MIAMI GARDENS — Kenyan Drake made no mistake about his level of confidence after rushing for more than 100 yards for a second consecutive week, leading the Dolphins to an upset of the Patriots Monday night.
“I feel like I try to go out there with a level of arrogance that I feel like I can go out there and help this team win in any way possible,” Drake said. “My confidence has stayed pretty stagnant because regardless if I fumble or whatever the case may be, I’m going to go out there and prove that I can be a top notch player.”
Drake repeatedly credited his teammates and described the upset as a team win. But Drake is not naive to the fact that this is his opportunity, with Jay Ajayi traded, to prove he can be a durable, reliable, workhorse back.
On Monday, Drake showed how versatile he is, with 23 carries for 114 yards (4.6 yards per carry) and 5 catches for 79 yards.
“That’s just the game plan that we had,” Drake said. “We felt we could create mismatches on the edge with my speed. And I mean against their linebackers, they try to play off coverage, but at the end of the day, you know, that’s what we expected. That’s what I expected of myself, to kind of make those mismatches. My versatility is something that I definitely feel can help us win games as the season goes along.”
Drake has game-breaking speed. He showed that off again on runs of 31 and 26 yards and a 47-yard reception.
“I try to go out there no matter the situation, no matter the stage and just try to do my best to help this team win games,” Drake said. “I feel like I sound like a broken record but that’s just my mentality. I enjoy going out there and performing on these stages obviously, but it was a great team win; offense, defense, special teams, all facets of the game. Shout-out to everybody that came out there and supported us. We definitely got the job done today.”
Gase can feel more comfortable about his decision to send Ajayi away for a fourth-rounder with each dazzling Drake performance. If Drake protects the football and executes his assignments, Gase is all-in.
“Even when we don’t quite block it right, he makes it work,” Gase said. “He has good vision. With speed like that, he just gets a little bit of green grass and seems to go a pretty good distance.”
Quarterback Jay Cutler seems convinced.
“I think he’s flourished in this with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield,” Cutler said. “Tonight we saw him split out and just running past linebackers. He breaks tackles in the hole, he cuts back well, he sees it well. He’s becoming one of those complete backs that you’re able to do a lot with.”
Drake has never been a feature back. It would seem this could all wear him down.
“I feel great,” Drake said. “Body always feels great after a win, especially a win aagainst a top-notch opponent such as the Patriots. I feel great.”