Running Game Revival

After feasting on the Raiders' 25th-ranked rushing defense, the Dolphins will get a crack at the Browns, who entered Sunday ranked 21st in that category. Both are a far cry from the No. 2-ranked rushing defense of the Bears, who embarrassed the Dolphins 10 days ago.

"We stood committed," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said after Sunday's 33-17 win over the Raiders.

After a 39-yard rushing output in a home shutout against the Bears -- the worst of the Sparano era -- the Dolphins returned to their old ways and pounded their opponent into submission.

In the process, the Dolphins (6-5) kept themselves alive in the crowded AFC playoff race. They also improved to 5-1 this season on the road.

"Running the football is all about getting into a rhythm," Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito said. "We got into a rhythm early and we just kept chipping away, chipping away, chipping away."

Forty-nine times they ran the ball at the Raiders, who came in with the league's 25th-ranked run defense. Those rushes only averaged 3.8 yards per attempt, but the sheer volume enabled the Dolphins, who had dropped to 21st in league rushing offense, to pile up a season-high 186 yards on the ground.

That marked their highest rushing total since putting 199 yards on the Buccaneers in Game 9 last year. In fact, Sunday's rushing total nearly matched their output from the previous three games combined (200 yards).

It also kept things honest enough for Chad Henne, back as the starting quarterback after a two-game absence, to pass for 307 yards on just 30 attempts. Henne threw two touchdown passes, finding Patrick Cobbs for 29 yards in the first quarter and rookie Marlon Moore for 57 in the third.

In all, the Dolphins put up 471 yards of total offense, 35 more than their previous high this season, and reached the 30-point threshold for the first time in 21 games.

How much fun were the Dolphins' big uglies having up front?

"That was good for them," Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown said. "I think they were excited."

Ricky Williams carried 20 times for 95 yards, including a game-clinching 45-yard touchdown run with 3:12 to play. That was the Dolphins' second-longest run of the season and easily their longest scoring run.

Brown carried 24 times for 85 yards and took 11 Wildcat snaps that gained a combined 32 yards.

"We went back to basics," Incognito said. "I think the Wildcat is something that is part of our base offense. You've just got to call it and run it and just keep calling it and keep running it."


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