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Eagles-Dolphins Final Score: Observations from Philadelphia’s 38-31 win over Miami

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The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Miami Dolphins in their third 2017 preseason game on Thursday evening.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles continued their 2017 preseason schedule with a win on Thursday evening. The Eagles defeated the Miami Dolphins by a final score of 38 to 31. There's a lot to talk about so let's get right to it.

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Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, August 24, 2017

First team offense

Carson Wentz unleashed a 50-yard bomb to Torrey Smith despite having pressure in his face. Nice play for Smith to make his first catch of the preseason. Byron Maxwell got burned in a blown coverage (shocker!).

Wentz did an awesome job of eluding defenders to throw a pass to Zach Ertz, who actually got yards after the catch!

The Eagles’ second drive stalled when Wentz had to deal with a lot of interior pressure in his face.

On the Eagles’ third drive, Wentz got picked off after one of his passes was batted at the line of scrimmage.

Philly’s fourth drive was aided by some nice runs by Wendell Smallwood. LeGarrette Blount had a number of bad runs before breaking off a bigger gain. Then Wentz connected with Alshon Jeffery in the red zone for a touchdown. Clockwork.

The Eagles pulled the first team offense with 14:48 remaining in the second quarter. That’s a quick hook for the third preseason game, but I guess Doug Pederson saw enough of Wentz getting pressured and hit.

First team defense

Tim Jernigan jumped offside on the first play of the game, though it may have been Vinny Curry’s flinch which caused him to move early. Ron Brooks got stiff-armed super hard by Jay Ajayi. Curry redeemed himself by blindsiding Jay Cutler for a strip-sack, which was recovered by Fletcher Cox. This defensive line is for real.

Ronald Darby broke up a third down pass on the Dolphins’ second drive.

Then Darby allowed a 72-yard reception on the Dolphins’ third drive. Tough play. The ball was just out of reach above Darby’s arm as he contested the ball in the air. Not much the 5-10 corner could do against the 6-3 DeVante Parker. Maybe he jumped too soon, but it looked like a really good throw/catch either way.

The Dolphins scored their second touchdown on a short run from Ajayi after Wentz threw that interception on a tipped pass.

Mychal Kendricks almost recorded a sack on Jay Cutler during a blitz off the edge. Cutler threw it at the ground to escape the play, though. Darby got beat deep by Kenny Stills, showed great recovery speed to get back and make a play on the ball, then got called for defensive pass interference. Looked like a real tacky call to me.

Special teams

Caleb Sturgis hit a 30-yard field goal and was perfect on his extra point attempts.

Rashard Davis got looks at first team punt returner. He didn’t do much. Still interesting to see him in there instead of Pumphrey.

Kamu Grugier-Hill got flagged for going helmet-to-helmet on a Dolphins punt returner. Pretty BS penalty.

Otherwise it was a really nice play by KGH to get down the field first and first the PR.

Pumphrey muffed a punt late in the fourth quarter. He’s already done that a few times this preseason.

The quarterbacks

Carson Wentz: 6 of 10 for 129 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 104.2 rating

Matt McGloin: 22 of 26 for 155 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 88.3 rating

Dane Evans: No attempts

Wentz had a pretty good showing. His only pick came on a pass that was tipped. He had to deal with a lot of pressure but still made big plays. Nice rebound performance after a mediocre outing last week.

McGloin actually got booed by Philly fans upon entering the game. He later went on to throw a laser accurate pass ... right to a Dolphins defensive lineman. Yikes. McGloin kinda rebounded after that but it’s still clear he’s not very good. His touchdown pass was nice, though.

Evans entered the game with 3:15 remaining and didn’t attempt a pass.

More observations

LeGarrette Blount was the starting running back but it was Wendell Smallwood on third down.

Derek Barnett started in place of Brandon Graham. But then Chris Long got first team defensive end snaps on the Dolphins’ second drive.

Najee Goode, filling in for Jordan Hicks, made a nice open field tackle with the first team defense.

Patrick Robinson started at nickel.

Rasul Douglas made a nice tackle for loss.

Jaylen Watkins was playing at second team cornerback. He picked off Matt Moore in the end zone.

McGloin completed a nice pass to Burton in the red zone ... except I’m pretty sure it was actually intended for Mack Hollins but overthrown. Either way, it worked.

C.J. Smith broke up a pass that led to a Kendricks pick-six. That’s three picks in three games for Kendricks. Trade value keeps rising!

Smith had another pass breakup late in the fourth quarter.

Corey Graham put a BIG hit on a Dolphins running back.

Halapoulivaati Vaitai got penalized three plays in a row at one point.

Donnel Pumphrey hasn’t really had a great summer. Still not showing much explosion in the run game. He gained 25 yards on eight carries (3.1 average). As a receiver, he had five receptions for 37 yards.

Steven Means put a big hit on the Dolphins’ backup QB. He also returned a squib kick before the end of the first half! (But unsurprisingly fumbled it.)

Trey Burton dropped a wide open pass in the middle of the field.

Elijah Qualls and Alex McCalisted combined for a sack.

Terrence Brooks missed a tackle that allowed Jakeem Grant to break away for a 69-yard touchdown.

Don Cherry picked off a pass from the Dolphins’ third string quarterback and ran it back for a 42-yard return. Nice play aided by pressure from Joe Walker.

Marcus Johnson had a nice TD grab in the back of the end zone. Nice throw (!) by McGloin.

Shelton Gibson’s holding penalty wiped out a run by Pumphrey.

Byron Marshall looked better than Pumphrey to me.

Eagles fans are the Linc started doing the wave with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter.


Click here for a list of the nine players who were ruled out.

Nathan Gerry left the game early with a hamstring injury.

Up next

The Eagles have off tomorrow on Friday, Aug. 25 before returning to practice on Saturday, Aug. 26. Stay tuned to BGN for more Eagles coverage.