Miami Dolphins

Dolphins rushing attack surges as Jay Ajayi emerges

October 23, 2016 - Miami Gardens, FL, USA - Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) celebrates as the Miami Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla (Photo by Al Diaz/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
Al Diaz/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

As a native Pittsburgher, some of my fondest childhood memories involve Jerome “The Bus” Bettis making road kill out of defenders foolhardy enough to try and bring him down. Miami’s Jay Ajayi has years to go before his name belongs in the same category as Bettis, but the pop-up star of the 2016 NFL season is looking like a mini bus. With a punishing running style, Ajayi is turning in performances previously reserved for Hall of Famers and perennial Pro Bowlers.

Ajayi was the 33rd player selected at his position in the 2015 draft. He barely made a blip as a rookie and entered this year buried on the depth chart behind comeback candidate Arian Foster (who has since retired). Ajayi became so frustrated that the Dolphins told him not to make the trip for their season opener in Seattle.

Now, after consecutive 200-plus yard rushing performances that garnered AFC Player of the Week honors, it’s hard to imagine the Dolphins’ scoring attack without him. Despite being surrounded by a lackluster passing game (24th in the NFL) and protected by an offensive line ranks 23rd in power run blocking (per Football Outsiders), Ajayi’s career as a starter is off to a historic start.


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