Miami coach Mike McDaniel can laugh now. After all, his team survived the scare Justin Fields threw into the Dolphins this past Sunday when the second-year quarterback set an NFL rushing record.
But maybe you saw McDaniel, from the sidelines, screaming at Fields during the Dolphins 35-32 win. “Stop it!” the Miami coach yelled. Obviously, the quarterback ignored McDaniel. Fields rushed for 178 yards, the best-ever regular season running performance by a quarterback in league history.
“I just wanted him to stop scrambling,” McDaniel told reporters in his weekly press conference. “And it was pretty irritating because he didn’t listen at all.”
McDaniel also added: “I think Justin is really starting to get a feel for when he can utilize his full scale of gifts, and he’s making plays more and more and becoming more and more difficult to defend. So at that stage of the game, I figured no one had asked him to stop it, so I gave that a try.”
Justin Fields Broke Michael Vick’s Regular-Season Rushing Record
Now, we should probably add some context. Most NFL teams don’t like to use the quarterback in the running game. No coach wants to see defenders take extra free shots at the most important offensive player on the field. But that’s not always the case.
Fields broke the previous single-game record set by Atlanta QB Michael Vick back when he gained 173 in a win over Minnesota in 2002. Vick, historically, is the best running quarterback in NFL history. Colin Kaepernick owns the best day ever for a quarterback running the ball. Relying on designed runs like the zone read, Kaepernick rushed for 181 in a playoff win over Green Bay in 2012.
Now, Justin Fields, the former Ohio State All-American, has his name up there with Vick and Kaepernick. Plus, he also threw for three touchdowns. ESPN reported that Fields is the first player since at least 1950 who rushed for at least 150 yards and threw for at least three TDs. Fields also is a very good player to have on your fantasy football team for week 10. Yahoo Sports currently ranks Fields as the third-best QB in the NFL for fantasy purposes. And that’s because he can pick up yards with his feet. The first two guys are obvious — Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurt and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes. Note that both quarterbacks are mobile, dual-threat types. Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson has a bye.
Of course, McDaniel’s Dolphins also sport a terrific young quarterback. While Justin Fields gave the Dolphins fits, Tua Tagovailoa did the same to the Bears defense. But he did it with his arm. Tua completed 21 of his 30 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.