Lesson for the 2018 Dolphins: Get Kenyan Drake enough carries and good things will happen.
That was the case again Sunday — and the Dolphins probably wish they got him more involved than they did.
Drake had 53 yards on five first-quarter carries, and for a while it even looked like he might even go for 200 yards against the Bills like Jay Ajayi did twice in 2016.
But Drake got the rock just 11 times over the final 45 minutes, gaining 25 yards.
The Dolphins trailed by two scores for all but the second half’s final minute, so it makes sense they would go pass-happy. But considering Jay Cutler threw three second-half interceptions — including two on back-to-back possession to open the third quarter — a bit more balance would have helped. (Cutler threw the ball 49 times.)
“We started having negative plays; we were putting ourselves in third-and-long,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said. “That kind of caused us some problems there in the second quarter. We had some success early — really it was all on him. As far as the reason why were getting a lot of those yards, we were kind of losing some blocks and then bouncing them outside.”
That is Drake at his best, and he has been at his best for the better part of a month now.
Barring something crazy happening the last two weeks, Drake will finish as the team’s leading rusher. He has 512 yards on 106 carries this year (4.8 average), and 322 of those yards came in the last three weeks.
Drake also had his third rushing touchdown of the year Sunday; no other Dolphins has scored on the ground in 2017.
▪ Bills running back LeSean McCoy surpassed 10,000 career rushing yards Sunday, becoming just the 30th player in NFL history to do so.
“The linemen consistently tell me about it. ‘Let’s get 10K, 10K chase,” McCoy said. “There were times where I kind of forget about it, and they remind me. You know, they wanted it as bad as I did, maybe even more, and that shows you the type of team we have. Even guys on the defense were bring it up and talking about it. I’m happy it’s over, I’m happy it’s done.”
▪ Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald left the game with a shoulder injury Sunday and did not return. He will undergo additional tests Monday (presumably an MRI), but told reporters he does not believe it’s something serious.
▪ Cameron Wake recorded yet another sack Sunday, leaving him just one shy of 10 or more in a season for the fifth time in his nine-year career.
▪ DeVante Parker had his best game in weeks, catching six passes for 89 yards. Jarvis Landry led all players Sunday with 10 catches and 99 yards.