Dolphins running backs were plenty good enough in Miami’s first game A.J. — After Jay — with one big exception.
Kenyan Drake fumbled away the chance for the Dolphins to go up two scores and seize control of the game in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders.
And Drake, who had 15 touches in the Dolphins’ first game since trading Jay Ajayi, was despondent about it.
“I'm very disappointed in the fumble I had,” Drake said afterward. “... I need to make sure that I’m mindful of keeping it high and tight. They do a good job of ripping at the ball and it was a costly fumble because they went down and scored on the same possession. It was a however point swing so I obviously need to be mindful of that. I can’t let that happen.”
Drake, who finished with 104 all-purpose yards, was visibly bothered by the turnover, and several teammates, including quarterback Jay Cutler, came over to pick him up.
“We’re a team, we’re a family,” Drake said. “Everybody was very receptive to understanding that I was down at the moment. They were definitely trying to help me… uplift my spirits because we had another three quarters.”
Drake later ripped off a 42-yard run — the Dolphins’ longest of the season — and helped the Dolphins average 4.8 yards per carry.
Damien Williams split time with Drake, and while he did not do much on the ground, caught all six passes through his way for 47 yards and an impressive touchdown. Williams bounced off two Raiders who tried to tackle him simultaneously and dove into the end zone.
“It was just an effort play,” Williams said. “I’m just showing you who I am every day. I don’t quit. I don’t go out of bounds for nobody. It is an effort play. They gave up, I didn’t.”
The Dolphins made a conscious decision to throw the ball to their backs, targeting them a season-high 12 times Sunday.
Williams started for the first time in his four-year career, but found little reason to celebrate after Miami’s second straight loss.
“It's for sure frustrating just because this is another prime-time game that we didn't show up,” Williams said.