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Sunday Dolphins Mailbag: How Much Better Can the Running Game Be in 2022?

Tackling various issues on the minds of Miami Dolphins fans, from the problems for the defense against Buffalo, to a way-too-early record prediction, the 2022 schedule, and more

Part 2 of the latest SI Fan Nation All Dolphins mailbag:

From Bryan Minehart (@BryanMinehart):

Where does Miami finish the season ranked for Team Rushing Offense?

Hey Bryan, that’s a very good question. I think it’s pretty clear it’s going to be a lot better than it was last year, but I’m not sure we should automatically think Mike McDaniel’s background means it’ll be the best in the league. So I’ll go ahead and predict they end up 14th in the NFL in rushing, thanks to the new running backs and the offensive line showing improvement in 2022.

From Josh (@jv8891):

What is your record prediction?

Hey Josh, I did one of those for a Fan Nation collaboration right after the schedule release and I went with 9-8 … but I retain the option of changing my mind between now and September.

From Mark Rodriguez (@MarkRodSTL):

What is the best Italian Restaurant in Chicago? I got my tickets and hotel set.

Hey Mark, I actually was in Chicago last August for the joint practices and went with my buddy to this place called Portillo’s, which apparently is famous in those parts. That’s the extent of what I could do for you here.

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From Dave (@angryvet59):

Save one half last year, Buffalo has owned the Miami defense. Scheme or personnel or both? As always thanks for the great work Alain.

Hey Dave, I’m not sure I’d totally agree with your assessment because the Dolphins have had their moments with the Bills offense in recent years, often not for 60 minutes, though. I don’t think the issue really is depth, but rather having to deal with Josh Allen and shutting him down for a whole game.

From Craig M (@Dolfan2334):

Alain, what would you consider the toughest games on the schedule this year? … What are the chances the weather can be in the '80s in Buffalo and NE for Tua in December?

Hey Craig, there are a few tough games on this schedule, and I’d start with the one at Buffalo. As for the rest, I'd invite you to check out the story I wrote ranking every game by degree of difficulty.

From Eugenio Tallone (@Ertallone):

Hi Alain, who do you think will be the player the Dolphins will cut and Belichick will take to NE to get some information from Miami for the first week matchup? RB? WR? Thanks…

Hey Eugenio, that’s a funny question (it was a joke, right?). Yeah, it certainly would figure to be one of those positions and with somebody who could share that information. Maybe even a tight end. I’m not going to call out a name for that yet, though. Sorry. Finally, for the record, the Patriots did pick up a former Dolphins player before the opener in 2021 when they claimed Malcolm Perry off waivers, but they didn’t do it before the Dolphins-Patriots opener in 2020. Lastly, I wasn't being a wise guy at the top, it's just that the notion of gaining intel by picking up a player from an upcoming opponent is a bit of a stretch from where I sit.

From jorge Boyd (@raga1922):

Hi Alain, what would be the toughest part of the schedule for the Dolphins in 2022? For me it’s the first 5 games.

Hey Jorge, as indicated in my story about the schedule and ranking the games by degree of difficulty, the toughest stretch for me is the Week 2-4 deal with at Baltimore, Buffalo and at Cincinnati.