No other running back in the history of the NFL has ever run for 200 yards in three consecutive games. Jay Ajayi could become the first. His offensive linemen want that to happen for him and for themselves.
“Of course, man,” the Dolphins center (Mike Pouncey) said Wednesday while talking with the media about Ajayi reaching the milestone. “We’re trying to be a part of the history books.” Via the Miami Herald.
There is however a problem. That problem is the New York Jets defensive front who just so happen to be the top rushing defense in the entire NFL. The Jets are giving up only 74.0 yards per game on average which is 126 yards less than Ajayi’s hunt for 200.
There is no question that Ajayi has been a surprising success the last two games. 200 yards is a big deal for any runner but becoming one of only four runners to achieve back-to-back is special.
It’s not secret that the Dolphins offensive line wants this for Ajayi but make no mistake, they want it as much for themselves as well. Afterall it was and has been the offensive line that has been regarded as the biggest weak spot on the entire team.
Only three games ago the Dolphins were starting Billy Turner and Dallas Thomas at times but those two were finally released by Adam Gase. Gase himself turned away from the pass happy system he was installing and opted to let the Dolphins line show him they could run block. And they surely did.
Now it will be the offensive lines job to convince Gase to stick with running the ball against the powerful Jets defense. If Miami’s offense can create holes that will allow Ajayi to make positive yards he might have a chance but if they can not, Gase will likely turn to the passing game and that will curtail any shot Ajayi has.
Overall it’s such a little thing to achieve but it’s an achievement that could single-handedly turn the season around for the Dolphins. So many things have to go right. Big runs from the line of scrimmage, great blocking up front, time of possession, limited or no offensive penalties. Every player has to execute their assignment and then you have to add a degree of luck.
Whether Ajayi and the offensive line can gain 200 yards on the ground has already done one thing and that is turn the negative talk that has plagued the franchise for most of the season into a positive discussion. There is something and someone to root for and the offensive line? Well as John C. Reilly said in “For Love of the Game” “Chappie, we don’t suck right now!”
We will see if that is still be said late Sunday afternoon. The game kicks off at 1:00.