Let's start out by saying that Sunday was a good day for the Dolphins.
Winning is much better than losing anytime, anywhere, anyhow. And, as I wrote in my column for The Herald, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars may not feel like an awesome accomplishment but it was important for Miami because it avoided making today feel like Armaggedon.
Having said that, I saw a couple of things Sunday that raised questions about the entire season:
1. Have the Dolphins maximized Reggie Bush?
Bush rushed 21 times for 104 yards. It marked the first time he went over 100 yards in a game since Sept. 16. And that was also the last time he got the ball 20 times or more in a game. Coincidence?
I don't think so. I think that in the desire to keep Bush healthy and spread the wealth, the Dolphins have made their running game poorer by not using their best weapon enough. At least that's what the statistics say.
The only reason Bush got more work Sunday is because Daniel Thomas suffered a knee injury on his first and only carry of the day. (More on that in a sec.).
So it was Bush that got opportunity after opportunity, which is something he loves. I asked him if he rather tote the ball 20-plus times per game or if he prefers the 12-14 times per game the Dolphins like to limit him to.
“That’s an easy question; 20 and up," he said. "You know what, obviously every game and every scenario is different. Sometimes you are going to throw the ball a little more and sometimes we’re playing from behind so you have to get a quick score. This is a game where I think we controlled the game for the most part, so we were able to kind of dictate what we wanted to do on offense, not coming from behind like we have been in the past throwing a lot.”
Yeah, Bush tried to cover with the idea that sometimes he doesn't get the ball because the Dolphins are trying to catch up and aren't running. But what about the times they simply are sitting him in favor of, well, inferior players?
Let's face it, Bush is better with more carries. Why?
"Why is more better? Because I am a running back, I don’t know," he said. "Running backs always want the ball more. I’m a playmaker and I like having the ball in my hands. I feel like the more touches I get, the more chances I have to make good plays out there.”
Now, about Thomas. You all know how I feel about him.
I simply don't think he's been very good. I don't see nearly the potential in him the Dolphins see. He's just a guy, in my opinion.
And Sunday offered another reason why I believe that:
2. Thomas has durability issues.
He's gotten knocked out of three games this year with injuries. He suffered a couple of concussions and yesterday went out with the knee injury. His status for Sunday is questionable at best.
Well, to me, durability is a critical factor on which players are judged. Some guys are simply more injury prone than others. And while Thomas is not what I would call injury-prone at this stage, there is no denying he's missed more time than any other running back on the roster because of injury.
That is something the Dolphins must consider for next year if they are going to pass the mantle of the RB position to Thomas and Lamar Miller and let Bush walk in free agency.