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How the Miami Dolphins had one of the worst rushing performances in NFL history

In the fourth quarter Sunday in Tampa, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill pushed a QB sneak forward for a two-yard gain on a third-and-one. That was enough to make him the Dolphins' leading rusher on the day.

Tied for the leading rusher, anyway, alongside Lamar Miller, who had just two yards on seven carries, but well ahead of Charles Clay and Daniel Thomas, who ran a combined six times for minus-2 yards. 

Do the math and it means Miami ran for only two total yards on 14 carries, or 5.1 inches per carry. At that rate, it'd take you 71 plays to hit a first down.The NFL rules only offer four. 

This is notable because it's funny, but also because the Dolphins became just the seventh team in modern NFL history to rush for fewer than three yards in a game. Three other teams this century have been just as bad if not worse on the ground, but only one ran the ball as many times as the Dolphins did.

Against the Redskins in 2007, the Cowboys ran it 16 times for only two total yards. Julius Jones had eight carries for seven yards, which looks awesome next to the minus-6 yards Marion Barber had on six rushes. Barber lost nine yards on two particularly terrible carries that day.

In 2006, Kevin Jones and Arlen Harris of the Lions ran 10 times for minus-3 yards. Four of Jones' nine runs went for negative yardage, including one for a loss of eight yards. 

By the 2013 Dolphins, 2007 Cowboys and 2006 Lions look like running game champs next to the '07 Lions. The '06 Lions and '07 Lions are the only two teams in modern NFL history to run for negative yardage in a game, but the '07 squad somehow had minus-18 yards in a loss to the Cardinals. 

That day, Kevin Jones, Aveion Cason and T.J. Duckett ran six times for minus-3 yards, but the difference was a 15-yard loss from Shaun McDonald on a failed end-around. 

But it could have been worse for the Dolphins. Officials somehow ruled that Lamar Miller got to the 19-yard line here, only losing one yard:

And thank goodness Miller was able to get away from Leonard Johnson here. He'd gain six yards from that spot…

Well, that was depressing.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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