Rarely does the bye come at a bad time. But, in Miami’s case maybe, they would want to keep playing.
Maybe, it was the locker room gut check coach Adam Gase issued when he cut 3 players after week five. Maybe, it was finding a healthy “go to” back. What’s not in doubt? The Dolphins have responded with back-to-back unlikely wins with chemistry and momentum.
“Two weeks in a row now we’ve had the type of energy, speed and attitude we’re been looking for,” said Gase.
The biggest difference has been the return of the all the starters on the offensive line. Since they were reassembled for the first time since the second preseason game, Miami’s rushing attack has been tremendous.
Jay Ajayi’s back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances, are just one of the benefits of the line getting back to normal. The defense has improved, because they’re not constantly on the field.
Over the first five games of the season, the Dolphins won Time of Possession only once. Since the O-Line has returned to form, they’ve held the ball for 10 more minutes than the opponent in each of the last two games.
“When you have the five guys that we have up front, I have a lot of trust in those guys,” said Gase.
A fresh defense has allowed Vance Joseph’s crew to hold the Steelers’ Le’veon Bell to 63 yards on the ground and the Bills to 67 total yards rushing. Oh yeah, Buffalo came in the number one team in the league in rushing yards per game.
It gets back to the old football mantra “Games are won and lost in the trenches.”
Having a bye week is probably a good thing for the big boys upfront to get healthy.
“I think the bye came at a good time, we have some guys who are banged up,” said Ajayi. “It will be good to get a rest.”
With the confidence flowing, Dolphins fans wouldn’t want this offensive line play to slip away like Laremy Tunsil in the shower. Which by the way, Ryan Tannehill’s wife made sure to go out and buy the O-Line shower shoes.