The 100 Greatest Plays in Dolphins History: No. 42

Combining the countdown to the start of the Dolphins regular season with the best plays in franchise history
Author:
Updated:
Original:

To help count down the days to the start of the Miami Dolphins regular season last year, we marked each day with the corresponding jersey number and came up with the three best players to wear that number.

This year, we're counting down to the start of the regular season with a countdown of the top 100 plays in Dolphins history.

Given that the Dolphins have played 849 regular season games and 41 more in the playoffs, it's an awfully difficult task to narrow things down to 100 plays and then rank them. The plays selected were ranked on the basis of difficulty, uniqueness, immediate and long-lasting impact and historical significance.

The countdown initially appeared in Dolphin Digest in 2019 but has been updated.

We continue with No. 42:

No. 42: Jay Ajayi's touchdown run vs. Pittsburgh in 2016

Setting the stage: Adam Gase's first season as Dolphins head coach didn't get off to a particularly impressive start, with the team going 1-4 in its first five games. But things turned around dramatically after that point, with the team winning nine of its final 11 games to earn a playoff spot. The catalyst for the run was an inspiring 30-15 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Miami in Week 6 that featured a 200-yard rushing performance by Jay Ajayi.

The play: Ajayi already had rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown when the Dolphins recovered an onside kick after Pittsburgh scored with 1:08 left to cut Miami's lead to 23-15. The kickoff came from midfield after a penalty on the Pittsburgh extra point for leverage, so Miami took over at its 38-yard line. Regardless, the Dolphins needed a first down to clinch the victory, and it was clear it was Ajayi who would get the ball. As expected, he took a deep handoff from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, then burst through a big hole on the right side of the line of scrimmage, made a quick cut, avoided a diving tackle and raced down the sideline for a 62-yard touchdown. The run put him at 204 yards on the day, and he would have a 200-yard rushing day the following week against Buffalo and again in Week 16 in the second game against the Bills.

The No. 100 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 99 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 98 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 97 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 96 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 95 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 94 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 93 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 92 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 91 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 90 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 89 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 88 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 87 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 86 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 85 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 84 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 83 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 82 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 81 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 80 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 79 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 78 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 77 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 76 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 75 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 74 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 73 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 72 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 71 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 70 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 69 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 68 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 67 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 66 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 65 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 64 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 63 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 62 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 61 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 60 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 59 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 58 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 57 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 56 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 55 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 54 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 53 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 52 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 51 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 50 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 49 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 48 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 47 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 46 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 45 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 44 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

The No. 43 Greatest Play in Dolphins History

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL. Feel free to submit questions every Friday for the All Dolphins mailbag.