Jay Ajayi was the player of game for the Dolphins
By Ryan Davis
Jay Ajayi led the Miami Dolphins to victory Sunday over the Los Angeles Chargers. Throughout the game, he set the tone for the offense.
The Dolphins’ first play of the first drive was a handoff to Ajayi for 6 yards. He was hit at the 20-yard line and carried the tackler to the 24-yard line. He broke tackles and carried defenders the entire game.
Then on his third carry, he showed a strong burst and had a gain of 20 yards. He finished the first drive with 5 rushes for 36 yards. The Dolphins kicked a field goal and took a 3-0 lead.
The second drive started on the 12-yard line and Ajayi got the handoff on first down. He was hit at the line of scrimmage by LB Korey Toomer, but broke the tackle and gained 8 yards. Another play where, Ajayi breaks a tackle and gets positive yardage.
Then the second offensive play of the second half, Ajayi breaks an arm tackle at the line of scrimmage and gains 7 yards. The first tackler rarely brought down Ajayi.
Later in the second half, his success led to the offense’s ability to throw the ball down the field. Stills caught a 29-yard touchdown and Parker added a 31-yard reception.
On another play, Ajayi did a spin move on Pro Bowler Hayward to avoid a tackle and gained 10 yards. Then on the next play on 3rd and 1, he makes another spin move and gets the first down.
As the game was coming to an end, the Dolphins’ offense called on him one more time. After Jakeem Grant’s punt return with 3 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Ajayi got the handoff on first down. He ran for 11 yards by pushing the pile and setting up the winning field goal.
Ajayi finished with 28 attempts for 128 yards with 4.4 yards per attempt and 2 receptions for 4 yards. He had the ball in his hands for 30 plays and was the focus of the offense.
The Los Angeles Chargers had a top 10 rushing defense last year, which allowed 97.9 yards per game and 3.8 yards per carry. The Chargers had not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last 17 games. Ajayi had a great game against a strong run defense.
Ajayi’s strong game helped the Dolphins win the time of possession with 34 minutes and ran 67 plays to the Chargers 54 plays. By winning the time of possession the Dolphins defense, who was missing Timmons at linebacker, was on the field for only 26 minutes.
A strong run game allowed Cutler to slowly get comfortable in the game. Other than the handful of plays during the preseason, Cutler has not played in an NFL game since Nov. 20.
Ajayi helped the defense, Cutler, and the Dolphins get their first win of the season. The Dolphins will have a successful season, if Ajayi continues to run like he did on Sunday.