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Starter Pack: Another test for the run D

A roundup of what's happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- When Joe Philbin was the Packers offense coordinator from 2007-2011, one of his primary responsibilities was Green Bay's running game.

So it should come as no surprise that in his third season as the Miami Dolphins coach, Philbin's team has one of the top running games in the NFL.

The Dolphins enter Sunday's game against the Packers with the fifth-ranked rushing offense in the league, averaging 142.3 yards per game. They're also fifth in rushing average (5.0 yards per carry).

"Just from being around Joe, I know how much Joe believed in being able to run the ball," said Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who worked with Philbin for three seasons. "But they're doing an outstanding job at running the ball. All you have to do is look at their first- and second-down statistics, and you see that. They're averaging five yards a carry. In the two games they won, they've run for one hundred and ninety-some and 157 yards, I think."

Capers is right. The Dolphins put up 191 yards rushing in Week 1 against the Patriots and 157 in Week 4 against the Raiders. They also rushed for 141 yards in a loss to the Chiefs. Only the Bills held them to under 100 yards rushing this season.

That could be problematic for a Packers' defense that still ranks dead last in the NFL in rushing average despite holding the Vikings to 111 yards rushing in their last outing. That was their best effort against the run in a season in which they have allowed an average of 163 yards on the ground per game.

And the Dolphins have been successful despite the limited availability of perhaps their best back, veteran Knowshon Moreno, who hasn't played since Week 2 because of an elbow injury. Moreno appears to be on track to return this week.

"We haven't had a ton of negative yardage runs and that's been a big plus, and we've been able to pop through there and get a couple explosive runs at the same time," Philbin said. "I think Lamar Miller's emerged. Obviously, Moreno's really only played in one game; he has a positive game when he played. Daniel Thomas and Damian Williams have contributed well."

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