FanPost

Football Outsiders Regular Season Totals - Running Backs




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Week 5 is upon us, and when all is said and done, this will be a good week to take stock. In particular, I’m interested in the performance of our retooled offense.

But before the game, it’s worth looking closer at what we’ve gotten out of Lamar Miller, who we all anticipated to have a breakout year, after discarding progress-stopper Reggie Bush. (I’ll pause here while that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach goes away).

For that, I've visited Football Outsiders:

Link to Charts at Football Outsiders

We can see not only how our individual RB’s are doing, but how they’re being utilized, and what overall affect that’s having on the offense. This points toward what we can expect in the remainder of the year, barring any changes.

According to Football Outsiders, Lamar Miller is ranked almost exactly middle of the pack, out of 36 players who carried the ball at least 32 times:

Player

Team

DYAR

Rk

YAR

Rk

DVOA

Rk

VOA

Runs

Yards

L.Miller

MIA

25

17

35

16

7.1%

13

13.1%

43

196

But what does middle mean? How are the other teams with RB’s whose DYAR is in the 20’s, fairing? Are they doing so well in the running game, or overall as an offense, that it doesn’t matter? Well, let’s take a look at other teams with RB’s in the 20’s, which include the following four teams:

I suspect the last two, Houston and Seattle have more to the story, because of how strong their teams are. The first two teams are less of a surprise. And yet, all on this list gained more total offensive yards than Miami. In terms of just rushing yards, as you can see from the chart below, we’re on the bottom of that list as well.

Rushing

Rk

Team

G

Pts/G

TotPts

Att

Att/G

Yds

Avg

Yds/G

TD

Lng

1st

1st%

20+

40+

FUM

5

Seattle Seahawks

4

27.2

109

139

34.8

577

4.2

144.2

4

43

30

21.6

5

1

3

7

Houston Texans

4

22.5

90

114

28.5

537

4.7

134.2

1

60

26

22.8

2

1

1

11

New England Patriots

4

22.2

89

122

30.5

500

4.1

125.0

1

47T

20

16.4

6

2

3

12

New York Jets

4

17

68

125

31.2

492

3.9

123.0

2

27

22

17.6

2

0

3

24

Miami Dolphins

4

22.8

91

84

21.0

326

3.9

81.5

5

49

16

19.0

3

1

2

We can see Miami is not getting production out of our RB’s, not just Miller. Now let’s look at the situation with the other four running backs:

New York Jets, B. Powell (28 DYAR): Team Record 2-2. NFL Offensive ranking for yards per game: 12th. Ranking for just rushing yards, 12th. While their RB is in the 20’s DYAR, it’s closer to 30, and Powell racks up more yards than Lamar Miller. Powell also catches passes (30 DYAR), which makes him a duel threat. However, although the Jets are getting better production, it is not translating to points scored, as the Jets rank 28th.

New England Patriots, L. Blount (25 DYAR): Team Record 4-0. NFL Offensive ranking for yards per game: 11th. NFL Offensive ranking for most points scored: 21st. They seem to make up for Blount’s non-productivity but spreading the ball around, having RB’s catch the ball (i.e. Vereen), and utilize their TE’s better than Miami does. And, they have Tom Brady.

Houston Texans, A. Foster (21 DYAR): NFL Offensive ranking for yards per game: 5th. You can see from the list that Houston has another running back besides Foster, they have B. Tate, who is on the top of the chart (45 DYAR).

Seattle Seahawks, M. Lynch (20 DYAR): NFL Offensive ranking for yards per game: 13th. It may seem surprising to see Lynch on this list, but what they get out of Lynch, besides running, is pass-catching. Lynch is a dual threat, and has a 33 DYAR for RB’s who caught passes. (In comparison, Lamar Miller has a minus 25 DVR). Added to this, is the fact that they also have a running QB to get yards on the ground.

Conclusion:

Miami’s offense is not multi-dimensional enough to compensate for the middling production of Lamar Miller. But it could be correctable. We need to either get more production out of Miller, or strengthen other aspects of our game, such as involving Mike Wallace, or add a lot of short, safe passes to our game plan, which would effectively replace a 4, 5 yard run. As far as making Miller into a pass-catcher, that may not be an option in the short term as he doesn’t seem skilled enough for that.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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