Eagles-Dolphins: Good, Bad and Ugly
Just two years removed from a Super Bowl title, the Eagles have fallen off a cliff.
They crash-landed with a terrible loss to a two-win team on Sunday, losing to the Miami Dolphins 37-31 on Sunday. The defeat was their third in a row and left them at 5-7.
There was some good, some bad, and plenty of ugly.
Here it is:
- Quarterback Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery were on the same page, with Jeffery catching nine passes for 137 yards and a 10-yard touchdown. Jeffery now has five touchdowns this season, four in the air. Wentz threw three touchdowns, all of them on third down, and for 310 yards. He had an interception, but that was on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game.
- Rookies Miles Sanders, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and T.J. Edwards showed up.
Sanders had a 15-yard touchdown catch, his third TD of the season with two coming in the air. He had 22 yards on five catches and ran for 83 yards on 17 carries.
Arcega-Whiteside caught his first NFL touchdown, latching onto a 15-yard pass with six seconds left in the first half that helped the Eagles take a 21-14 lead at halftime.
Edwards made a heads-up play recovering a surprise onside kick the Dolphins tried to start the second half.
- Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat recorded his fourth sack of the season and has had back-to-back games with at least one.
- Jake Elliott missed a 49-yard field goal, snapping his streak of 20 straight makes dating back to last season. The kick would’ve given the Eagles a 31-20 lead with 4:34 to go in the third quarter. Instead, the Dolphins took over at the 39-yard line and moved down field for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 28-26 after missing the two-point conversion.
- Elliott’s miss was preceded on the drive by a dropped pass from Zach Ertz at the Miami 6-yard line. Ertz played despite a bad hamstring and had three catches for 24 yards, but that drop was costly because it brought up a third-and-seven. It was on that play when the Dolphins recorded their first sack of the game. The sack pushed the Eagles back 10 yards and made Elliott’s field goal try further than it should have been.
- The Dolphins had the 31st-ranked run defense coming into the game, but head coach Doug Pederson dialed up just 19 runs.
- The Eagles had not lost three games in a row since 2016, which was Pederson’s first year as head coach. They dropped five in a row that year, from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18, and ended the season with a 7-9 record.
- The Eagles can still win the NFC East if they win their final four games, but that just seems unrealistic for a team that has lost three in a row to suddenly rip off four straight wins when its longest winning streak all season long has been two games.
- The trick play the Eagles gave up for a third touchdown was the third one they fell for in the three straight games. This one was particularly embarrassing because it was easy to see coming when Miami spread the field and snapped the ball to the punter who flipped to the kicker for a touchdown that gave the Dolphins a 14-13 lead. It was the first time a kicker scored a touchdown since 1977 when Denver’s Jim Turner did it.
- The penalties were unsightly. The Eagles committed 10 of them for 91 yards.
- The cornerback back play of Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby, which had been so good for the past month, was very bad. DeVante Parker had a career-high 159 yards, with two touchdowns, on seven catches basically by jumping up and over Mills and Darby. Tight end Mike Gesicki, who grew up in New Jersey as an Eagles fan and went to Penn State, also couldn’t be contained and he finished with five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.