still tryin to hitem out of the park shag?

Can the phin fans please stop with the Heat issues the Saints may have. New Orleans is 95 degrees and 100% humidity in July and August and September. The Saints training camp is at their facility and they practice in the Heat daily......so enough with the Heat. The Saints are probably more prepared than us for the weather. We stop Brees we win but that will be nearly impossible. You blitz he gets rid of it and if you sit back in zone he will pick us apart. This is a tough one and we should all prepare for other games down the road to talk about.

Still you guys dont understand. Let me put in a way hopefully you do. Henne needs about 30 attempts, complete 20, while averaging right at 15 yds per reception and 3tds.

With those numbers and 150yds rushing I love our chances. Without an effective pass game we can rush for 200yds and still lose by 2tds.

For all of you who dont believe we can effectively throw against the Saints, why dont we end all the speculation and just conceed the game now. Because we aint gonna when the game just running the ball.

24-10 Miami


If the fins are running for 200+ yrds in this game sunday, we will not be losing by 2 tds,i can assure u that. Henne was only effective against the jets becuz they didn't know what to expect from him. The saints, i kid u not will be studing up on this kid alot this week, and i promise u this if we start to try and become something we're not as of right now, and that's a PASSING team, WELL u may be seeing a repeat performance when the jets got all tall and mighty against the Bills and Mark Sanchez ended up looking like the rookie he IS.
Like it or not it comes down to our defense having to make a play or two in stopping Drew Brees and that saints offense!!!

Our safeties have yet to even slow a high calibre tightend this season. I expect much of the same from Shockey. They are also very good from the slot to #1 reciever.

Because of the expected inability of our safety to handle Shockey our corners will be on islands all game long. Even if we can win some of those battles the ones we lose will hurt the most.

Giants have the #1 pass defense in the league and they were shredded. Be prepared, Breeze will throw seemingly at will. A conservative offensive game plan is advantage Saints. Henne will have to grow up very quickly come Sunday.

If we stay within 7pts by early 4th qtr, then and only then will ball control become our best ally. But to stay within 7pts of the Saints will undoubtedly require being able to air it out a little prior to the 4th qtr.

Please dont confuse my post with abandoning the run. Im just saying early on we may be better off to feature the pass, then in the 4th qtr feature the run when we have the game very close.

NJ you apologize to carlito now dammmmmit

If I were offensive coordinator for Fins, I would have them working on no huddle, shotgun, and qb roll outs. Maybe flea flickers too. Also having White actually complete a pass out of the wildcat package to Ginn is something I would have them work on.

I understand where ur coming from with this, and hey, i love to see henne have success again sunday, but looking at what MIAMIS been the last five weeks in the season as far as OFFENSIVE gameplanning,and coupled that with the fact that they didn't make a move for another deep threat for henne b4 the trade deadline,it just tells me that their willing to live and die with running the football with ronnie brown and ricky williams.I just don't see them altering their gamplan from passing the ball 30-35 times as oppossed to running the ball 80% of the time.

34-31 Miami

Dying breed , WHAT ? Are you kidding me ! LOL ! What you're basically saying is to get into a SHOOTOUT ! with NO . if miami scores fast , No will score just as fast and put up more points. Look at indy . they scored 27 points in less that 15 minutes . They would've scored 50 points if they had the ball longer , which is what you saying about the NO game. You have way to much faith is miami's pedestrian passing game with a qb playing in his 3rd start. With your plan . miami has no chance. i'm glad you're not the coach or coordinators of the dolphins. : )

Actually Im looking for somwhere around a 50/50 to 55/45 percent mix. There does come a time when gameplans are in need of alterations. Saints appear to be one of those teams.

You allow them to get large leads then you have to abandon run anyway. While forcing it to become more difficult to pass because thier rusher can now pin back the ears and come after your guy.

If we run early and often and fail to score tds or even score at all, we will be in deep doo-doo come halftime or mid 3rd qtr. Bank on it.

screw you nj


For some reason it seems your only reading half of my posts. Or someones impersonating you because of all people here I thought you football knowledgeble enough to understand. But you will probably see just what Im talking about from Dan Henning Sunday night.

Phinatic1, I hope you're still available to chat Sunday night after we kick your pathetic franshise's teeth in.

Dying breed , you giants example proves my point. The giants had a top pass defense in the league and got shredded , what will happen to ours if you don't keep the No offense off the field with a strong running game and time consuming drives . i guarantee miami will NOT you your game plan. wait and see . They'd be fools if the did . Oh yeah and they would lose.

well, thats basically what it comes down to, score TOUCHDOWNS...I've been saying that all along, teams that want to win settle for td's, teams that settle for FG's look for new offensive coordinators in the off-season.

Phinatic 1 . i agree ! Miami MUST score td's and not fg's . Miami MUST not play consevative when it comes to 3rd and 6 and run up the middle and settle for FG'S ( i.e the indy game )

Phinatic1, I hope you're still available to chat Sunday night after we kick your pathetic franshise's teeth in.

Posted by: Genothefox | October 22, 2009 at 11:46 PM

OKay buddy.....time for bed, make sure u take ur flinstone vitamins b4 go to school tommorrow.

Ya,you should be the coach DB cause ahuh you be da moost besdted tinker her

I love those vitamins


The Dolphins have the best running game in the business periode. And your Bloated up New Orleans rushing D is ranked fourth but by the time the Dolphins shove it down Orleans throats their gonna wish they never came to South Beach.
Jets have a better run D than you guys even without Jenkins. They Dolphins will improve their running game which by the way is the number one ranked runnin attack in the NFL at about 177 yards a game. Aganinst New Orleans we will put up over 200 yards on the ground. Its just what the Dolphins do and New Orleans wont stop it. Our Defense has a btter shot at slowing down Brees than your D does at slowing the Dolphins run game.
You guys will be brought back down to earth and the Dolphins are just beginning to role.

Do they ever talk about the Dolphins on the NFL Netwk ? Seriously ...

Dolphins WILL rush for 150 plus yards mark my words,sauce the barber done said it.N.O. defense is SO overrated...

Great analysis Mando. Thank you. We are grasping at any hope we can find, after listening to the NFL Network let us know that the Dolphins have no chance. I for one, believe the Dolphins, if they stay turnover and mistake free, can kick some Saint butt!!

Armando wants to work the stats to his favor....the fact that teams abandon the run due to getting behind by a lot is just like the fins being #1 in rushing. You get a lot of rushing yards when you don't pass much. See how I did that?
As long as the SAINTS get to Miami, it should be a long day for the fins. But we play the games cause anything can happen.

Mondo you are finally writing like a reporter who works with the dolphins instead of against them. Thanks great blog


Personally I think we're gonna get stomp this weekend, but I hope your are right. I love my team, but their not elite yet.

delete my posts all you want Jeffrey, Inimounts and NYSCOTT still don't deserve to call themselves dolphin fans.

Our dbs need to practice attacking the ball more . If i was the db coach we would spend ev eryday this week throwing deep passes and practicing looking for the ball so they can actually make plays when the balls come..Seems like there robots that have been trained to follow the receiver and when he catches the ball tackle him.. Good corners are looking for that ball and make plays on the ball. Are group seems like they just chase receivers around and lack Ball hawk skills and never really know when the ball is heading there way so they have a chance to make picks.. Watch the big play highlights against these guys and you can see it.. They need that to beat the saints and there will be lots of chances to make ints if they have some ball location awareness .. Thats what i would be working on with this group.. Because they lack it..

this is what the Phins need to do the first offensive play they have...

Line up in the WildCat with Ginn and Ricky on the left, Fasano and Henne on the right, Ronnie taking the snap. Ronnie hands off to Ricky then Ronnie and Ginn shoot up the field. Fasano stays in to block, Henne comes on the end around and recieves the pitch from Ricky, who will deliver a monster block to anyone in persuit of Henne. Henne then launches the ball 50+ yards on the fly to Ginn who will burn Sharper and whoever else by 3 steps, just like he did Revis and the other two goobers on the jets.

After that the saints wont know how to defend. So the Phins can come in the next series and run down their throats.


We would have beat the colts if crowder had made just one friggin play. We can beat the saints but crowder and wilson need to produce a friggin turnover. No turnovers equals trade bait. Earn ur money chumps.

It's amazing to me how this game is predicted. The fact is nobody really knows what will happen on Sunday. I would expect Miami to try to get a quick score or two, but football is a chess match and I am certain the Saints will be prepared for this. This game to me comes down to the same basics that every NFL game comes down to. 1. No mistakes. 2. Control the LOS. 3. Pressure the opposing offense. 4. Make the proper in game adjustments. Which ever team is successful in these 4 areas will win. I think with it's passing game New Orleans has a slight advantage, but with Miami at home...and with a solid running game, you never know.

Hey Big Dog,
Something that I have not heard anyone address that may very well be a key to the outcome of this game is that Sean Payton used to be Bill Parcell's Offensive Coordinator in Dallas and once he left Tony Sparano became the Offensive Coordinator and was also the offensive line coach there under Payton. Do you think if anyone knows how the New Orleans offense ticks it would be Parcells / Sparano? I'm sure there are some wrinkles that weren't in the Dallas offense but I think this is a definite advantage for the Dolphins. Any thoughts on this?

nice eff-ing work on the run stats Mando! that is a much needed boost of good news/info for the fans to hear.

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