Philadelphia Eagles versus Miami Dolphins game day is here. The Birds are playing home at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since Oct. 19. The Eagles are coming off a big overtime win in a division game last week. After reaching 4-4 in Dallas, now the Eagles have an opportunity to get above .500. Can they capitalize?
It's hard to get a great feel for Philadelphia's opponent this week. It's been a weird season for the Dolphins. They looked downright awful before Joe Philbin got fired. They even managed to be awful in their win over Washington in Week 1. Things changed when the Dolphins canned Philbin and replaced him with fiery tight ends coach Dan Campbell. The former NFL player seemed to spark life in the team by leading them to two blowout victories. In recent weeks, however, the Dolphins have gone back to struggling. They lost on the road to the Patriots by 29 points before then losing to the Bills in Buffalo by 17 points. Even Dolphins fans aren't sure which team will show up this Sunday.
But while inconsistency has plagued the Dolphins, it's not like the Eagles have been a model for stability this season. Philadelphia got off to a real slow start this season. The key difference is that the Eagles have played some of their best football in recent weeks. The Eagles are 3-1 in their last four games. DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles have helped contribute to the NFL's second best rushing attack since Week 3. Philadelphia should be able to get their ground game going against a Dolphins run defense that ranks 28th by Football Outsiders.
Miami's offense poses as the biggest threat to the Eagles in this game. Bill Lazor's unit ranks No. 13 overall, including a fourth ranked rushing attack. After going for a long streak of not allowing individual 100-yard rushers, the Eagles' defense has allowed two running backs to do just that in back to back weeks. Lamar Miller could pose a threat since he's averaging 5.3 yards per carry. Ryan Tannehill has been inconsistent this season at quarterback, but he still has some nice receiving weapons. Jarvis Landry has the potential to be a problem in the slot. Rishard Matthews is having a good season. Philadelphia's defense has been the strength of the team this year, so Miami's offense shouldn't be able to go wild, but they could provide a challenge.
Injuries are a factor in this game for the Eagles. Starting left tackle Jason Peter is questionable. If he can't play, Lane Johnson will start again in his place with Dennis Kelly getting the nod at right tackle. The Eagles lost rookie Jordan Hicks for the season but they're likely getting DeMeco Ryans back this week. The veteran linebacker will rotate with Mychal Kendricks and Kiko Alonso. First round pick Nelson Agholor is slated to return and could give Philadelphia's passing game a boost.
Speaking of the pass, this is yet another big test for Sam Bradford. The Eagles quarterback had an impressive showing against Dallas, but he's been way too inconsistent and downright bad at times this year. It will be interesting to see if he can help lead his team to a winning record on Sunday.
Score prediction: 34-16, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews, and Darren Sproles each score a touchdown.
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