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It doesn’t need to be great, but Miami’s rushing offense needs to be better

Is eight rushing attempts enough in to survive in January?

Houston Texans v Miami Dolphins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Miami finished Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers with just eight rushing attempts. Raheem Mostert was responsible for the game’s best run, but the 18-yard carry was called back due to a holding call.

Mostert finished with 30 yards on seven carries while teammate Jeff Wilson Jr. ran the ball just once, gaining three yards. Miami’s rushing attack averages four yards per carry and the team’s 22 rushing attempts per game ranks No. 30 in the league.

The Dolphins average roughly 24 rushing attempts in the six games since quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returned to the starting lineup. That number would rank 27th in the league and for some perspective, Chicago ranks first with 35 rushing attempts per game.

“It’s a shame that [Mostert and Wilson] didn’t get more opportunities to make plays,” coach Mike McDaniel said of the lack of rushing attempts against San Francisco. “So I look at that as 100 percent on me to find more ways to involve them in the game and if that means we’re not running the ball, that’s not an excuse.”

It’s important to keep in mind that, despite the team’s inability to run the football, Miami is a top-five offense that averages 380 yards per game. While the offense will continue to lean on the passing attack, a larger impact from the rushing attack can bolster the team’s ability to move the chains, and avoid situations like Sunday’s 0-7 performance on third down.