Eagles figure out they need to ride Jay Ajayi even more


It's time for the Eagles to ride the JayTrain. 

After Jay Ajayi got just three carries in the first half of Thursday's 18-12 win over the Falcons, the Eagles finally started to hand him the rock in the second half. It worked. 

Ajayi finished with 15 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles got a W. 

The Eagles simply need to make a more concerted effort to get him involved earlier. Because while Darren Sproles and Corey Clement are going to be big parts of this offense, Ajayi is the best running back on the squad. 

Even if he isn't completely healthy. 

Ajayi missed practice for the couple weeks before the season opener and gradually returned to practice this week. He thinks that's why he wasn't used heavily early Thursday night. 

"Obviously, not playing, practicing for a couple weeks, you don't ever want to throw someone in the fire right away," Ajayi said. "Obviously, that was the way the coaches set up the game plan. As running backs, we go when our number's called. Me, I just stay ready, stay focused. 

"I was very hungry tonight. Even though I don't feel 100, I wanted to be out there and help us keep moving forward and do what I can to help the offense."

On Thursday, Ajayi did something he hadn't done in a while. He got in the end zone. 

And he did it twice!

That one was the first touchdown of the NFL season for any player. And it had to feel good for Ajayi to reach over the goal line. 


After scoring just one touchdown all of last season, Ajayi punched in TD runs of 1 and 11 yards against the Falcons. Those were the Eagles' only two touchdowns of the game. 

"It was definitely a blessing," Ajayi said. "I can't lie. Last year, the end zone was like the rainbow and the pot of gold. I'm trying to find it, man.

“But to be able to run behind a great O-line like this and in an offense like this, I feel like I have opportunities. And when I get those opportunities, I feel like I can create big plays. I was able to do that tonight.”

Ajayi hadn't been in the end zone since his first game as an Eagle, back on Nov. 5 last season. 

Thursday was just his second-career two-touchdown game and his first since Oct. 16, 2016.  

Ajayi became the first Eagles player with 60-plus rushing yards and two touchdowns in a game since Ryan Mathews in 2016. In the last decade, there have been just 12 such games for an Eagles player — LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Mike Vick and Mathews account for the other 11. 

Doug Pederson admitted the Eagles' offense couldn't find a spark in the first half and they made some adjustments at halftime. 

Namely, they got the JayTrain back on track. 

They need to keep that going. 

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