Jay Ajayi jump-started the Miami Dolphins’ sputtering season two months ago and continues to be the engine driving the team’s playoff push.
British-born Ajayi rushed for 206 yards and a touchdown in Miami’s 34-31 overtime road victory over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.
His biggest run, a 57-yarder on the first play of the Dolphins’ final drive of overtime, flipped the field and set up Andrew Franks’ 27-yard winning field goal with 47 seconds remaining.
The Dolphins (10-5) have won three in a row and nine of 10 since Ajayi took over as the starting running back, putting them on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Miami can clinch a wild-card spot with a victory next week against New England, or a Kansas City win over Denver on Sunday.
Ajayi became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for more than 200 yards three times in one season. He had 204 yards in his breakout game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5 that started the Dolphins’ surge and 214 versus Buffalo the following week.
“He’s a grinder, he’s a workhorse,” Dolphins tight end Dion Sims said. “He goes 100 miles-an-hour and that’s why he’s got the nickname “train” because he is just going nonstop.”
Franks forced overtime when he made a career-long 55-yard field goal with 6 seconds left in regulation. The Dolphins led by 14 points on three separate occasions before the Bills scored 17 straight to take their first lead with 1:25 left.
“I can’t say enough about how our guys fought through,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said.”
(Editing by Andrew Both)