RB Jay Ajayi - Philadelphia Eagles
|6-0, 221||Born: 6-15-1993||College: Boise State||Drafted: Round 5|
News you need to know
From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Dec 11): Ajayi could end up being a net winner from the Carson Wentz injury if the Eagles go to a more run-heavy gameplan. He led the team in carries in the win over the Rams and has a good matchup against the Giants and another against the Raiders over the next two weeks.
Week 15: at New York Giants
FBG says: Great matchup. With the Carson Wentz injury, the Eagles are going to be forced into running the ball even more than what they have been this season. The good news for the Eagles is that they are at a point where Jay Ajayi is being incorporated into this offense as the lead back instead of in a three-headed rotation with Corey Clement and LeGarrette Blount. Ajayi last week had 15 carries and had over 50% of the snaps for this team while Blount only had 18% of the snaps last week which is almost a direct reversal of roles when Ajayi first came over from Miami. The Eagles offensive line is built for the run, as Jason Kelce is one of the best in the business at the center position and even will be the lead blocker at times on plays where he pulls on sweeps off-tackle. The Giants run defense has struggled for a large portion of the season as while their defensive line play has been strong in Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson, the linebacker play has been abysmal this season. The problem for the Giants is that the defensive line play has been playing a little bit worse, personnel changes have made this linebacker group even worse than what it was to start the season as Calvin Munson and Kelvin Sheppard are both players who did not see significant time early on in the season are now being asked to play significant snaps leading to this run defense being even worse. Over the last four weeks, the Giants are allowing 4.5 yards per carry to opposing running backs and have allowed three touchdowns in those four games. This should be an opportunity for Ajayi and the Eagles backs to run all over the Giants this week.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2017 Week 14 vs LAR (15 / 78 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
It appears that Jay Ajayi is starting to separate himself from the rest of the running backs in Philadelphia and could be forced to take on a big role with Carson Wentz out. Ajayi was on the field for 51% of the plays while showing some burst that LeGarrette Blount has not been able to consistently provide. Ajayi had three carries that went for 10 or more yards in this game and while he was unable to find the end-zone ended the day with 5.2 yards per carry.
2017 Week 13 vs SEA (9 / 35 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
Jay Ajayi led the team in snaps this week as he was on the field for 42% of the plays. While it is not surprising that Ajayi out-snapped Blount, it is telling that even though the team was down most of the game they did keep Ajayi in this game instead of going with a full complement of Corey Clement. Ajayi was used out of the passing games largely as a safety valve in this game as he was able to bring in three catches which was the most he has had thus far as an Eagles running back.
2017 Week 12 vs CHI (5 / 26 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Ajayi had just five carries in this game in which he had a 30-yard run in which he split defenders on a nice cut back run, but Ajayi fumbled at the one-yard line and the Eagles were fortunate enough to recover in the end zone for a Nelson Agholor touchdown. Outside of this carry, Ajayi had four carries for negative four yards in this game as he had a difficult time getting anything going. Ajayi was on the field for 22 snaps which was nine more snaps than last week, so they are slowly integrating him into the offense the problem is that this offense looks like it is going to continue to be a running back by committee throughout the season.
2017 Week 11 vs DAL (7 / 91 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Ajayi had a 71 yard rush on a trap play that was setup by Jason Kelce getting to the second level and blocking Anthony Hitchens. Ajayi was only on the field for 13 snaps which coming off the bye we had expected that Ajayi would be featured in a more prominent role in this offense.
2017 Week 9 vs DEN (8 / 77 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Ajayi made a big impact in his first game as an Eagles running back as he took an off-tackle handoff out of the shotgun in which there was no Broncos defender until the end zone and Ajayi was able to finish the run for a 46-yard rushing touchdown. Ajayi was on the field more than LeGarrette Blount and likely does not know the entire playbook so look for Ajayi's role to continue to grow in the coming weeks.
2017 Week 8 vs BAL (13 / 23 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 18 / 0 rec)
Jay Ajayi rushed 13 times for 23 yards and caught four of his five targets for 18 yards against the Ravens in week 8. Ajayi started off very well, ripping off a 21 yard run on his first carry. However, it was all downhill from there as he managed only two more yards on his next 12 carries. The game was out of hand within the first half, especially with the Dolphins passing game struggling, as the Ravens were able to stack the box against Ajayi and dare Matt Moore to throw the ball. Ajayi's success is very much game script dependent. When the Dolphins are leading or the game is close and they can feed him the ball repeatedly, he's able to wear down opposing defenses and break off big chunk plays. When the Dolphins are losing though, defenses are able to key on him and force Miami to either throw or run the ball against eight man fronts. Ajayi is talented, but even he can't beat defenses when they are able to put so many players in the box and cut off the outside.
2017 Week 7 vs NYJ (23 / 51 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 26 / 0 rec)
Ajayi is running with all of the effort you could expect from an NFL player. He is often breaking tackles, even on losses and no gain runs, and when there is a hole there, he hits it hard. Ajayi is getting yards after contact, pushing the pile, and it's almost always taking more than one man to bring him down, but the Dolphins line isn't giving him a chance to get big runs. The turf was also unkind and caused Ajayi and others to slip on multiple plays. The bright spot other than the pass offense coming alive was Ajayi being more involved as a receiver and looking natural both bringing the ball in and turning upfield after the catch.
2017 Week 6 vs ATL (26 / 130 / 0 rush, 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Jay Ajayi rushed 26 times for 130 yards and no touchdowns, but it was his ability to move the chains that was the difference between the Dolphins winning and losing. Ajayi's long gain of the game were a pair of 18 yard rushes on back to back plays in the fourth quarter that moved the Dolphins from their own 34 yard line all the way to the Atlanta 30 yard line. These two plays set up a 38 yard Codey Parkey field goal that proved to be the points that won the game for Miami. Ajayi had 10 gains of five or more yards, and despite their offensive line coach being fired the previous week, the Dolphins offensive line did a great job of opening holes for their running back. Ajayi bullied his way to 130 yards rushing, punishing the Atlanta secondary whenever he got to the second level. It was clear that the Falcons defense wanted no part of the Ajayi in the fourth quarter, and he was able to exploit the soft spots in the Falcons secondary whenever he got to the second level.
2017 Week 5 vs TEN (25 / 77 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
Jay Ajayi rushed 25 times for 77 yards, while also catching two passes for two yards. While the 77 yards were an improvement over the last two weeks, the 77 rushing yards pale in comparison to what we saw Ajayi do with a full workload last season. It is not entirely his fault though, as the Miami offensive line has failed to open adequate holes for him to run through, and in the instance where Ajayi is able to break through his first tackler, there are often several other defenders waiting to take him down. Ajayi's ability to gain first downs while the passing game was largely ineffective was key in Miami winning the field positioning battle. Without that, the Dolphins would have fell to 1-3 on a day when their defense was largely responsible for sealing the win against the Titans.
2017 Week 4 vs NO (12 / 46 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
If the Dolphins score zero points, possess the ball for 40% of the game and have only 164 yards passing, the chances are that Miami did not get their bell-cow running back going in the game. This was the case against the Saints in London on Sunday, as Ajayi rushed 12 times for only 46 yards, while also catching one pass for eight yards. While Ajayi was far from effective against New Orleans, he wasn't give much of an opportunity to wear down the Saints defense. Miami was trailing 10-0 midway through the 4th quarter, so the lack of carries was not due to the game being out of hand. Six of Ajayi's 12 carries went for 2 yards or less, which has been a trend dating back to last season. Ajayi needs a large workload so he can wear down defenses and then break off big plays. The Miami offensive line is not one of the leagues better units, so Ajayi needs some semblance of a passing attack to keep defenses from stacking the box against him. In this particular game, that is exactly what New Orleans did, holding the Dolphins to 186 net offensive yards.
2017 Week 3 vs NYJ (11 / 16 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
The New York Jets completely shut down the Dolphins run game, and held Jay Ajayi to 16 yards on 11 carries. He also caught two passes for nine yards, but Ajayi was not even a factor in this game. The Dolphins offense is centered around Ajayi being a workhorse, and the Jets showed what happens when Jay Cutler is forced to throw the ball 44 times. Ajayi had five carries that went for negative yards, which explains why he only gained 16 yards. Ajayi was injured on his first carry of the game, but came back in shortly after. The injury didn't appear to be anything more than a hard shot to the groin, so Ajayi will not miss any time. This was a bad game script for the Dolphins, and their offense will only go as far as Ajayi can take them.
2017 Week 2 vs LAC (28 / 122 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
Jay Ajayi continued to be the workhorse for the Dolphins offense, carrying the ball 28 times for 122 yards, while also catching two passes for four yards on two targets. When I first watched Ajayi last season, I did not see an NFL skillset. He looked sluggish getting to the line of scrimmage, and was indecisive hitting the holes that his offensive line opened up for him. Well that is all in the past, as Ajayi has totally changed my perception of him. He does have elite skills, specifically his power and balance. When Ajayi gets beyond the line of scrimmage, he is more than willing to run over defenders, even more so than running around them. With his power, he is able to hit defenders and keep his legs underneath him, which is how he gains so many yards after first contact. Ajayi also gets stronger as the game goes on, which considering his hefty workload, gives him the opportunity to take advantage of tired defenses late in the game.
Latest NewsEagles | Jay Ajayi rumbles for 78 yards (Sun Dec 10, 11:51 PM) - Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi rushed 15 times for 78 yards in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Rams and he added a two-yard reception. link to story
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