For awhile, being down 17-6, the Dolphins seemed like they couldn’t muster enough courage to come back.
However, Jay A-Train Ajayi found a way to bring the Miami Dolphins to 3-4 heading into the bye week with one more home game remaining on this lengthy home stand in Miami.
Ajayi became the player of the game with his legs and his fierce stiff arm cemented by an incredible Ricky Williams like run inside the Dolphins 5 yard line to just past the 50 to flip the field position. The run was a game high and one that started to turn the tide for the defense.
With the score being 10-6 at the half, the Dolphins couldn’t find any semblance of a consistent drive except when they ran with Ajayi.
While the Dolphins identity has been in question now for weeks under new head coach Adam Gase, the label as pushovers in the AFC East is slowly diminishing with two back to back weeks of power football.
Dolphins Power Football.
Power football like with Czonka in the 70s, the uniforms gave fans a taste of the past.
In the end, Ajayi, with the help from a 3rd down conversion from Tannehill to Landry, ran for 200 yards and on the drive became the second 200 yard running in back in back to back weeks in Dolphins history and 4th on the all-time NFL list for rushers of 200 or more in back to back games.
Ajayi finished with 214 yards and 29 carries.
The Dolphins took the lead 21-17 on a 12 yard run by Damien Williams, aided heavily by the Dolphins bigs-rookie guard Laremy Tunsil and the veteran center Mike Pouncey guiding him to the end zone.
That left the Dolphins defense who held the Bills to only two touchdowns to keep the pressure up.
Credit on this defensive effort goes to Suh, Williams, and and newcomer Andre Branch.
That’s the 26th ranked defense that brought about a first ranked effort on a stellar play on 3rd and 10 by Isa Abdul-Quddus knocking the ball out of the grasp of Marquise Goodwin.
Of course, this is Miami where the glitz is on-point, so when a big play is needed to seal the victory, Gase dialed up the arm of Tannehill who floated a 66 yard pass into the hands of Kenny Stills who received vindication by catching the ball around his man (Darby) for the 10 point lead.
Stills beat man to man coverage and the Dolphins led 28-17.
Ryan Tannehill who was so vilified for the first 4 weeks of the season, had a decent day going 15-25 for 204 yards, 1 TD, and only one sack.
Despite the last attempt by the Bills to make the game close, leave it to the Dolphins to make it exciting with their undisciplined ways, with several penalties, the Dolphins found a way to seal the win-on the on-side kick, right to Landry and diminish any hopes of a victory on Sunday by the Bills.
With the stamped flattened and the Dolphins being the aggressor, these Dolphins are slowly finding their way.
Just enough to put the AFC East on notice. Just enough.
The bye week can’t come at a better time, a new team, a new identity, a new way to win.
Photo credit: Miami Herald