clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Dolphins' new offense is all Jay Ajayi and it's working

Jay Ajayi joined Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell, and O.J. Simpson as the only four to post back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Ajayi finished his rookie season with 187 rushing yards and had just 117 in his first four games of 2016 season. Then, suddenly, he became a superhero.

A week after leading the Miami Dolphins to a surprising 30-15 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers with 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns, Ajayi did it again with 214 yards and a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7.

Only three other players in NFL history have recorded back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances: Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell, and O.J. Simpson (Simpson did it twice).

Ajayi’s breakout as an unstoppable force adds a much-needed weapon to the Dolphins offense, which struggled mightily early in the year.

“We’re inept right now,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of the team’s offense after a 30-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Two weeks later, the Dolphins enter a Week 8 bye after a pair of quality wins with momentum on their side.

In the two wins, Ajayi carried the ball 54 times for 418 yards, while Ryan Tannehill attempted 57 passes. In the first three weeks, Tannehill attempted 113 passes, compared to 61 attempts for the entire Dolphins rushing corps.

Shredding the Steelers on the ground a week ago wasn’t too surprising, considering Pittsburgh’s previous defensive performances, but the Bills entered the week looking like a stout unit. Buffalo was No. 5 in scoring defense and allowed just 3.8 yards per carry.

But Ajayi managed to find an average of 7.6 yards against the Bills defense, helping the Dolphins to 21 points. Five of Buffalo’s first six opponents were held under 20 points.

Up next for the Dolphins is a Week 9 home game against the New York Jets, a team that allows 3.2 yards per carry and held the Baltimore Ravens to 6 rushing yards Sunday. But Miami seems to have found a new identity and it’s leaning heavy on Ajayi.