Miami Dolphins

Was Ajayi trade an addition by subtraction? Drake’s big day provides a big data point

Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake on his big game

Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins RB talks to the media about his first 100 yard game as they defeat the Denver Broncos.
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Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins RB talks to the media about his first 100 yard game as they defeat the Denver Broncos.

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The Dolphins beat the Broncos, 35-9, at Hard Rock Stadium, in a game that featured 2 pick-6's, 2 safeties, and some bad blood.

Kenyan Drake didn’t just have the biggest game of his NFL career Sunday.

He might have had the heaviest workload of his life.

Drake was a star in the Dolphins’ blowout win over the Broncos. His 42-yard third-quarter touchdown dash put the game away.

But he wasn’t a one-run wonder. Drake finished with career highs in yards (120) and carries (23).

“I think one time in high school I ran the ball like 25 times,” said Drake, Miami’s second-year running back. “Other than that, I don't think I have ever ran the ball that much in my life.”

But you know what they say about desperate times and measures. Drake was the last man standing of Miami’s three-headed ground attack from earlier in the season. Damien Williams missed the game with a separated shoulder.

And Jay Ajayi has been a Philadelphia Eagle for weeks now. The Dolphins traded him days after their 40-0 loss to Baltimore, to much caterwauling — locally and nationally.

Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins WR, is glad the team got the win but is unhappy with his performance.

But in the five games since, the Dolphins have averaged 23.4 points, and might have unearthed a player in Drake.

He has already proven that he can bust the long run, but on Sunday he showed he can handle the workload of a featured back, too.

“I feel like I'm built for this,” Drake said. “At the end of the day, I've put my body through [rigorous tests] through the offseason, during the season, practice. I try to finish every play 30, 40 yards down the field, so I can keep my wind.”

And this is no garbage unit Drake ran all over. Denver entered the game ranked fourth in run defense.

Xavien Howard, Miami Dolphins CB, talks to the media about his pick-six, all he saw was green grass in front of him. The Fins defeated the Denver Broncos at Hard Rock Stadium.

As for his touchdown, it was a thing of beauty. Denver safety Will Parks had a shot at him in the backfield, but whiffed. After that, Drake used his speed to outrun everyone else.

“The play was designed for the offensive line to double-team up to the linebackers,” Drake explained. “The safety did a great job filling in the C gap. That's my job, to make one person miss. I was able to do that, break a couple more tackles, and it was off to the races after that.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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