The Dolphins win! The Dolphins win... the Dolphins win?
That was the reaction of many Miami Dolphins fans this week, as the team finally put its first ‘W’ on the board by taking down Adam Gase and the New York Jets. The results left some fans feeling giddy, some downright despondent, but most with mixed feelings. Sure, it was wonderful to win. Yes, it was absolutely fantastic to see the jubilation on head coach Brian Flores’ face and the faces of so many players. However, one has to be concerned about Miami’s draft stock if the team is gunning for a top tier quarterback in next year’s draft, right?
Wherever you fall in said debate, one thing’s for sure: you’re excited to see what comes of the Dolphins throughout the rest of the season. That means you’re looking towards this week’s opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, and the team’s workhorse running back.
Each week of the 2019 season, I am highlighting one player on the team squaring off with the Miami Dolphins that ‘phins fans should be watching out for. This week, that player is Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack.
Do you have a player recommendation for next week’s spotlight? Let me know on Twitter @HierJustin.
Fact Check: Marlon Mack
Experience: 3rd season
Height/Weight: 6’0”, 210 lbs
College: South Florida
Since taking over as the Colts early-down ball carrier after the departure of the legendary Frank Gore, Mack has been a source of consistency and efficiency in the Indianapolis running game. In 20 games played over the past two seasons, Mack has averaged a healthy 4.5 yards per carry. This season, he’s totaled 679 yards on the ground through the season’s halfway mark and has found the end zone three times. He’s also tacked on 11 receptions for an additional 68 yards.
Mack’s best attributes are found in his ground-and-pound running style. He’s tough, rugged, and difficult to bring down upon first contact. Indianapolis’ stellar offensive line, especially on the interior, suits Mack’s running style well, and though the third-year runner is unlikely to beat you through the air similarly to the likes of Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara, he’s not an opponent to be taken lightly.
To keep Mack from running wild, the Dolphins will need to control the Colts at the point of the tack (i.e. in the trenches). That means it’ll be up to Davon Godchaux rookie Christian Wilkins to get push on the interior of the line, while run-stuffer extraordinaire Raekwon McMillan are the rest of Miami’s linebackers will need to do an efficient job at plugging leftover holes. With starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett questionable to suit up, the Dolphins will likely put an extra emphasis on stopping the run while hoping the team’s patchwork secondary can hold journeyman Brian Hoyer (or a hobbled Brissett) at bay.