Ten Dolphins notes on Monday morning:
• Many of you know by now that with 214 yards Sunday, Jay Ajayi on Sunday became only the fourth player to rush for 200 yards in consecutive games, a select group including O.J. Simpson (in both 1973 and 1976), Earl Campbell (1980), and Ricky Williams (2002).
But according to Elias, only Simpson (in 1973) and Campbell, like Ajayi, saw their teams win both games. And only Simpson (in 1976) and Ajayi did so without accumulating as many as 30 carries in either game.
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• Ajayi’s ability to break tackles was impressive Sunday. He broke 10 tackles on 29 carries and averaged a ridiculous 4.4 yards after contact.
For perspective, Pro Football Focus said Ajayi has broken as many tackles on 54 handoffs the past two weeks (13) as Dallas’ impressive rookie Ezekiel Elliott has done on 148 touches this season.
• Ajayi not only leads the league in per carry average, but by a remarkable margin. He’s averaging 6.4 per carry, more than a full yard per carry ahead of LeSean McCoy, who’s second in the league at 5.3. Ajayi, incidentally, is now the league’s sixth-leading rusher with 535 yards.
• This is encouraging: No Dolphins blockers were better Sunday than their two youngest offensive linemen. Laremy Tunsil earned PFF’s highest-rated grade among linemen, and PFF said right tackle Ja’Wuan James – who has really improved his game the past two weeks – was Miami’s best run-blocker Sunday.
“Their offensive line did a great job of run blocking,” Buffalo linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “(They) really had that Houston, Mike Shanahan type of run scheme, pressed the outside, and he was a one cut, downhill, and then once he got to the second level, he was a very strong runner and had some big plays. That's really why we ended up losing this game. We lost the game on first and second down and allowed him to have too many explosion plays in the run game."
• This is what the Dolphins envisioned when they put together this defensive line: According to PFF, Bills runners averaged only 1.4 inches before contact and pressured Tyrod Taylor on 19 of 38 dropbacks. This is exactly the type of dominance Miami expected from its d-line.
“They just out-toughed us,” Bills offensive tackle Jordan Mills said. “They had their day today. We've got to give respect to them, they got the game. That's why they are in our division, we play them twice a year. We'll see them Christmas Eve. We will have them marked down on our calendar for sure."
• We mentioned in Saturday’s post that coaches absolutely loved what Andre Branch did last week, and he ended up playing the most snaps of Miami’s defensive ends --- 45 of 57. Mario Williams and Cam Wake each played 32 and Jason Jones 17.
Because Miami had a manageable number of defensive plays, Ndamukong Suh – who was very, very good - played 54 of 57 defensive snaps, an unusually high percentage for any defensive tackle. Leon Orr played nine, and coaches see considerable upside in the former Gator defensive tackle.
Only safety Michael Thomas played all 57 snaps. Incidentally, Thomas is a class act, so it was so surprise that Thomas tweeted that he cannot allow Byron Maxwell to take the blame on receiver Marquise Goodwin’s long touchdown catch. “That was on me,” Thomas said.
Kiko Alonso continues to play nearly every play, but other linebacker snaps are being split primarily among Jelani Jenkins and Donald Butler (28 apiece) and Neville Hewitt (27).
• Offensively, Ajayi played 47 of Miami’s 73 snaps on offense, with Arian Foster getting 18, Damien Williams 6 and Kenyan Drake 2.
• Even though each of Miami’s starting offensive linemen all played the full 73 snaps, Miami also gave 14 snaps to tackle Sam Young, giving the team a sixth blocker to help clear holes for Ajayi.
• Another good strategic decision: Jakeem Grant played only one snap on offense, but at least one Buffalo defender was fooled and chased him when he went into motion on a potential reverse, which was one of many keys that helped Damien Williams on a touchdown run in which he dragged defenders into the end zone.
• This is encouraging: None of the Dolphins’ next seven opponents have winning records. If they can beat the Jets on Nov. 6 to get to .500, they then play at San Diego and at the Rams, home to reeling San Francisco, at the reeling Ravens, home to Arizona and at the Jets. Then they close with two teams with winning records: at Buffalo and home to New England.