MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Running back Daniel Thomas #33 of the Miami Dolphins runs against the Houston Texans at Sun Life Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Texans defeated the Dolphins 23-13. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
I'd like to welcome Samsung on board as the sponsor of our weekly Game Balls posting.
For those of you who were here last season, you know I did game balls in an unusual way. My method was to give our 5 game balls, with each ranging from 5 yards down to 1 yard. There was also a sack, which could range from -1 to -5 yards. The idea was, as players built up yardage over the season, it would show us who the best Miami Dolphins player for 2010 was.
But, this year, I am going to go back to the more conventional, one game ball type of posting.
And, it's tough this week. It really is. Coming off the back-to-back losses, it's difficult to jump up and down and say "This guy was great!" Don't get me wrong, I think there was a lot better play than you, me, and everyone else gives the Dolphins credit. But, that doesn't make this any easier.
As I tried to come up with a name, only one player routinely jumped into the front of my mind. When I looked through the stats, only one name seemed right.
So, for the Week 2 Miami Dolphins Game Ball:
Running back, Daniel Thomas.
Thomas carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards. His longest run was 14-yards and he averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Thomas also caught 1 pass for 10 yards.
Thomas was decisive on Sunday, making one cut and running downhill. He wasn't afraid of contact, and tried to run over people. During the preseason, Thomas appeared to hesitate when hitting the hole. Not on Sunday.
Thomas placed himself in second position of all time rushing yards for the Dolphins by a rookie making his debut. Thomas' 5.9 yards per carry average is the new Dolphins' record for a rookie making his debut. It was also the first 100-yard rushing performance by a Miami running back since Ricky Williams and for 103 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars in December 2009.
After a week in which he was inactive, Thomas came back to the team and looked good. Really good. Hopefully, this is a kick-start to Miami's running game.