The Dolphins were somewhat surprised on Sunday when Tennessee's Chris Johnson did something that 22 previous starting running backs had failed to do: He gained over 100 yards in a game.
Johnson had 126 yards on 23 carries.
The Titans basically dominated the line of scrimmage against the Miami defense. And Johnson did his thing both outside the tackles and, shockingly, between the tackles.
So it stands to reason the Dolphins want to get back to their typical selves. They eagerly anticipate starting a new streak against opposing running backs.
The problem is the Buffalo Bills on Thursday will come with a similar run scheme as the Titans did. And C.J. Spiller is a similar back to Johnson.
“Very similar, and their schemes are somewhat similar in that they feature like the type running plays," defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. "They’re not the type of teams that line up and try to mash you off the ball. They try to get body on a body, get some movement and let those backs find the creases and use their athletic ability.
"They have speed unlike most guys in the league, both Johnson and Spiller, in that you practice against it, yet when you see it for the first time in a game it’s a little bit different. Sometimes it takes some getting used to the speed of the game so to speak, but we can’t waste any time getting used to it here this week. We have to be prepared to go out there and I think we’ll do a better job. We started working on it here this afternoon."
The Dolphins this week are stressing fundamentals. They have to break down. Have balance. Keep disciplined in their angles. And wrap up Spiller.
Otherwise he can leak out and use his speed. Otherwise it allows the Bills to become multi-dimensional on offense. Otherwise it promises another long day.