With the 2016 NFL season now completely over, this is a good time to look back at some of the most memorable plays in what definitely was a memorable Dolphins season.
Dolphins Daily, which runs every day on Dolphins.com, has begun reliving the plays that stood out, breaking them down among the top runs, passes, defensive plays and special teams plays.
One different play will be featured from Tuesday through Friday, at which point fans can choose among the four candidates by casting their votes on the Dolphins Twitter
This week Dolphins Daily featured the top running plays of 2016, and these were the four that stood out: • Jay Ajayi’s 11-yard touchdown in overtime against Cleveland (Sept. 25):
The Dolphins were looking for their first victory of the season when they faced the Browns in their home opener in Week 3. The game went to overtime after Cleveland missed a 46-yard field goal attempt on the final play of regulation and the Dolphins began their second possession of the extra period at the Browns 44-yard line after a 13-yard punt return by Jarvis Landry
. The Dolphins put themselves in position to kick a game-winning field goal when Ryan Tannehill
hit Landry with a 32-yard completion to the 11-yard line, but Ajayi instead ended the game on the very next play. He took a deep handoff from Tannehill at the 15 and was able to easily get to the left sideline thanks to great blocks by tight ends Dion Sims
and MarQueis Gray
. Ajayi wasn’t touched on his way to the end zone, where he was mobbed by his teammates. • Kenyan Drake’s 45-yard touchdown at Buffalo (Dec. 24):
The Dolphins led 7-0 early in the second quarter when they crossed midfield after a 7-yard run by Ajayi made it second-and-3 at the Buffalo 45-yard line. With Matt Moore
in shotgun formation, Drake then took an inside handoff and headed into the middle of the line of scrimmage, only to find the area clogged up. Drake stopped, turned around and looped back outside to the right. He easily beat outside linebacker Jerry Hughes to the sideline before using a convoy that included Moore on his way to the end zone. • Ajayi’s 62-yard touchdown against Pittsburgh (Oct. 16):
The Dolphins put together a strong performance against the Steelers after coming in with a 1-4 record and all but clinched the victory when Landry recovered an onside kick at the Miami 38 with 50 seconds left. But the Steelers still had two timeouts, so the Dolphins couldn’t kill the clock with kneel-downs. No problem. On first down, Ajayi took a handoff from Tannehill and burst through a big hole on the right side created by blocks by Gray and fellow tight end Dominique Jones
. Ajayi easily avoided the diving tackle attempt by Pittsburgh defensive back Robert Golden near midfield and it was clear sailing to the end zone after that. • Ajayi’s 57-yard gain in overtime at Buffalo (Dec. 24):
After the teams traded three possessions in overtime, only four minutes remained on the clock when the Dolphins took possession at their 15-yard line. A tie would have been devastating to their playoff hopes — as it played out, a tie would have knocked them out — so they needed to make something happen. Ajayi took care of it. After getting a handoff from Moore, Ajayi made a quick move to his left at the line of scrimmage to get by the arm tackle of Bills lineman Kyle Williams. Once he got past Williams, Ajayi found himself with a lot of running room down the left sideline and kept going until he was brought down by cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman at the Buffalo 28-yard line. Six plays later, Andrew Franks
kicked a 27-yard field goal to give the Dolphins a 34-31 victory that ultimately put them in the playoffs.