Sherman against the Ravens said he got away from the run because the defense "didn't give us anything". As a Dolphin fan I took that as a sign of giving up or quitting on the team. This week we ran well against the Bills but yet again in the 4th quarter Sherman abandoned the run.
I must say that I wasn't surprised because we had runs of 32 & 12 yards early in the 2nd quarter by Miller and Wallace but did not run again on that drive except Tannehill up the middle.
In my first Run Sherman post I analyzed several plays and offered fixes. To my surprise Sherman righted the ship somewhat. By that I mean, he reduced the zone blocking to a series of plays opting more in favor of the man blocking scheme. This optimized the strengths of our O-line, specifically Jerry because most of the nice gains in the run game came from up the middle and to the right side of the line.
This slight alteration, as I predicted, allowed the line to be more aggressive which in turn resulted in bigger gains in the run game. This led to zero sacks for three quarters until it was abandoned altogether in the 4th quarter.
So now we must ask why didn't we come out with a win with all of the improvements in O-line play and the run game? Let's take a look.
First I must admit that I feel as though Sherman quit on us again. We had 25 rush attempts but only 2 runs on 3rd down versus 15 on 1st down, this lends to a predictable pattern. Next we ran the ball only 3 times with less than 5 minutes left in any quarter which also lends to predictability. Furthermore Miami's two sacks both came on 2nd & 8, which basically ended both drives and possible points off the board.
Finally in the 4th quarter Miami had the ball on their own 20 with a 1 point lead and 14:07 on the clock. We had 3 pass attempts and punted at 13:30 on the clock. We only gained 7 yards and burned 47 secs; 47 seconds with a running game that looked good on this day. Say it ain't so!!!
Usually as an OC, one would do THIS to set up THAT. I continue to be astonished how Sherman doesn't use the run to set up the pass or visa versa. Most OCs take what runs have worked prior and hit the defense with a pass out of the same formation and action as that good run. However Sherman plays seems oh so damn random as though he is picking them out of a hat. That's not coordinating, that's play calling; BIG difference.
Miami has greatly improved the receiving core but it must now be absolutely clear to this coaching regime that we must not only improve the run but utilize that improvement.
Run, Sherman Run!!!