Oct/15/14 08:03 AM Filed in: Lamar Miller
Knowshon Moreno's to return this past week was supposed to boost an already strong Dolphins run game. Instead, his return was the last we'll see of the running back as he's done for the season with a torn ACL.
Moreno returned to the Fins after dealing with an elbow injury that caused him to miss two games earlier this year. He played against the Packers in Week 6's loss but only carried the ball six times for 10 yards, including a stuff on fourth and goal from the one.
Signed as a free agent away from the Broncos in the offseason, Moreno was supposed to be the answer to the Dolphins rushing woes. He came out blazing for the Fins in Week 1, rushing for 134 yards and a touchdown on 24 attempts.
The season-ending nature of his injury means it's Lamar Miller's time to shine. Heretofore, the former Miami Hurricanes star hasn't met expectations; he was supposed to pair with Daniel Thomas as a lightning/thunder combo.
That ... hasn't exactly worked out.
Theoretically a modern-day, explosive feature back (a.k.a. an "air back"), Miller didn't impress out of the gate. Part of that was his running style and inability to break off big plays, and part of that was the offensive line issues that've plagued the Dolphins over the past few years.
He totaled just 959 yards in his first two seasons and looked like a major disappointment. In Bill Lazor's offense this season, and with Moreno sidelined, Miller has been revitalized.
The former fourth-round pick is averaging 5.2 yards per carry with two scores plus 15 catches for 93 yards and a receiving touchdown to boot.
Miller is quietly 13th in the NFL in rushing yards during a season in which few feature backs have stepped up.
In games without Moreno, Miller has averaged 5.74 yards per carry (13 carries, 73 yards) and nearly a touchdown per game.
With Moreno gone, the Dolphins have to adjust their plan of attack -- Miller hasn't topped 15 carries yet this season and might not be an ideal "workhorse" back -- but they've got a talented enough back in the young ex-Cane that the rushing offense could continue to thrive.