FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The Miami Dolphins are coming off a bye week but have won its last two games largely because of historic performances from running back Jay Ajayi. Nicknamed "Jay Train," Ajayi is coming off consecutive 200 yard rushing games against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6 (25 carries, 204 yards and two touchdowns) and the Buffalo Bills in Week 7 (28 carries, 214 yards and one touchdown). No other player has rushed for back-to-back 200 yards since former Dolphin Ricky Williams did it in 2002. Ajayi joins Williams, and Hall of Famer's O.J. Simpson and Earl Campbell as the only players in NFL history to rush for consecutive 200-plus yard games.
"He’s a good back," said head coach Todd Bowles. "I mean, he’s hitting it pretty good. He’s powerful and he’s fast. He’s got great vision and he’s got a low center of gravity. He can cut at the drop of a dime. (He) kind of knows where the blocking is and understands his run fits very well."
Team's haven't been able to halt his progress as Ajayi is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and has 535 yards and 5 touchdowns in just 3 starts this season. A huge complement to keeping the "Jay Train" on track has been strong play from the offensive line. The Dolphins have dominated the time of possession this season and have controlled the clock in the last two games for 36 and 37 minutes. Offensively, Miami is a balanced team and if the Jets want to win Sunday, it starts with getting off of blocks.
Before the season started, Ajayi lost the starting job to Arian Foster, who recently retired from playing. Since then, Ajayi has seen his workload gradually increase and he's become a reoccurring nightmare for opposing defenses.
"I'm actually losing sleep at night," Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said about preparing for Ajayi, a fifth-round pick out of Boise State in 2015. Rodgers also said Ajayi is a "complete back," who's running style is a cross between former Dolphin running back's Ronnie Brown and Williams.
The Jets are only giving up 74 yards rushing per game, which is the best rushing defense in the league statistically. Opposing teams haven't faired well running the ball against the Jets this season, 14.2 percent of the rushes against Gang Green have resulted in negative yards which is the eighth highest percentage in the NFL. The Jets have given up the occasional big run like the 58 yard touchdown to Cardinals running back David Johnson in Week 6, other than that the team has been able to limit ball carriers at the line of scrimmage, giving up only 3.3 yards per carry this year.
"That’s something we take a lot of pride in," said Bowles. "It’s going to be a tough task on Sunday, so we better bring our lunch pail,"
Will Ajayi rush for another 200 yards on Sunday and make more history? Odds are he won't but its going to be a compelling matchup to watch Sunday, as the Jets will try to keep the "Jay Train" from rolling to another historic outing.
Marcus Reynolds is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@Marcus_JRNL), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).