Sunday’s win over the Dolphins wasn’t pretty offensively, but it was a beautiful game by the defense. The Eagles had 9 sacks and 3 takeaways. The D-line was relentless.
Miami lost LT Jake Long early in the game and then RG Vernon Carey later on. The OL was in for a long day if 100 percent, but missing 2 starters was just too much for the Dolphins to overcome. Jason Babin and Trent Cole each had 3 sacks. Both guys were really good off the edge. Phillip Hunt notched his first NFL sack (for a safety no less). He got pressure on other plays and drew at least one holding flag. Rookie LBs Casey Matthews and Brian Rolle each had sacks. Rolle got another hit on QB Matt Moore that knocked him out of the game.
This is the pass rush that the players, coaches, and front office have been expecting all year. The Eagles had the 9 sacks, but got pressure on other pass plays. They kept the Miami QBs from getting into any comfort zone.
The defense came up big in short yardage situations as well. Miami had several 3rd or 4th and short plays and were stuffed time and again. It wasn’t one guy. The whole front seven came up big on those plays. Derek Landri had another big game. NFL.com only has him with 1 TFL. I thought he had 2. He was disruptive on a regular basis. I really do love watching him play.
The offense started terrible. Mike Vick looked very uncomfortable and was rushing things. The OL wasn’t blocking well and the coaches didn’t help him out either. The coaches made some good adjustments. They put Vick under Center. They started designing quicker pass plays and also had him focus on Brent Celek. This woke Vick and the offense up and they scored 24 points in the 2nd quarter.
The offense went back to struggling in the 2nd half. I get the feeling that Vick’s ribs were bugging him. Jeremy Maclin also got pulled from the game. Andy Reid made it sound like his hamstring had tightened up a bit. You also have to give the Dolphins credit. That defense has been lights out in recent weeks and they looked dominant at times today. Just ask Shady McCoy about that.
Shady started the game 3-22 and things looked pretty good. After that he was 24-16. Uh yes, that is 24 carries for 16 yards. Miami had the DL to control the LOS and they had the LBs to chase down McCoy. They also weren’t afraid to play 8 man fronts and dare us to throw deep.
The Dolphins had not allowed more than 2 TDs since the season opener. They had not allowed a rushing TD in 7 weeks. Despite Shady’s struggles, he did run for 2 scores. The other TD was a terrific pass play from Vick to DJax for a 34-yard score.
The biggest concern on offense is the fact the team got shut down so completely in the 2nd half. That’s something the coaches need to study closely in the next day or two. Miami didn’t have the firepower to mount a comeback, but you can’t count on that in the next couple of games. Mark Sanchez and Tony Romo are better QBs than Matt Moore/JP Losman.
It was good to get a win. The playoff hopes remain alive, even though still a major longshot. Plus, it was just fun to see the guys have some success after the suckfests against NE and SEA. Those were ugly losses.
The Eagles were able to shake off the rust and win an ugly game today. Next up is the Jets and that will require a better showing.