Daniel Thomas: Miami Dolphins Running Back's Week 3 Performance Was a Fluke

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 28, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Daniel Thomas #33 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball against the New York Jets on September 23, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 23-20 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Reggie Bush might not be able to play for the Miami Dolphins against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4, and while Daniel Thomas might look like a sufficient replacement after a strong showing against the New York Jets last week, Thomas will be proven as a fluke and nothing more this week.

Bush left the game against the Jets in Week 3 early on and is listed as questionable for this Sunday's game against Arizona (per ESPN.com).

So one way or the other, Thomas will see some increased action this week.

Last week versus the Jets, Thomas ran the ball 19 times for 69 yards and got into the end zone once. Not bad numbers for an emergency replacement, but looking deeper, those numbers weren't all that impressive.

Thomas only averaged 3.6 yards per carry last Sunday and that simply won't cut it as compared to Bush, who is averaging a cool six yards per rush. In all fairness, Thomas is nowhere near as explosive as Bush and that makes it tougher to pick up big chunks of yards.

On top of that, Thomas played against one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL. The Jets are currently ranked 28th in the NFL against the run, so gaining any kind of yardage on the ground against their defense isn't tough to accomplish.

This week, Thomas and the Dolphins will have to move the ball on the ground against the Cardinals.

Arizona has a better defense than the Jets overall, especially against the run. In their Week 3 matchup with the Eagles, the Cards held LeSean McCoy to just 70 yards on the ground.

The Cards play the pass even better and that will make things tough for rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

If Arizona can stop the pass, the Dolphins will have to lean on the running game to win, which makes them more predictable and easier to stop. The Cardinals will have nothing to keep them honest and can focus on stopping the run, making it even more difficult for Thomas to gain yards on the ground.

There aren't many running backs in the NFL with the explosiveness of Bush and replacing him won't be easy.

Thomas might be a nice backup for the Dolphins, but he doesn't have the same skill set to contribute like Bush can, especially against some of the better defenses in the NFL.